NCEF Resource List: Site Selection for Schools
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Information on school siting, environmental issues, and state selection criteria, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Efficient Use of School Space [Portland Public Schools] Adobe PDF
(Long Range Facilities Planning, Portland Public Schools, Issue Paper 5.1, Mar 20, 2012)
Discusses a variety of ways in which the Portland District makes efficient use of its school sites including use of modular classrooms, building multi-story schools, sharing use of school sites for both District and other public/community agencies, locating schools on smaller sites, alternative parking arrangements and use of swing sites. 6p

Review of the Illinois Facility Fund's Analysis of School Location and Performance in Washington, D.C. Adobe PDF
Siegel, Michael; Filardo, Mary
(21st Century School Fund, Washington, D.C. , Feb 09, 2012)
On January 25th, 2012 the District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Education released "Quality Schools, Every Child, Every School, Every Neighborhood" a report that purports to identify "service gap" between the supply of and demand for "performing seats" in both DC Public Schools and public charter schools. The authors completed a review of the Illinois Facility Fund's analysis. This study addresses its flawed methodology, analyses and recommendations. 12p

Quality Schools: Every Child, Every School, Every Neighborhood. An Analysis of School Location and Performance in Washington, D.C. Adobe PDF
(Illinois Facility Fund, Jan 2012)
Study recommends that Washington, D.C., overhaul or close more than three dozen traditional public schools in its poorest neighborhoods and expand the number of high-performing charter schools. After explaining the research methodology, the study provides a district-wide analysis, with findings and recommendations. Includes maps and tables. 80p

Proximity of Public Elementary Schools to Major Roads in Canadian Urban Areas
Amram, Ofer; Abernethy, Rebecca; Brauer, Michael; Davies, Hugh; and Allen, Ryan W
(International Journal of Health Geographics , Dec 21, 2011)
Epidemiologic studies have linked exposure to traffic-generated air and noise pollution with a wide range of adverse health effects in children. Children spend a large portion of time at school, and both air pollution and noise are elevated in close proximity to roads, so school location may be an important determinant of exposure. No studies have yet examined the proximity of schools to major roads outside of the US. Data on public elementary schools in Canada's 10 most populous cities were obtained from online databases. School addresses were geocoded and proximity to the nearest major road, defined using a standardized national road classification scheme, was calculated for each school. Based on measurements of nitrogen oxide concentrations, ultrafine particle counts, and noise levels in three Canadian cities we conservatively defined distances <75 m from major roads as the zone of primary interest. Census data at the city and neighborhood levels were used to evaluate relationships between school proximity to major roads, urban density, and indicators of socioeconomic status. Conclusions: asubstantial fraction of students at public elementary schools in Canada, particularly students attending schools in low income neighborhoods, may be exposed to elevated levels of air pollution and noise while at school. As a result, the locations of schools may negatively impact the healthy development and academic performance of a large number of Canadian children. [Authors' abstract]

Policy Package: Model School Siting Policies for Illinois School Districts Adobe PDF
(Public Health Law & Policy, Dec 09, 2011)
Package of school siting policies for school districts that want to ensure that their school siting decisions support the educational success, physical health, and overall well-being of students and their community. Covers school siting policy; long term coordinated planning; school siting determinations; site design; and attendance zones and assignment policies. 25p

School Siting and Healthy Communities: Why Where We Invest in School Facilities Matters
Miles, Rebecca; Adelaja, Adesoji; Wyckoff, Mark
(Michigan State University Press, Dec 2011)
In recent decades, many metropolitan areas in the United States have experienced a decline in the population of urban centers and rapid growth in the suburbs, with new schools being built outside of cities and existing urban schools facing closure. These new schools are increasingly larger and farther from residences; in contrast, urban school facilities are often in closer proximity to homes but are also in dire need of upgrading or modernization. This book explores the compelling health and economic rationales for new approaches to school siting, including economic savings to school districts, transportation infrastructure needs, and improved child health. An essential examination of public policy issues associated with school siting, this compiled volume will assist policy makers and help the public understand why it is important for government and school districts to work together on school siting and capital expenditures and how these new outlooks will improve local and regional outcomes. [Authors' abstract]

School Siting Guidelines.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oct 02, 2011)
Voluntary school siting guidelines can help local school districts and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions. Includes overview, environmental siting criteria considerations, environmental review process, evaluating impacts of nearby sources of air pollution, quick guide for environmnetal issues, and frequent questions.

New Schools for Downtown Nashville Adobe PDF
(Nashville Civic Design Center, Nashville, Tennessee, Jul 2011)
Advocates for the building of new schools in downtown Nashville, Tennessee for a dramatic positive affect on the growth and new development in the urban core of the city. Details universal reasons to invest in downtown schools as well as the benefits to Nashville. Provides extensive case studies from Memphis and Chattanooga, highlighting lessons learned, as well highlighting projects in San Diego, Chicago, and St. Louis. Outlines specific locations for the new schools, with plans and photographs. 17p

Public Schools: A Toolkit for REALTORS®
(National Association of Realtors, Jun 2011)
Toolkit to help realtors enhance their knowledge and understanding of the public school system so they can become involved in improving their schools and communities. A section on Issues in Public Education includes the following topics: the benefits of green schools; walkability and safe routes to school; school building and siting; teachers living where they work; and how schools are funded. Section two shares examples of realtors and realtor associations around the country that are playing an active role in engaging local students and improving local schools by serving on school boards, volunteering at local schools, donating their time to community-wide efforts to improve schools, and advocating for local school-related initiatives.

The Smokestack Effect: Toxic Air and America's Schools.
(USA Today , Jun 2011)
This special report website includes articles and videos on air pollution at America's school sites. An overlay of school site and Environmental Protection Agency air pollution data provides a tool for finding a school and its air quality standing. A map illustrates clusters of schools where toxic air is the highest.

Recommendations for Acreage of School Facilities. [Idaho] Adobe PDF
(Idaho State Department of Education, 2011)
Recommended acreages are guidelines meant to assist school districts in planning. They do not have regulatory force. 1p.

