C. Michael Ross, AIA, REFP
With almost three decades of experience, Mike Ross continues to establish himself as a leader in the field of Educational Facility Planning and Design on every project he touches. He approaches educational planning from the learner’s perspective by asking questions such as: “What skills do our young people need to have when they graduate to be successful contributors in today’s global society?...What habits do our young people need to develop to become life-long learners?...How do we get students engaged in their own learning experience so that they become self-motivated?... These types of questions form the basis of Mike’s philosophical approach to planning school facilities, and determining each community’s unique answers to these questions leads to the design of exceptional learning environments that truly meet the needs of both the learners and the community. Mike also believes that school facilities must be “of the community” to be successful, and he brings his highly collaborative planning process to every opportunity. His objective is to engage as many stakeholders as possible because each constituent group brings a unique perspective to the process and it is the synthesis of these diverse viewpoints that truly drives the creative process. Students, in particular, provide invaluable insight to the planning of schools for the future and should play a strong role in the collaborative planning process. Mike is especially adept at consensus building and gaining stakeholder buy-in of the planning vision and design concepts that are the results of these workshops, leaving participants with a sense of pride and ownership in their accomplishments. With his planning approach from the learner’s perspective and his collaborative planning and design process, Mike is reinventing the way we go about making places where great learning can occur.