With the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, our nation saw an approximately $100 billion investment in public education. This emergency measure set out not only to save jobs, but to provide our next generation of leaders with the foundation necessary to compete in an ever-increasingly competitive global market. Yet, despite the need of improvement to our school systems across the United States, some school systems have been slower to bounce back from the recession.
In 2012, the school system of the commonwealth of Virginia was given a funding distribution grade of “D.” Determined by the School Funding Fairness organization, this grade deems Virginia’s school system as one which does a poor job of equitably distributing state funds to its schools. Yet, as embodied by the slogan of the “no child left behind” act, it can be nationally agreed upon that all students deserve a fair opportunity to receive a top-notch education. So when one Virginia school faced a growing need to renovate a science lab in desperate need of modernization, a cash-strapped PTA turned to Arcbazar.com to provide architectural help on a budget.
Arcbazar.com, the first-of-its-kind crowd-sourcing platform for architectural design services, was a fitting choice for the school. For just $500, over the course of four weeks, the Virginia school received seven different design submissions from seven different designers. The designs for the science classroom – which included blueprints, 3D mockups, and aesthetically stunning renderings – were submitted by architects and designers from around the world.
One PTA member, Joe, described his satisfaction with the process, saying: “With limited PTA funds we were able to obtain multiple high-quality designs from seven architects residing in Albania, Serbia, India, Italy, and the US. The low-cost investment enabled us to quickly and affordably get to the first phase of our renovation project… Arcbazar’s global reach afforded us the opportunity to work with designers from multiple countries who had varied solutions that were creative, clever, functional and aesthetic.”
Though the renovation process can be often be overwhelming, Joe spoke highly of the Arcbazar’s ability to clearly and helpfully guide a contest sponsor through the process: “Arcbazar’s website makes creation of a contest quick, easy and affordable. The sponsor is able to detail out the requirements for the design, and the designers have the opportunity to post questions throughout the process. Posting of design files makes review of submissions very orderly, and the ranking page for final results is easy and well thought out.” He added, “During the process I had the opportunity to talk with the support team at Arcbazar, and they always answered within 3 rings. They were great advisors for our project.”