Ten Fundamental Principles of Smart School Siting. Adobe PDF
(Public Health Law & Policy, 2011)
Principles include: collaborative planning, long-term data driven planning, account for all costs, co-location and shared costs, preference for renovation, diverse walkable schools, equity in facilities, health impacts, safe routes to school, safe infrastructure for walking, bicycling, and public transportation. 1p

Planning School Grounds for Outdoor Learning. Adobe PDF
Wagner, Cheryl; Gordon, Douglas
(National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, DC , Oct 2010)
Discusses the planning and design of school grounds for outdoor learning in new and existing K-12 facilities. A general discussion of the educational potential and history of outdoor learning spaces is followed by detail on the different types of outdoor learning environments that can be considered, the value of flexible spaces for outdoor learning, and resources for those interested in outdoor learning environments. Also explored are environmental education s physical impact on school grounds, considerations during school site development when outdoor education is to be included, and existing school site redesign for outdoor education. 35 resources and citations are included. 7p.

The Active School Neighborhood Checklist. Adobe PDF
(Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix , Jul 16, 2010)
Provides decision makers with a quantitative tool for evaluating the potential long-term health impacts of candidate school sites on the children who will attend them. The logic of ASNC is based on existing research that the built environment can have an effect on either encouraging or preventing people of all ages from walking and bicycling safely to various destinations. 31p.

Putting Schools on the Map: Linking Transit-Oriented Development, San Francisco Bay Area Families, and Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adobe PDF
(University of California, Center for Cities and Schools, Berkeley , Jun 2010)
Examines the connections between transit-oriented development (TOD), families, and schools, with a focus on expanding educational opportunities for all children. Taking an exploratory approach to understanding and framing these interconnections, the document provides a rationale for the linkages at this nexus, presents "Ten Core Connections" between TOD and public education, and highlight five case studies in the San Francisco Bay Area. From these, recommendations are provided for enhancing city-school collaboration in TOD for improved transit use and high quality educational opportunities. 80p.

The School Site Planner. Adobe PDF
(North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh , Feb 2010)
Addresses many factors that need consideration during the process of school site selection, planning, development, and use. The guide examines not only the site selection and planning processes, but also playground planning, recreation and athletic fields planning. Specific considerations include analyses of the surrounding community or territory; building access and security; the surrounding natural environment and available support services; landscaping, utilities, and vehicular traffic; and playground equipment and safety. Final sections provide athletic field layouts for track and field events; football, soccer, and baseball fields; and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. Fourteen references are included. 67p.

Safe Routes to School Travel Data: A Look a Baseline Results from Parent Surveys and Student Travel Tallies.
Brown, Austin; LaJeunesse, Seth
(U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC , Jan 2010)
Provides a summary of school travel data local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs throughout the United States collected from April 2007 to May 2009. These data were gathered using a parent self-report questionnaire and an in-class show-of-hand student travel count form. Key findings include: 1) Distance to school is strongly associated with how children get to and from school. The proportion of ––children walking or bicycling to school is much greater among those who live closer to school. 2) Across all grades, the family car and school bus were the two most frequently used options for travel to and from school. Walking was a distant third. However, there are notable differences between how students in lower grades (K-5th) and higher grades (6th-8th) travel to school. 3) More students arrive at school in the family car than leave by car in the afternoon. The majority of those afternoon trips shifted to riding the school bus or walking. 4) Safety factors, like traffic speed and volume and street crossing safety, were frequently selected as ––barriers by parents who live within one half mile of school but do not allow their children to walk or bicycle to/from school. 5) Weather was only marginally related to students’ morning travel mode. 25p.

Helping Johnny Walk to School. Adobe PDF
Kuhlman, Renee
(National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC , Jan 2010)
Advocates the siting of schools to achieve educational, public health, and sustainability objectives. A community-centered school helps anchor the surrounding neighborhood, is centrally-located to a majority of students, and uses existing infrastructure whenever possible. The report identifies the larger community interest in decisions about retaining existing schools and deciding where to locate new ones. It describes the states' role in school siting decisions and identifies state level policy changes that will ensure that educational, environmental, health, community, and fiscal considerations are weighed by communities when school districts make school closing, consolidation, and site selection decisions. 44p.

Safe Routes to School Putting Traffic Safety First: How Safe Routes to School Initiatives Protect Children Walking and Bicycling. Adobe PDF
(Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Fairfax, CA , Dec 2009)
Explores the approaches five different communities used through Safe Routes to School to create safer environments for children walking and bicycling. The five communities each demonstrate how Safe Routes to School evaluation, education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering can address traffic safety concerns. Many of these safety improvements are made at relatively low costs to communities and schools, yet have profound effects on keeping children safe while also improving physical health and the environment. 22p.

New Schools, New Sites-in Older Cities: School Siting Practices in New Jersey. Adobe PDF
Hersh, Robert
(Center for Public Environmental Oversight, Mountain View, CA , Nov 2009)
Proposes better school siting policies than currently in place in New Jersey. The options of building on land already owned by the school district, or building on a new site are examined, as are factors influencing site selection, remediation of brownfields, and acreage requirements. A case study from the Brown City School District is included, as are 19 references. 18p.

Safe School Siting Toolkit. Adobe PDF
(Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Falls Church, VA , Oct 2009)
Provides communities with tools to protect their children’s health by organizing for the passage of safe school siting policies. This toolkit is based on the lessons learned over the past 28 years of working with communities to fight back polluting facilities, build relationships with elected officials, and run successful local, regional, and national campaigns to end toxic chemical exposure. Sections of the toolkit cover children's health and school siting, a model school siting policy, principles for safe school siting, a sample school siting resolution, how to pass a school siting policy, a sample community presentation, and getting successful media coverage. 58p.

School Siting: What Influence Does It Have on How Kids Get to School? Adobe PDF
Torma, Tim
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Aug 19, 2009)
Cites numerous studies illustrates that distance and directness of a route to school is the primary factor that inhibits walking and biking. 19p.

Smart Growth Schools Report Card. Adobe PDF
Norris, Nathan
(Smart Growth Schools , May 19, 2009)
Compiles best practices from the literature pertaining to Smart Growth and K-12 schools, translated into eleven performance-based criteria. The Report Card describes these criteria, then provides four or five options for addressing each of them. The options then correspond to a letter grade that permits a local community to assess its efforts. 24p.

