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Congratulations to the THINK [about architecture] Scholarship Recipients

DLA Architects Vice President Carrie Matlock presents Scholarship to Erica Crimmins

We’re pleased to announce that the judging is complete and we’ve awarded the final THINK [about architecture] scholarships.

This year we offered the scholarship at 22 schools. We had some great entries and the committee had a difficult time narrowing down the finalists.

The 1st place State Level Scholarship ($1,000) was awarded to New Lenox resident Erica Crimmins. Her video focused on the Library at Lincoln-Way West High School. She did a great job at pointing out architectural features and explaining how the design facilitated learning.

The 2nd place State Level Scholarship ($500) was awarded to Jeremy Gentile of Oak Lawn. His entry focused on the Science rooms at Richards High School. He highlighted how the space enhanced his experience and he included comments from classmates and his teacher.



Recipients of the $250 School Level Scholarship include:

  • Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Lockport), graduate of Lockport Twp. High School in Lockport Township High School District 205
  • Nick Carr (New Lenox), graduate of Lincoln-Way Central High School in Lincoln-Way School District 210
  • Jim Connolly (New Lenox), graduate of Lincoln-Way West High School in Lincoln-Way School District 210
  • Erica Crimmins (New Lenox), graduate of Lincoln-Way West High School in Lincoln-Way School District 210

    CEO Dwain Lutzow presents scholarship to Jeremy Gentile

  • Max Donkel (Flossmoor), graduate of Homewood Flossmoor Community High School  in Homewood Flossmoor School District 233
  • Jeremy Gentile (Oak Lawn), graduate of H. L. Richards High School in Community High School District 218
  • Wladyslaw Tylka (Norridge), graduate of Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood High School District 234
  • Layne Becker (Mendota), graduate of Mendota High School in Mendota High School District 280
  • Kat Phillips (Elgin), graduate of Larkin High School in School District U-46
  • Travis Manisack (Elgin), graduate of Larkin High School in School District U-46

The criteria used by the judges to score the videos: Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks for making us a Top Design Firm

Today at DLA Architects, we’re taking a few moments to celebrate some exciting milestones! We especially want to thank our clients for making it possible.

  • DLA is ranked #22 in the nation for K-12 Design (according to Building Design and Construction Magazine)!


  • Engineering News Record (Midwest) ranked us in the top 25 Midwest Design Firms


  • Architectural Record has DLA ranked at #242 in the country amongst our architectural peers!


Congratulations to the entire DLA Team!  You guys are fantastic and your attention to detail and our client’s needs has made us one of the top firms – not only locally but in the Country.  Keep up the great work!

- Dwain Lutzow

Hanover Township commemorates Lords Park

We were recently happy to attend the dedication of the Hanover Township Heritage Marker at Lords Park Pavilion. It was a wonderful event and it was interesting to hear the history of the park from its inception through the resoration of the Pavilion by DLA Architects.

The marker commemorates the gift of 50 acres of land on the city’s east side in 1892 by George and Mary Lord to the residents of Elgin.

“Lords Park is truly a gem of Hanover Township, the city of Elgin and the surrounding communities,” said Hanover Township Supervisor Brian P. McGuire at the dedication. “The township is proud to recognize and promote the many pieces of local history throughout our community.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor David Kaptain told the attendees about the partnership between Elgin and Hanover Township.

“The marker recognizes the dream of the Lord family for their gift of this beautiful land and its future value to the residents of the city of Elgin and Hanover Township,” Kaptain said. “The leadership at both the township and the city will strive to continue that vision, to create a better community for all our residents.”

via Hanover Twp. places heritage marker at Lords Park – Aurora Beacon News.

Happy 40th Birthday Title IX

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

This landmark civil rights legislation resulted in increased educational opportunities and athletic participation, changing the school life of girls and women across the nation. It also influenced the built environment for high schools and colleges across the nation. More opportunity for participation led to a need for expanded athletic facilities that could accommodate both genders, from expanded locker spaces to sports fields that could handle increased use.

According to statistics, six years after the enactment of Title IX, the percentage of high school girls playing team sports had jumped from about 4 percent to 25 percent. Today about a third of high school girls are involved in sports.

The really incredible thing is that research is showing that athletic participation in high school provides lifelong benefits.

A recent Brigham Young University study concluded that playing on a high school team increases young women’s odds of graduating from college by 41 percent.

