Designing Quality Schools for All Communities

Prince George's County Public Schools is the second largest school system in Maryland with the second-oldest stock of buildings. As of 2021, over half of the 208 schools in the district were more than 50 years old. Challenged by their aging infrastructure and potential for overcrowding, PGCPS embarked on an ambitious undertaking to accelerate the delivery of new schools and modernizations, becoming the first public school system in the nation to leverage full-scope alternative financing model to design, build, finance, and maintain a multi-school K-12 construction program. This unique approach enables the district to complete the design and construction process in half the time of traditionally funded projects.

PGCPS has a mission to "provide a transformative educational experience anchored by excellence in equity - developing 21st century competencies and enabling each student's unique brilliance to flourish in order to build empowered communities and a more inclusive and just world." In 2023, the district opened six brand new community schools serving 8000 students and their families that aim to fulfill their mission. This presentation will highlight the strategy, approach, design process, lessons learned, and successes of these innovative projects which brought high-quality, equitable interior environments to students in historically under-resourced communities.


Senior Principal, Discipline Leader for Interior Design


Gwen Morgan is an interior designer who has devoted her career to the design of educational facilities, both higher education and K-12 buildings. She is passionate about sculpting the interior space of each project she undertakes to create a dynamic learning environment that will best accommodate students, instructors, and the community at large. This commitment is recognized in her role as Discipline Leader for Interior Design at Stantec. Gwen, a graduate of Kansas State University, leads design and technical excellence for the firm globally, guiding the Research and Benchmarking team for furniture and the interior environment, implementing best practices and fresh ideas across multiple markets.

Katharine Land, NCIDQ, IIDA

Associate, Senior Interior Designer


Katharine Land, NCIDQ and IIDA, is a senior interior designer and associate at Stantec with nearly 15 years of experience primarily in the education sector. Her projects have covered the full gamut of educational facilities, including daycares, libraries, K-12 facilities, and universities, located throughout Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Katharine currently oversees the interiors for her studio’s education projects. She has found a particular passion for developing unique furniture solutions in educational facilities. Her design philosophy is to improve the daily experience of our end users by providing unexpected, yet inspiring spaces. She believes that everything from the flooring to a simple chair should bring comfort and joy to users.

In addition to her design work, Katharine helps coordinate photography and awards submissions efforts after projects are complete. Meridian High School for Falls Church City Public Schools in Virginia stands out as one of her most memorable projects to date. She was involved from the earliest design phases through to photography and award submissions, which helped garner the project national recognition.

This content will not be available until 06/10/2024 at 8:00 AM (EDT)