Walking and Biking to School, Physical Activity and Health Outcomes.
(Active Living Research, San Diego, CA , May 2009)
Summarizes research on active transport to school, physical activity levels and health outcomes. It also explores the factors that influence walking and biking to school, including the impact of Safe Routes to Schools programs and school siting. Includes 46 references. 6p.

Safe Routes to Schools: A Short Walk, A Global Journey.
Frumkin, Howard
(National Center for Safe Routes to School, Chapel Hill, NC, May 2009)
Advocates for walkable routes to school, emphasizing the global climatic and health effects of greenhouse gasses, such as those generated by motorized vehicles.

Reshaping America's Neighborhoods.
Nelson, Arthur
(National Center for Safe Routes to School, Chapel Hill, NC, May 2009)
Emphasizes creation of neighborhoods and schools that can adapt to changing demographics through mixed development.

Impact of the Location of New Schools on Transportation Infrastructure and Finance.
Wagner, James
(Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Transportation Institute, University Transportation Center, Atlanta , May 2009)
Discusses the research on the relationship between school location and new development. Four counties in Georgia were selected as case studies and analyzed with a Geographic Information System (GIS) to determine the significance of the link between these activities. Counties were selected based on their character (urban, suburban, exurban, rural) and analyzed separately. An elementary school and high school were analyzed for each county. In addition, interviews with school facility planners were conducted to further define what institutional barriers prevent cooperation among local land use planners and school planners. It was found that there is a wide range of levels of cooperation between school planners and local planners. Some school districts had a formalized communication process with local planners, some had an ad-hoc communication process, and others had no process at all. Recommendations are made on ways to improve the cooperation between these two professional fields. This report also examines the link between education and transportation capital funding. Georgia lawmakers are struggling to determine what type of capital funding mechanism would be appropriate for new transportation projects, but these new projects may negatively impact educational funding, which is currently based on a sales tax. 118p.

Environmental Mitigation Handbook. (California) Adobe PDF
(Coalition for Adequate School Housing, Sacramento, CA , Feb 2009)
Assists California school districts with navigating environmental mitigation requirements. The handbook identifies the many state and local agencies that may have mitigation requirements, the permissible scope of these requirements, opportunities for negotiation, and best practice advice for compliance. Includes water and sewer service impact, traffic impact, air quality, and climate change. 57p.

Best Practices Manual and Assessment Tool: Relocatable Classrooms for High Performance Schools, 2009 edition. Adobe PDF
(Collaborative for High Peformance Schools, San Francisco, CA , 2009)
Advises school designers and builders on how to adjust their high-performance strategies to account for the differences found in a typical relocatable classroom. Issues involved with site preparation and locating the relocatable on the site are also addressed. The high-performance characteristics detailed for relocatable classrooms include enhanced daylighting, energy-efficient lighting, energy-efficient, low- noise HVAC systems, an efficient building envelope and interior material with low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Additional chapters detail the CHPS Relocatable Program, which gives manufacturers the option of building relocatables according to bid specifications included in the manual, or to achieve a minimum number of points based on the CHPS relocatable criteria scorecard, also included in the manual. 154p.

Planning Educational Facilities: What Educators Need to Know.
Earthman, Glen
(Rowman & Littlefied, Lanham, MD , 2009)
Provides a detailed discussion of the processes involved in planning a school building, from a discussion on how to organize the local staff to the final evaluation of the building. Individual chapters address planning, educational program development, evaluation of existing facilities, enrollment projection, financial planning, development of the capital improvement program, development of educational specifications, site selection and acquisition, federal regulations, architect selection and employment, project management, commissioning, post-occupancy evaluation, technology integration, and green schools. 332p.

Smart Schools, Smart Growth. Adobe PDF
Fuller, Bruce; Vincent, Jeff; Bierbaum, Ariel; Kirschenbaum, Greta; McCoy, Deborah; Rigby, Jessica
(University of California, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Center for Cities and Schools, Berkeley , Jan 2009)
Examines how California's massive and ongoing investment in school construction could better advance the shared goals of school improvement, sustainable urban growth, and equal opportunity. The brief is organized in five parts: 1) a framework for how smart growth principles could help guide school facilities investments, 2) how the $82 billion in bond revenues are being distributed to California's various regions, 3) how a lack of coordinated planning is placed in sharp relief to where people live to how far they travel to jobs, 4) the benefits of high-quality school facilities that accrue to students and teachers, and 5) state policy makers, local educators, and city planners could exercise influential policy levers more wisely. Four communities that are grappling with these challenges in innovative ways and constructing smart schools that build from smart growth principles are highlighted throughout this report.Explores California's current $82 billion school construction investment as an opportunity to advance educational quality and lift local communities. The report urges incorporation of smart growth principles into school facilities construction, more accountability from the State Allocation Board, and investigation into how facility improvement have improved achievement. 37p.

A Snapshot of What's in the Air.
Hubbard, Garrett; Elfers, Steve; Gainer, Denny; Piggott, Rhyne
(USA Today, Dec 2008)
Examines testing methods for air pollutants at schools situated in industrial areas, where the occupants are potentially at risk for health problems. The latent nature of these potential health issues, the need to address the situation nationally, and advice to parents who suspect that their children are at risk are discussed.

School Buildings and Community Building.
Torma, Tim
(National Center for Safe Routes to School, Chapel Hill, NC, May 2008)
An Environmental Protection Agency employee discusses the low priority of walkability in siting schools, the role of school siting in community development, and the history of neighborhood planning. State acreage and funding requirements for schools are cited, examples of poorly and well-sited schools are profiled, and various positive and negative efforts of communities and associations to create walkable schools are described.

School Siting and Healthy Communities Symposium.
(Florida State University , Apr 2008)
Features presentations by nine researchers investigating the connections between school building practices and boundary decisions, including the creation and maintenance of community environments for health where schools for all are clean, safe, and high quality, where children can walk or bike to school, and where decision-making processes involve multiple agencies and a broad spectrum of citizens. The symposium was attended by professionals from the Florida Departments of Transportation, Education, and Health; from the Leon County School District; facilities planners; and Florida State University faculty and students.

