Architect Jeff Potter appointed to Texas Governor’s School Safety Panel

The American Institute of Architects announces the appointment of architect Jeff Potter, FAIA, to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s roundtable, which is intended to identify enhanced safety and security solutions for the state’s schools and communities.

“Jeff has dedicated his career to designing schools and facilities for the health, safety and welfare of children,” said Texas Society of Architects Executive Vice President/CEO James Perry. “His expertise will be a valuable asset to the search for solutions that Texas—and other states—require to help prevent these tragedies.”

As part of the roundtable, Potter will advise on the design of safe and secure schools. Like many architects across the country, Potter has an expertise in the field. He has spent the last three decades designing primary and secondary education facilities with his firm POTTER, located in Dallas and Longview, Texas.

“Architects are experts in designing buildings to protect our citizens,” said AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA.  “Architects have developed best practices and a high level of expertise in designing safe and secure schools while also maintaining open and positive learning environments. AIA is committed to working in a bipartisan manner at all levels of government, with elected officials, first responders, teachers and other stakeholders to guarantee that public policy supports the highest standards for building codes and school design practices across the United States.”

Texas is the latest state where the governor is turning to an architect for design solutions that will improve school safety. Earlier this year, AIA Florida began working with Florida Governor Rick Scott, state legislators and the Florida Department of Education to develop design standards and best practices for the state’s schools.

“In the short time since the abhorrent event at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there have been many lessons learned,” said AIA Florida Executive Vice President Vicki Long, CAE, Hon. AIA. “We stand ready to support AIA components and elected officials in Florida and Texas by sharing our valuable insights. It’s important that all stakeholders in this issue—especially policymakers—recognize architects as valuable resources on this issue. Smarter, safer design of schools will not prevent these tragedies, but it would help mitigate the damage and save lives.”

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