GMB, a professional services firm focused on the educational market, and Secure Environment Consultants (SEC) have entered into a partnership that aims to enhance school safety through design, security planning, and safety training. This exclusive partnership will allow GMB to offer safety solutions that integrate with building and environment design, and this holistic approach will extend to training for staff and teachers. The collaborative partnership between GMB and SEC exemplifies both organizations’ shared commitment to growth and will create safe spaces that best serve students of all ages.
GMB’s integrated team provides planning, architecture, engineering, branding, and enrollment marketing services to educational institutions, holistically impacting how they maximize their learner success. GMB is a nationally recognized education design leader, currently ranked as the 11th largest K-12 architecture/engineering firm in the U.S. on BD+C’s Giants lists. GMB’s team also serves more than 30 colleges and universities across the country.
SEC provides prevention-focused safety and security programs for schools, childcare facilities, and organizations. Since 2013, SEC has brought high-level security assessments to campuses and schools across the United States. They have also worked with the majority of school districts in Michigan for their site assessments.
“We are honored to work with SEC on this important partnership and bring tangible safety solutions to districts and campuses,” said Ron Boezwinkle, GMB Client Lead. Boezwinkle is also a member of an advisory board for Secure Environment Consultants. “This partnership furthers our mission to provide a holistic approach to education services that supports lifelong learners.”
SEC's services, paired with GMB, will include project planning, safety and security design consulting, site assessments, and budget assistance. This alliance brings expertise and insights to school leaders who are looking to redesign or expand their current physical spaces.
“This partnership will allow us to help more schools embed safety within the design process and make the right improvements early on,” said Jason Russell, Founder and President of SEC. “SEC is excited to partner with GMB because of their strong reputation and deep expertise in educational design.”
SEC recently partnered with Kent County ISD to train local district security staff on best practices in school safety. This week-long training was led by SEC Senior Lead Consultant, Jason Louwaert, former School Resource Officer at Oxford Public Schools.
GMB and SEC believe that designing safe educational environments needs to incorporate a balance of student’s mental health and physical safety. Inserting the appropriate security elements that are specific to each facility, while also working with what is best for the students, defines how the organizations will approach all education projects together.
GMB, SEC, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, and the City of Kentwood Police Department previously hosted a 40-hour Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training to teach participants that proper design and effective use of the built and social environment achieves a more productive use of space and a reduction of crime. GMB has demonstrated a continued commitment to educating and training Michigan education leaders, and the GMB staff, on facility and campus security and safety.
“GMB believes that safety is such an intrinsic part of every project we do, and we truly value the leadership and partnership provided by the SEC team,” added Boezwinkle.
Representatives from GMB and SEC attended the joint EdSpaces and Campus Safety Conference in Charlotte, NC last November to present a session titled, “Safe and Secure Schools by Design” and attended sessions to continue their education in improving campus physical safety and classroom design.
Opportunity for all. That’s the world GMB strives to see. Our integrated team of educational planners, architects, engineers, and marketers are just one part of the learning ecosystem that will make that happen. GMB believes education provides transformational opportunities for our communities, industries, and our world. As a learning organization structured for ideation, innovation, and sharing of knowledge, GMB’s hubs of experts in Grand Rapids, Holland and Royal Oak, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Greenville, South Carolina serve lifelong learners across the country. GMB believes in helping clients place learners in environments where they can thrive. Learn more at www.gmb.com.
Since 2013, SEC has brought high-level security assessments to workplaces and schools across the United States. A team of former Secret Service agents, Homeland Security agents, Green Berets, Navy SEALS, and law enforcement officers came together to provide realistic recommendations and customized security services. SEC provides unrivaled expertise to ensure a successful project from beginning to end. Learn more at www.secprotects.com.