The Implications of School Location Change for Healthy Communities in a Slow Growth State:A Case Study of Michigan.
Wyckoff, Mark; Adelaja, Soji; Hailu, Yohannes; Gibson, Melissa
(Michigan State University, Land Policy Institute, East Lansing , Apr 2008)
Reports on the results of the first phase of research into school location in Michigan, from 1970 to the present. The paper focuses on five questions: 1) What has historically occurred with regard to school location? 2) What are some of the recent trends and the land use implications of such trends? 3) What are the differences in school location decisions between areas with enrollment growth and areas with declining enrollments? 4) What is the institutional structure for making school location decisions? 5) What opportunities exist for improving public policy on school location?. 36p.

A Guide to School Facility Site Selection.
(Georgia Department of Education, Atlanta , Jan 31, 2008)
Examines size requirements and provides minimum acreage requirements for Georgia schools. The importance of utilities in a modern school plant is addressed and committees are urged to make every effort to ensure access to public water and sewage services. The document maintains that school sites should not be traversed by high-tension lines, high-pressure oil or gas lines, railroads, or other potential hazards, as well as emphasizing the influence of environmental factors on student education and recommending that school locations be insulated from business and industrial development. 12p.

How California's School Siting Policies Can Support a World-Class Educational System. Adobe PDF
(Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Ad-Hoc Coalition for Healthy School Siting, Fairfax, CA , Jan 31, 2008)
Advises on school siting in California to increase walking and biking to school, which will boost academic performance, save money, improve health, and increase safety, equity, educational experience, and environmental quality. Recommendations to address state school acreage requirements and encourage local collaboration are included. 5p.

Child Care Facility Site Selection. Adobe PDF
(Building Child Care, Oakland, CA , 2008)
Advises child care providers on finding a site that is suitable to their program, affordable, code compliant, and accessible. Modular buildings are addressed, and advice on securing a site once one is identified is included. 6p.

Local Governments and Schools: A Community-Oriented Approach. Adobe PDF
(International City/County Management Association, Washington, DC , 2008)
Provides local government managers with an understanding of the connections between school facility planning and local government management issues, with particular attention to avoiding the creation of large schools remotely sited from the community they serve. It offers multiple strategies for local governments and schools to bring their respective planning efforts together to take a more community-oriented approach to schools and reach multiple community goals--educational, environmental, economic, social, and fiscal. Eight case studies illustrate how communities across the U.S. have already succeeded in collaborating to create more community-oriented schools. Includes 95 references and an extensive list of additional online resources. 40p.
Report NO: E-43527

Toxic Chemicals Outside Our Schools.
Hubbard, Garrett; Elfers, Steve; Gainer, Denny; Piggott, Rhyne
(USA Today, 2008)
Examines the impact of industrial pollution outside the nation's schools and explores how toxic chemicals shuttered one elementary school in Addyston, Ohio. Interviews with plant managers, city officials, parents, and affected students are included.

Building Schools, Building Communities: A Forum on the Role of State Policy in California. Adobe PDF
(Center for Cities and Schools, University of California, Berkeley , Jun 2007)
Presents the proceedings of a forum of policymakers and practitioners from across California, along with national experts, examining the wide range of California state policies on school planning, design, and construction, and the ways those policies influence local decisions. Specifically, the forum was convened to understand what California policies and practices influence, promote, and/or hinder: 1) the location and size of new school sites, 2) building shared use and joint use school facilities and/or sites, and 3) innovative school design (especially in relation to location, site size, and use of schools). The report presents the forum's three conclusions and a set of recommendations for each. 33p.

National Model School Siting Policy. Adobe PDF
(Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Falls Church, VA , Jun 2007)
Proposes procedures for ensuring that schools are properly sited to avoid environmental hazards. Sections include advice on meaningful public participation in school siting decisions, exclusion of certain sites, and a step-by-step guide for the evaluation of candidate sites and the cleanup of contaminated sites. 20p.

RIDE School Construction Regulations.
(Rhode Island Dept of Education, Providence , May 24, 2007)
Covers requirements for school construction, with sections detailing the state's authority, purpose, scope, definitions, product categories and priorities, followed by standards for construction, site, space, cost. Procedures and processes for application, approval design, review, regulation enforcement, asset protection, maintenance, housing aid reimbursement, program integrity, closing of schools, and waivers complete the document. 27p.

Integrating Schools into Healthy Community Design.
(National Governors Association, Washington, DC , May 02, 2007)
Examines state policies on school siting, school construction financing, and Safe Routes to School programs focusing on how policies can benefit communities, improve children's health, and reduce the need for infrastructure expansion. Strategies that states are using include reducing or eliminating minimum acreage requirements for schools, revising school funding formulas to promote renovation or expansion of existing sites. requiring that schools be located in areas designated for growth that already have sufficient existing infrastructure to support school facilities; and creating, funding, promoting, and implementing Safe Routes to School Programs. 9p.

Development of Health Criteria for School Site Risk Assessment Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 901(g): Child-specific Benchmark Change in Blood Lead Concentration for School Site Risk Assessment. Adobe PDF
(California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Integrated Risk Assessment Branch , Apr 2007)
Establishes a new child-specific health guidance value (HGV) for lead, for use in health risk assessment at school sites pursuant to California's Health and Safety Code Section 901(g). These models can be used to estimate acceptable lead levels in soil and other media to be compared with measured concentrations in the environment at existing or proposed school sites. 107p.

LEED for Schools for New Construction and Major Renovations.
(United States Green Building Council, Washington, DC , Apr 2007)
Based on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for new construction, the LEED for Schools Rating System considers the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools, addressing issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention, and environmental site assessment. By addressing the uniqueness of school spaces and children's health issues, LEED for Schools provides a tool for schools that wish to build green, with measurable results. LEED for Schools is a third-party standard for high performance schools that are healthy for students, comfortable for teachers, and cost-effective. It provides parents, teachers and the community a "report card" for their school buildings, by verifying that schools are built healthy, efficient, and comfortable. 77p.

