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Facilities Trends in the 2015 Excellence in Education Program

Lauren Quick | November 18, 2015 | 1:59 PM
Stations at the Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design in Greenville, NC.

Every year, MODERN SALON Media pays tribute to great work being done by leading cosmetology schools via its Excellence in Education recognition program. Hundreds of applications are submitted by individual and multi-unit schools across the country, and for 2015, 38 schools were named honorees in eight categories ranging from Community Service to Placement to Technology.

MODERN SALON Media Vice President/Group Publisher Steve Reiss announced the 2015 Excellence in Education top honorees on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Excellence in Education was created in conjunction with a partnership between Modern Salon Media and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS); the program helps the school community collect and share examples of great work being done across the country.

Two top honorees—one individual school location, and a multi-location school organization—were recognized in each of the eight categories.

In the Facilities category, schools are more environmentally friendly and technologically savvy than ever in 2015. Sustainable materials are used everywhere from flooring to walls to tables, schools are embracing solar energy, and some schools have even installed harvesting rainwater system. 

The top Facilities honorees this year are Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design in Greenville, NC, for individual locations; and Nurtur Aveda Institutes in Columbus, OH, for multi-unit schools. However, all of the 2015 honorees had inspiring ideas to share.

Form and function work together in these beautiful spaces with most schools using classrooms and other spaces for dual purposes. These flexible configurations allow for versatility in curriculum and teaching methods. Here are just a few of the inspiring ideas found in the 2015 Excellence in Education entries:


Retail area at Nurtur Aveda Institutes.

Facilities in individual locations

  • State of the art spa at Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design, Greenville, NC: Recently added to the school, equipment was purchased to add to the esthetics curriculum including microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, oxygen facials, sunless tanning, gel nails and more.
  • Photo studio at Crave Beauty Academy, Ballwin, MO: Professional photography area with backdrops and umbrella lights for students to showcase their work. 
  • Special elements at Aveda Institute Nashville, Franklin, TN: Contemporary stained concrete, crude wood shelving, exposed ceilings, stone accents, glass walls, and natural light make the space unique.
  • Solar power at Federico Beauty Institute, Sacramento, CA: Extensive solar installation generates a third of the school’s required electrical power and provides covered parking. 
  • Green initiatives at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness, Milwaukee, WI: New HVAC delivers energy efficient, purified air; LED lighting saves money, recycled rubber floor is comfortable for students, VOC paint, recycled counter tops, post-consumer carpet and wall coverings. 
  • Green building at Aveda Institute South Florida, Davie, FL: Uses sustainable reused or recycled materials such as rainwater harvesting system, energy-saving bulbs, air filtration system and water heated through solar energy.


Innovative shampoo rooms at Nurtur Aveda Institutes in Columbus, OH, allow guests to recline in comfortable, state-of-the art shampoo beds to enjoy treatments.

Facilities in multi-unit schools

  • Station graphics at Nurtur Aveda Institutes, Columbus, OH: Erasable station graphics allow students and educators to understand the desired outcome and benchmarks associated with each service.
  • Green scene at Paul Mitchell Schools, Sandy, UT: New schools utilize LED lighting technology, and facilities are sized correctly to reduce underutilized space that wastes electricity and building materials. A dedicated green company that designs and manufactures products in the U.S. 
  • Sustainable materials at Aveda Institute CO, AZ, UT; Denver, CO: Sustainable cork flooring, ply-boo tables, low VOC paint, climate control system, recycled carpeting, green cleaning, sensor lighting are all a part of this facility. 

To view the entire list of finalists, click here. 

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