Announcing, Mr. Lawrence Levato, AIA, REFP, Principle of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates (CRA Architects) is the current President-Elect of A4LE’s Northeast Region. The term is November 1 – October 31. The primary goal of his tenure will be to foster greater alignment opportunities with educators and members of his region through dedicated outreach and collaboration programs.
The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) dates back to 1921 when it was initially established under the name of the National Council on Schoolhouse Construction (NCSC) which, in turn, was succeeded by the Council of Education Facility Planners International (CEFPI) in 1971. The organization’s current name didn’t take form until 2015. Regardless of its label, the organization’s sole objective has remained the same; to improve the places where children learn by making educational spaces catalysts for critical thinking and creativity. This is done by uniquely bringing together more than 5,000 professionals from nearly every discipline involved in school planning, construction, and maintenance in order to foster discussion on 21st century learning environments, constructive collaboration, and enhanced networking opportunities. The importance of A4LE’s mission is clear, after all a child’s ability to grow and develop as person and student depends upon the environment and resources that they are given.
The process of building a school is more than just placing blocks on a design program and ticking off boxes to please a client. According to Levato, “it involves working with educators, superintendents, and teachers to understand the trends and growth in education in order to create a learning environment that is more than just a series of rooms. Educational planning is an understanding that for a school to be effective its layout must not only make sense conceptually, but must also foster an interrelation of multiple academic disciplines within the minds of its students. Educators must drive the ship”, says Levato, and A4LE gives them a platform on which to do so. At CRA Architects, this philosophy can be found throughout our entire school planning process. In fact, it has inspired some of our STEAM design spaces complete with flexible, shared spaces for arts and sciences which encourage wide collaboration across academic subjects.
After Mr. Levato received his Bachelors of Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988, he began a rich and varied career focusing primarily on educational design and planning. Through hard work and dedication, he has fostered working relationships with a wide variety of K-12 clients through the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States over time. In 2010, Larry joined CRA Architects and has continued to employ his expertise with educational clients in both Maryland and Pennsylvania such as Baltimore County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Penn Manor Public Schools. As Principal of CRA Architects, Larry aids in managing the overall operations of the company; particularly when it comes to educating project managers in establishing project standards and implementing Best Practices.
Larry is active within A4LE year-round and as such he has assisted in the development and planning of the organization’s yearly conference. He has played an active role in helping to decide anything from the meeting’s venue location to selecting and scheduling informative keynote speakers. He will be attending the Northeast Region’s annual conference on April 2-4th in 2020 in Washington D.C.