Guidance Protocol for School Site Pipeline Risk Analysis.
(California Dept. of Education, School Facilities Planning Division, Sacramento , Feb 2007)
Offers guidance for risk analysis of pipelines near schools. The document assists local educational agencies with evaluating whether aboveground or underground petroleum, petroleum product, or natural gas pipelines pose an unreasonable safety hazard to a school campus. The two-volume work covers a risk analysis overview, consequences and likelihood of pipeline failures, pipeline risk estimate calculations, risk analysis reporting, and technical assistance for modeling and determining pipeline risk. 225p.

Summary Report: First Summit on School Planning and Siting in Washington. Adobe PDF
(Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia, Washington , Feb 2007)
Reports on a Washington summit concerning the state's current process for planning new or expanded schools, obtaining sites and permits for constructing schools, and providing supporting infrastructure to the schools. The report provides: 1) a summary of the purpose and format of the summit, and a list of the key issues and challenges faced by school districts and local government planners, transportation engineers, and public health officials in planning for and siting schools; 2) recommendation "letters" to the state legislature, state agencies, local governments, and school districts with suggestions about how to improve the school siting process; 3) an annotated bibliography and several appendices. The bibliography includes reference materials from other communities about school siting issues. The appendices include summit materials, a list of panelists, a case study and other resource materials. 49p.

LEED for Schools Registered Project Checklist.
(United States Green Building Council, Washington, DC , 2007)
Provides a checklist for estimating potential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)certification, listing the attributes of site selection and design, water efficiency, energy use, effect on atmosphere, building materials, indoor air quality, and innovation in design that are considered under the LEED system. The number of required points in each category are shown, with an opportunity to indicate whether or not features within that category are in place, and then add up the points. 2p.

Homes, Schools, and Parks.
Siegel, Lenny; Hersh, Robert
(Center for Public Environmental Oversight, Mountain View, CA , Dec 2006)
Discusses the use of brownfield sites for schools and other community needs, the hazards that accompany landfills, capping and other remediation techniques, and funding cleanup. 7p.

Providence, Rhode Island Schools. Adobe PDF
Siegel, Lenny
(Center for Public Environmental Oversight, Mountain View, CA , Oct 2006)
Describes two Providence schools built or under construction on brownfield sites, and the remediation measures undertaken that the author feels have been inadequate. 7p.

Intergovernmental Collaboration and School Facility Siting. Adobe PDF
(University of North Carolina, Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Chapel Hill , Aug 2006)
Summarizes the May 3, 2006 Summit on Intergovernmental Collaboration and School Siting, addressing communication and collaboration between school boards and local governments in selecting sites for schools. The goal of the summit was to create an open dialogue between school boards and local governments while building a model of collaboration that key stakeholders can use to coordinate local land use, school funding, and school planning. The report details the participants' plans for advancing their collaboration, organized along five themes: institutionalizing collaborative processes, creating a common goal and vision, establishing a culture of trust, improving communication and information, and changing policy. 31p.

Schools Cycle Back into the Heart of the Neighborhood.
(Oregon School Boards Association, Salem , Summer 2006)
This issue of the publication "Focus on Critical Issues" provides information to help encourage cycling to school. This includes planning and siting considerations for neighborhood schools, with examples of community and trail-linked campuses, parking lot size reductions, and preservation of historic schools. A list of resources is also included. 12p.

Safe Routes to School Status Update: May 1, 2006. Adobe PDF
(Bikes Belong Coalition, Boulder, CO , May 2006)
Reviews the progress of the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For each state, information is provided indicating whether a state SR2S coordinator has been hired, if there is an advisory committee in place, if there is a funding program for SR2S, partnership and other contacts, and what the DOT and/or other partners have done so far. 51p.

The Role of Schools in Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Weight in Youth. Adobe PDF
(West Virginia University, College of Human Resources and Education, Policy Research and Engagement Project, Morgantown , May 2006)
Discusses how schools can increase students' physical activity levels through recess and after-school programs as well as by supporting initiatives that make safe walking/biking to school and the use of the school "after hours" as a community resource. More community- centered schools and site considerations are covered on pp. 20-29 of the report. 52p.

Safe Ways to School: The Role in Multimodal Planning. Adobe PDF
Steiner, Ruth; Crider, Linda; Betancourt, Matthew
(Florida Dept. of Transportation Systems Planning Office, Tallahassee , May 2006)
Examines the relationship between multimodal transportation planning, school siting, and Florida's Safe Ways to School Program in order to identify ways to help meet the requirements of Florida's Safe Paths to School legislation and associated legislation. The report explores various aspects of school transportation as they relate to the safe movement of children to school and the establishment of multimodal transportation districts. It offers guidance for legislative and policy development in Florida, based upon best practices within Florida and throughout the country. 186p.

Not in My Schoolyard: Avoiding Environmental Hazards at School through Improved School Site Selection Policies. Adobe PDF
Fischbach, Steven
(Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Falls Church, VA , Mar 2006)
Reports on a 2004-05 survey of the laws, regulations and policies related to the siting of schools on or near sources of environmental pollution in all fifty states. The survey revealed that: 1) 20 states have no policies of any kind affecting the siting of schools in relation to environmental hazards, the investigation or assessment of potential school sites for environmental hazards, the clean up of contaminated sites, making information available to the public about potential school sites or providing some role for members of the public in the school siting process. 2) Only 14 states have policies that prohibit outright the siting of schools on or near sources of pollution or other hazards that pose a risk to children s safety. 3) 21 states have school siting policies that direct or suggest school siting officials "avoid" siting schools on or near specified man-made or natural environmental hazards, or direct the school district to "consider" those hazards when selecting school sites. 4) 23 states have no policies that require sponsors of new school projects to investigate or assess environmental hazards at potential school sites. 5) Only 12 states require the sponsors of school projects to solicit public input on school sites through the use of public notices, public meetings or hearings. 6) Only eight states either require or authorize the creation of school-siting advisory committees. The report also proposes a comprehensive model policy regarding the siting of schools on sites impacted by pollution that could be enacted in any state. 105p.