Dr. Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has taken it a step further and demonstrated that the increase in girls’ sports participation that Title IX set in motion explained about 20 percent of the increase in women’s education and about 40 percent of the rise in employment for 25-to-34-year-old women. It had a direct effect on women’s education and employment.

To learn more about how this legislation affected educational and athletic opportunities, be sure to take a look at “Sporting Chance.” A documentary created by the NCAA in partnership with ESPN that debuts this weekend. http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2012-06-11/title-ix-documentary-debuts-june-23

How do Students see the School of the Future?

Students present their entry to the Jury at Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) The School of the Future Design Competition

Earlier this year, the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) challenged middle school students to creatively apply their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills in The School of the Future Design Competition. The result was incredible and truly inspiring. For instance:

The Seneca team demonstrated a clear understanding [of] smart growth and how a school can positively impact a community. They chose to repurpose the old Henry Ford factory site, a community icon, and economically stabilize a very challenged community. Low cost housing was provided on the campus for families with school age children, bringing the neighborhood to the school, offering employment on the campus and 24-hour use of the facilities. Harkening to the old Ford days, each class level “house” was named after a famous Ford car.

via School Building Week 2012 Highlights & Photos – Council of Educational Facility Planners International CEFPI.

The students did a great job attacking their site’s challenges and really thinking outside of the box. Whether installing a glass wall that can stand up to ocean waves to incorporate the study of local sea life into their curriculum or utilizing “aerobic ball” seating in the classrooms to amp up the activity level in their day to day lives, the entries really had some thoughtful ideas.

2012 THINK [about architecture] Scholarship

We’re judging the entries for the overall recipients of the DLA Architects Scholarship this week and we’re excited to share them.

Students were asked to discuss their experience and interaction with the architecture that surrounded them at their school. Judging will surely be difficult as there are some wonderful and creative entries. In fact, views and “likes” will be one of the factors that the judges look at, so be sure to give your thumbs up to your favorite(s)!

Further reading at:

7 Habits of Highly Effective Tech-leading Principals — THE Journal

A hot topic in education today is the definition of the term literacy. Traditionally it’s about reading and writing to communicate effectively.  Is it time to expand the definition to include other types of literacy and communication overall. If so, technology is an important part of that equation.

“It really is about the learning. When you speak with tech-leading principals, they will echo that. It’s not fundamentally about the technology. It’s about the technology supporting what these learning goals are. As Patrick Larkin is fond of saying: You look at the mission statement of the school, and you want to create learners for this age and you want to create citizens who are ready to be contributors in this world. If you’re doing this for the 21st century, it really does have to include this stuff.

via 7 Habits of Highly Effective Tech-leading Principals — THE Journal.


How are you integrating technology literacy into your overall program?

An Interactive Journey Through New Yorks Roofscape Makeover – Technology – The Atlantic Cities

These videos are a great introduction to the concept of the heat-island effect and how alternative roofing surfaces can make a difference in your energy costs. Take a look.

Fertile vegetated green roofs absorb the suns rays, while reflective roofs bounce them back to space. Both are sprouting up in response to a 2008 city rule that requires new roofs to be climate-friendly… Climate Desk strapped on hardhats, jumped into elevators, and scaled ladders to see first-hand how the roofscape of New York is adapting to face a changing climate.

via An Interactive Journey Through New Yorks Roofscape Makeover – Technology – The Atlantic Cities.

If you’d like to learn more about applying these changes to your roof, give us a call.

Are you keeping pace with 21st Century Education?

In keeping with the trends discussed at Learning Environments for Tomorrow, we came across an interesting article over in the Wall Street Journal that you might be interested in.

Skeptics worry that online learning will destroy the “college experience,” which requires that students be at a geographical place (school), interacting with one another and their professors. But such a disconnect isn’t going to happen. The coming revolution is essentially about finding a new balance in the way education is organized—a balance in which students still go to school and have face-to-face interactions within a community of scholars, but also do a portion of their work online.

via John Chubb and Terry Moe: Higher Education’s Online Revolution – WSJ.com.

Anatomy of a Healthy Workplace Infographic

Need some inspiration on how you can make your work environment a little healthier? Take a look at this infographic for some great ideas.

Have you already implemented any of these efforts at your workplace? Seen any improvement?

Sight, Sound, and More: Easy, Affordable Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace [INFOGRAPHIC]
via: Sight, Sound, and More: Easy, Affordable Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace [INFOGRAPHIC]

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