Welcome Stu to the Education and Worship Studio

As part of a transition in firm leadership, Stu LaRose, AIA returns to Zimmerman to lead our education and worship facilities studio. For more than a decade, early in his career, Stu acted as a project architect and project manager on many of the firm’s most notable education projects. This includes the multiple award-winning University of Wisconsin-Mechanical Engineering addition and renovation and University of Wisconsin Fluno Center for Executive Education projects. He also completed work for several private college and university institutions as well as K-12 school districts around the state.

In addition to his early career experiences, Stu also has nearly a decade of experience as a senior facilities architect and project manager with the University of Wisconsin Office of Capital Planning and Development. In that role, Stu participated in all aspects of project development for the University of Wisconsin – from concept request through agency occupancy. He managed the delivery of more than a quarter billion dollars of constructed projects for UW including the $53 million renovation of Witte Hall, the $42 million Gordon Commons, $47 million Dejope & Leopold Residence Halls and $46 million Meat Muscle Science facility. Most recently, Stu has acted as a senior project manager for one of the area’s most active design / build firms.

Stu is a proven leader who communicates effectively, thinks critically, believes in the collaborative power of teams and understands the importance of fierce advocacy for the clients he serves.

An Expanded Vision for the Future of Racine Lutheran High School

The increased interest for a private school experience has been fueling the need for new and expanded spaces at Racine Lutheran High School (RLHS). RLHS engaged Zimmerman for help improving the experience of current students and expanding their existing facility to accommodate enrollment growth and enhance RLHS’s ability to provide a quality education in this competitive, demanding environment.

The renovation and expansion will enhance educational space and instructional opportunities, provide needed athletic facilities and additional classroom space, and provide better separation of school and athletic spaces for improved security and safety of students, staff and visitors.

New instruction spaces provide needed classroom capacity and more flexible instruction capabilities and options for students and staff. A new gymnasium addition replaces the existing 1950 vintage gym space, with up to date court sizes and interior volume for competition requirements. A larger weight room and fitness facility will better accommodate modern training equipment needs and provide more user space options to improve gender inclusive spaces. This new, more modern athletic space design allows for better conformance to Title 9 requirements (gender parity), appropriately sized locker rooms and support rooms, and better ADA access to and for facility users and visitors.  The new athletic lobby space contains direct access to new ADA compliant public toilet rooms facilities, concessions, and direct access to an expanded cafeteria space for needed additional flexible use options for RLHS.

Our past projects and expertise with building study analysis, practical & creative solutions for renovation/expansion project work, and solutions to address phasing for fundraising driven projects is the reason this project is a great fit for us.  Our goal with every project is to establish a very strong rapport and working relationship with our clients and construction partners from the start. Our passion and drive is to understand and embrace educational facility challenges and vision for creative, effective, and inspirational solutions for our client needs and their school families.

 

 

Greg Strand

Greg Strand

Senior Associate | Architectural Designer for the Education and Worship Studio

greg.strand@zastudios.com

Mr. Strand is a highly experienced planner / designer and project manager with a strong portfolio of completed K-12 education assignments. He works closely with the client and balance of the project team to arrive at appropriate and economic planning and design solutions. His expertise in the plan, design, execution and delivery of educational spaces allows him to seamlessly organize the effort from concept through construction. He coordinates the work of all engineering disciplines and maintains close contact with the client. He is also sensitive to problems which arise in the field and the urgency in which they need to be addressed.

5 Strategies to Create A More Adaptive Healthcare Workspace

The events of the past 18 months have certainly shown that we need to view healthcare workspaces differently, changing our lens to focus on adaptability and flexibility as central drivers to our planning and design efforts.  We need to embrace a mindset that healthcare workspaces should be able to respond to the ever-changing environment and models of patient care delivery.

Among the many learnings gained during the pandemic are the opportunities to reevaluate the need for some in-person work. The shift in demand for corporate office space offers a helpful benchmark.  “Leasing of conventional office space by the health care and education industries totaled 10.3 million sq. ft. in 2020, a 28% decrease from 2019. Although the health care industry’s demand for conventional office space likely will rebound in 2021, recent CBRE analysis suggests remote working could cut the overall need for office space by 15% across all industries.”  However, for work that requires – or benefits most – from staff being on site, there is great value in revisiting the approach to workspace design. As designers, we should look critically at the qualities of the physical work space unique to healthcare.  With a new focus on the healthcare workspaces that support in-person patient care and the well-being of healthcare workers, our challenge is to redefine the physical space needed to support the essential interactions between caregiver and patient.

Here are 5 strategies to create adaptable and flexible workspace for caregivers:

1 – Budget for more technology.  We find technology packages for most construction projects are under-funded, where infrastructure and software often play catch-up to support project needs after the fact.  To be successful, technology must encompass meeting, collaborating, and healthcare specific requirements for telemedicine and medical records.  In short, technology needs to support every interaction we previously had in person.  Robust technology infrastructure is needed to support the new hybrid work environment and the growing volumes of telemedicine encounters.

2 – Build fewer walls and spend less on physical construction.  Drive the highest acuity program into the lowest cost space and keep non-care space as open as possible. This strategy affords flexibility in responding to the next unknown healthcare event, as well as adaptability in providing different healthcare delivery models for caregivers. Space for the work of caregivers and medical teams can be easily configured through modular systems furniture.

3 – Maximize use of prefabrication and modular systems.  This strategy provides more quality and speed to market during construction and future adaptability. There is a bell curve of the value created from use of prefabricated modular components, and the objective is to land at the highest point of the curve. That is the point between smaller components that don’t result in efficiencies and large-scale modularization that doesn’t fit the project budget. The goal is to right-size prefabrication and modular opportunities in the range that offers the greatest value for speed to market, efficiency, flexibility and long-term reuse.

4 – Be smarter and more efficient with caregiver space.  The needs of healthcare teams are dynamic and space planning needs to be similarly resilient and smart. The workspace needs to be varied and promote chance interactions, dialogue and collaboration. The physical environment should support different types of work: heads-down focus, small team huddles and larger multi-team collaboration to share information on diagnosis and treatment. Choice and adaptability are essential and variety is needed as follows:

– Variety in room type and size, with adequate technology to support different use scenarios.
– Variety in enclosure to establish different levels of privacy.
– Variety in acoustic and visual connectivity to either moderate or encourage interaction.

5 – Invest in spaces for staff respite.  Spending more of the project budget on larger, higher quality spaces for healthcare staff and providing amenities will pay off with increased staff satisfaction and productivity.  Designate spaces where staff can disengage, rejuvenate and truly take a break.  Typically, staff space accounts for less than 3% of the overall program, so added costs at this scale will not significantly impact overall project budget.

Using these strategies will create flexible and adaptable workspaces that can respond to changes in patient care delivery and physical space needs.  The best outcomes are realized when the spaces we plan and design are an extension of the individuals using them and support their experience.

Scott Gosnell, AIA

Scott Gosnell, AIA

Principal | Vice President | Senior Project Manager

scott.gosnell@zastudios.com

Mr. Gosnell has been with Zimmerman for nearly 20 years, having joined the firm shortly after earning his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Before exclusively concentrating his professional efforts on healthcare facility projects, his main areas of focus were in the firm’s healthcare and hospitality project categories. This unique combination of experience has resulted in projects that embody an environment of care that values patient experience in quality, brand, convenience, and amenities as well as staff efficiency and well-planned spaces. He leads a team of healthcare planning and design experts who are focused and well versed in evidence-based design, Lean healthcare design principles, and biophilic design.