Site Assessment and Soil Remediation Can Help Keep Schools Safe.
Leonard, Michael
(, Orange, CA , 2006)
Discusses remediation issues with ground contamination at school sites, including assessment, public interest, benefits of using brownfield sites, and the removal of contaminants from both existing and potential school sites. 2p.

Fifty State Survey of School Siting Laws, Regulations and Policies. Adobe PDF
(Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Falls Church, VA , Jun 07, 2005)
Surveys state laws, regulations, and policy guidance documents regarding the siting of schools on sites contaminated by toxic substances, summarizing their key provisions and listing in an appendix the legal citations for each authority referenced in the survey. The general findings include that 19 states have no laws that regulate the criteria a potential school site must meet, 14 of the remaining 31 states prohibit siting schools in areas that pose health and safety risks due to man-made or natural environmental hazards, and eight states include direction for districts to evaluate site contamination. Vaguely worded criteria rarely provide school districts with the tools necessary to select, evaluate, and either eliminate from consideration, or if absolutely necessary, remediate a contaminated site. [See chapter 46p.

Planning for Schools and Livable Communities: The Oregon School Siting Handbook. Adobe PDF
(Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program, Salem , Jun 2005)
Provides strategies for locating schools in ways that benefit the whole community, concentrating on taking advantage of existing resources, creating schools that are easily and safely accessible, and creating community anchors. Four school siting principles are supported by case studies, along with suggested steps for creating a coordinated school siting process, and a list of frequently asked questions. Includes 22 references. 36p.

Recommended Policies for Public School Facilities, Section 2: Schools as Centers of Communities Policies. Adobe PDF
(21st Century School Fund, Washington, DC , May 2005)
Provides policy guidance and recommendations to officials and administrators at the state, local, and school district level to improve the creation of schools as centers of community. The recommended policies cover extensive and innovative community use of the public school facility, community partnerships that support high quality education and contribute to life-long learning, co-location with local government agencies and/or community organizations resulting in creative program service delivery and more efficient utilization of public land and buildings, and opportunities for new and/or additional sources of funds for financing building improvements and program delivery. Preservation of historic and other neighborhood schools is particularly encouraged. Best practices examples and a list of resources are also provided. 15p.

Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and Development. Adobe PDF
(United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington , Apr 2005)
Provides guidance for federal environmental requirements in construction and development process, with advice on how to recognize the federal environmental requirements and factor in the associated expenses for the project, designate the responsible party to fulfill these requirements, file the necessary paperwork, perform the required activities, obtain the essential permits and identify additional sources of information to help implement these requirements throughout your project. Part one of the guide presents background information on environmental requirements for the construction and development industries, with a checklist to help assign environmental responsibilities. Part two contains seven self-audit checklists that help construction companies evaluate their compliance status in these seven areas once the project has commenced. 255p.
Report NO: EPA/305-B-05-003

Working with Environmental Consultants.
(California's Coalition for Adequate School Housing, Sacramento , Feb 2005)
Offers guidance to school districts in selecting, hiring, and working with an environmental consultant. Environmental consultants are recommended to help guide projects through regulatory complexities, with types and suggested numbers of consultants recommended according to the size and nature of the project. Advice on preparing RFP's, evaluating the responses, contracting, and working with the consultant is detailed, with particular attention to procedures specific to California. A CD-ROM of additional resources is included, containing links to federal and state authorities, as well as professional and educational institutions. 31p.
TO ORDER: 1130 K Street, Suite 210, Sacramento, California, 95814; Tel: 916-448-8577, Fax: 916-448-7495,

Building Schools on Brownfields: Lessons Learned from California. Adobe PDF
(Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, DC , 2005)
Examines the issues confronting school districts across the United States when they must decide where to locate new school buildings. Considering the realities of a high-priced urban real estate market, the lack of green space on which to locate new schools, and local budgetary concerns, the article advises on how school districts should proceed during the school siting process and address property contamination issues to ensure schools are safe, public health is protected, and communities are involved. 14p.

Facility Siting: Risk, Power and Identity in Land Use Planning.
Boholm, Asa; Löfstedt, Ragnar, eds.
(Earthscan Publications, London, United Kingdom, 2005)
This penetrating new edited collection examines risk, power and identity in contests over the siting of infrastructure and industrial facilities. Examines the social, political and environmental issues at stake and the acute conflicts over conflicting data, politics, perception and controversy for industry, planners and authorities and citizens. Authors from a a variety of fields bring a multi-perspective analysis to case studies from the UK, US and Europe and expose the political and cultural dimensions of siting conflicts. In the process they show how place attachment and notions of landscape and local identity play a prominent role in resistance to 'development'. 256p.

Rethinking Community Planning and School Siting to Address the Obesity Epidemic. Adobe PDF
Morris, Marya
(National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Services, Bethesda, MD , May 2004)
Addresses low-density and single-use zoning, unconnected streets designed exclusively for vehicles, and lack of sidewalks as contributors to the inability to walk to school. Studies citing city planning and school siting remedies are reviewed, as are examples of experiences from Florida, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington. Includes 20 references. 20p.

Guidance for School Site Assessment Pursuant to Health and Safety Code 901(f): Guidance for Assessing Exposures and Health Risks at Existing and Proposed School Sites. Adobe PDF
(California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Integrated Risk Assessment Division, Sacramento , Feb 2004)
Presents a methodology for estimating exposure of school users to toxic chemicals found as contaminants at existing and proposed school sites, and the health risks from those exposures. Exposure factors unique to the school environment, the activity patterns of children from birth through age 18 and of adult school employees, and uncertainties that may arise in the process are covered. Includes 17 references. 71p.

Creating Connections: The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning.
(Council of Education Facility Planners International, Scottsdale, AZ , 2004)
Guides new and experienced school planners from the conception of educational needs through occupancy and use of the completed facilities. Chapters follow the planning, design, and occupancy processes in sequence as follows: forming the educational plan, creating community partnerships, establishing a master plan, writing educational specifications, addressing design guidelines, evaluating and selecting the site, infusing technology, integrating sustainable design, working with a design team, evaluating project delivery options, identifying cost and funding options, monitoring construction, integrating maintenance and operations, and assessing the completed project. Numerous references, photographs, drawings, figures, and a glossary are included. 386p.

Safe Routes to School: Practice and Promise.
(U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington , 2004)
Provides information about the SR2S (Safe Routes to School) Program to help explain the need for, meaning of, and measurement of SR2S programs. The history, risks, and benefits of SR2S are described, illustrated with examples, and accompanied by supportive agency and organization information. 122p.

School Site Selection and Approval Guide.
(California Dept. of Education, School Facilities Planning Division, Sacramento , 2004)
This guide is designed to assist school districts in selecting school sites that provide both a safe and supportive environment for the instructional program and the learning process, and gain state approval for the selected sites. The guide includes a set of selection criteria that have proven helpful to site selection teams, information about safety factors that should be considered when evaluating potential school sites, and the procedures school districts must follow to gain approval from the California Department of Education for new sites and for additions of land areas to existing sites. 31p.

School Location and Student Travel. Analysis of Factors Affecting Mode Choice.
Ewing, Reid; Schroeer, William; Greene, William
(ICF International , 2004)
This study examines the relationship between mode of travel to school and the full range of factors that might affect mode choice. The finding show that students with shorter walk or bike times to school proved significantly more likely to walk or bike. Students traveling through areas with sidewalks on main roads were also more likely to walk. This argues for neighborhood schools serving nearby residential areas. 9p.

Public Schools and Economic Development: What the Research Shows.
Weiss, Jonathan D.
(Knowledgeworks Foundation, Cincinnati, OH , 2004)
Reviews the literature addressing the linkage between public schools and economic development. Information from academic research, organizational reports and popular media is included. The review examines potential economic impacts of public schools in the areas of national, state and local economic growth and competitiveness; real estate values; and the impact of the quality, size, and condition of school facilities themselves. The research found a positive influence in the first two areas, with emerging research and anecdotal evidence supporting a positive influence in the third. 43p.

A Guide to School Site Selection. Adobe PDF
(GA Dept. of Education,Facilities Services Unit, Atlanta , Dec 2003)
Examines size requirements and provides minimum acreage requirements for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Describes the importance of utilities in a modern school plant and urges committees to make every effort to ensure access to public water and sewage services. Highlights safety hazards as a real concern and maintains that school sites should not be traversed by high-tension lines, high-pressure oil or gas lines, railroads, or other potential hazards. Also addresses the influence of environmental factors on student education and recommends school locations be insulated from business and industrial development. 12p.

Land for Granted: The Effects of Acreage Policies on Rural Schools and Communities. Adobe PDF
Lawrence, Barbara Kent
(The Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, D.C. , Dec 2003)
In many states, receiving state aid to build a new school--or renovate an existing one--is contingent on compliance with state policies that state the minimum acreage necessary for a particular type of school. This report finds that these minimum acreage requirements--imposed in 23 states--often create special problems for rural school districts. This explains the kinds of policies in effect in various states, and outlines their impacts on small and rural school districts. 15p.
TO ORDER: Rural School and Community Trust, 1825 K Street NW, Suite 703, Washington, D.C. 2006; Tel: 202-955-7177.

Senate Bill No. 352: Schoolsites: Sources of Pollution. [California]
(California State Senate , Oct 02, 2003)
In response to studies that show significantly increased levels of pollutants in schools near highways, this bill was passed prohibiting school districts from locating schools within 500 feet of the edge of closest traffic lane of a freeway or other busy traffic corridor. The bill also restricts locating schools on or near hazardous and solid waste disposals and pipelines. 7p.

Travel and Environmental Implications of School Siting.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Oct 2003)
This study examines the relationship between school locations, the built environment around schools, how students get to school, and the impact on air emissions of those travel choices. It provides information about the effect of school location on student transportation and shows that school siting and design can affect choices of walking, biking or driving. In turn, these travel choices can affect traffic congestion, air pollution, and school transportation budgets. The trend toward construction of big schools on large, remote sites is sometimes dictated by state and local regulations. These regulations often overlook the value of renovating existing schools or creating smaller, neighborhood-based schools. 33p.
Report NO: EPA 231-R-03-004

Back to the Agora: Workable Solutions for Small Urban School Facilities. Adobe PDF
Lawrence, Barbara Kent
(AEL, ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV , Sep 2003)
Suggests adapting the model of the ancient Greek "agora" to create successful small schools and describes several that have done so while reducing costs. These innovative urban small schools are the modern equivalent of the agora, where students and adults interact with the community, share resources, and learn from each other. Strategies used by communities to keep schools small and local include sharing facilities with other schools, reconfiguring large high schools, sharing with an education partner, sharing with a noneducation partner, sharing with the community, leasing space in the community, using the small facility in new ways, leasing the whole facility, and capitalizing on the facility. (Contains 18 references.) 2p.

School Site Size-How Many Acres Are Necessary? Adobe PDF
Weihs, Janell
(Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Scottsdale, AZ , Sep 2003)
Summarizes CEFPI's acreage guidelines for elementary, middle and high schools; lists the acreage requirement formulas for all fifty states; and provides contact information, comments and documentation resources for each state. Information was collected from state facility reports and manuals and verified through direct contact with personnel from state educational agencies and practitioners. 7p.

Creating Schools and Strengthening Communities through Adaptive Reuse. Adobe PDF
Spector, Stephen
(National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, D.C. , Aug 2003)
This publication focuses on four school adaptive reuse projects--in Phoenix, Arizona; Wake County, North Carolina; Pomona, California; and Trenton, New Jersey. Together, the projects illustrate the many benefits of adaptive reuse and show that mainstream school districts can meet the regulatory and political challenges necessary to make such projects succeed, providing new schools when and where they are needed and transforming unused buildings into spaces that serve the diverse needs of students, parents, educators, and communities. While geographically and demographically distinct, the four projects share certain similarities: an immediate need to provide more school space existed; long construction lead times and state-mandated minimum site sizes were not available; non-educational buildings existed within the school district that could be transformed affordably; and the school district and the community possessed people who could recognize adaptive reuse opportunities and follow through with a project that called for innovation, good management, and political savvy. 12p.

The Future of School Siting, Design and Construction in Delaware. Adobe PDF
Hunter, Anna W.; Sawak, Camile
(Intitute for Public Administration, College of Human Services, Education & Public Policy, University of Delaware, Newark , Jul 2003)
Presents the recommendations of a March, 2003, summit. These were: 1)Coordination between Delaware Department of Transportation and Department of Education concerning siting of new schools, 2) Standardization of school interior designs (but not the exteriors), 3) Development of a certificate of necessity program to assess the need and impact of a proposed school, 4) Increasing the state's awareness of planned growth areas, 5) Compliation of best practices from summit attendees and school personnel, 6) Exploration of shared use of facilities and retrofitting of available buildings for school use, 7) Examination of charter school siting, 8) Exploration of financial issues including energy efficiency and busing. 50p.

Good Schools-Good Neighborhoods: The Impacts of State and Local School Board Policies on the Design and Location of Schools in North Carolina. Adobe PDF
Salvesen, David; Hervey, Philip
(University of North Carolina, Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Chapel Hill , Jun 2003)
This report outlines trends in school construction in North Carolina, identifies key factors affecting the location and design of schools, and suggests solutions for overcoming obstacles to building and maintaining walkable, neighborhood-scale schools. Factors influencing location and design include suburbanization, economics, local land use regulations, and the policies of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction which encourages communities to "super-size" new schools. 20p.

State Policies and School Facilities: How States Can Support or Undermine Neighborhood Schools and Community Preservation. Adobe PDF
Beaumont, Constance E.
(National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC , May 2003)
This report reaffirms the contribution made by historic neighborhood schools to their communities. It offers guidance to officials and local preservationists for creating state policies that help preserve and maintain historic community schools, and for building new schools that serve as community centers. The report describes state requirements for community involvement in school planning, the overly generous site standards that contradict the creation of community schools and preservation, and funding mechanisms that help preserve historic schools. Information for the report was gathered from telephone interviews, correspondence with state school facility officials,and online reviews of printed school facility standards. Includes 13 references. 32p.

Linking School Siting to Land Use Planning. Adobe PDF
(Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia , 2003)
Describes problems that arise when local governments and school boards do not cooperate on the planning of developments and school sites, and the benefits to quality growth that are realized when they do. Guidelines for interagency cooperation and implementation are enumerated, with lessons learned, best practices, case studies, and model agreements also provided. Includes 34 references and other resources. 51p.

Environmental Obstacles to the Construction of Educational Facilities in California.
Reede, James William, Jr.
(Dissertation, University of San Francisco, 2003)
The purpose of this study was to identify and examine the various types of environmental obstacles to site selection and construction of educational facilities in the state of California and suggest how those obstacles could be avoided to reduce lead-time for site selection and construction of new facilities. During the past five years numerous sites planned for educational facilities have been rejected after districts had purchased the sites for construction. In some cases schools have been built and are unable to be occupied. The study looked at data related to four siting cases of educational institutions developing school facility sites, UC Merced and CSU Monterey Bay, and problems at inner-city schools in Los Angeles Unified School District and the Elk Grove Unified School District, the actions taken and the decisions made relative to site selection and the due diligence necessary to secure development of educational facilities. The specific cases selected are important for the system-wide issues they revealed. The significance of this study is the documentation of the environmental obstacles and other related issues that have the potential to disqualify or delay the site selection and construction process with which schools throughout the state must comply. The researcher used a qualitative multi-case study methodology that allowed comparison, contrast and determination of the generalizability of the findings. [Author's abstract]
Report NO: UMI: AAI3083327

TO ORDER: UMI Dissertation Express

Why Johnny Can't Walk to School: Historic Neighborhood Schools in the Age of Sprawl. Adobe PDF
Beaumont, Constance E.; Pianca, Elizabeth G.
(National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC , Oct 2002)
This report examines public policy effects on historic neighborhood school expansion, renovation, and replacement needs. It addresses four basic questions: (1) Are public policies inadvertently sabotaging the very type of community-centered school that many parents and educators are calling for today? (2) Do some policies and practices promote mega-school sprawl at the expense of older neighborhoods? (3) Why can't kids walk to school anymore? and (4) How have some school districts overcome policy and other barriers to the retention and modernization of old historic schools? Included are examples of how some communities are addressing these policies, including several school renovation successes. Concluding sections provide recommendations for policy reforms to buttress neighborhood conservation and smart growth efforts that can help to retain and improve good schools that have served established neighborhoods for generations. 52p.

Closing Costs: A Summary of an Award Winning Look at School Consolidation in West Virginia, a State Where It Has Been Tried Aggressively.
Eyre, Eric; Finn, Scott
(Rural School and Community Trust, Aug 2002)
With the promise of broader curriculum and huge tax savings, West Virginia has closed more than 300 schools, one in every five, since 1990. In 2002, the Charleston Gazette investigated the outcomes of the state’s consolidation efforts in the series, “Closing Costs.” Some of the findings include: 1)The state has spent more than $1 billion on school consolidation; 2)the school closings didn’t save taxpayers money; 3) West Virginia counties statewide spend a higher percentage of their budgets on maintenance and utilities now than they did five years ago, despite consolidation; 4) the number of local administrators has increased by 16% in the last 10 years despite a 13% decrease in student enrollment and closing of over 300 schools; 5) the number of state-level administrators increased and their salaries nearly doubled between 1990 and 2002; and 6) West Virginia spends more of its education dollar on transportation than any other state; rising transportation costs have forced counties to slash funding from classrooms, offices, and cafeterias. 3p.

From the Ground Up: Legal Issues in School Construction.
Brickman, Heather K.; Goodrich, Christine A.; Griffith, Christine W.; Kuhn, Jeffrey L.; Levi, James S.; Levin, Michael I.; Osher, Daniel A.; Segal, Su
(National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys, Alexandria, VA , Apr 2002)
This publication is intended to assist school lawyers, business officials, board members, and administrators in making sound decisions, understanding the legal implications, and securing the maximum contractual protections for the school district before a school construction project begins. The first chapter examines the necessity of investigating and evaluating potential sites for school construction to avoid unforeseen environmental liability. This is followed by chapter 2 exploring the legal ramifications of an emerging project delivery method, design-build--its advantages and disadvantages, and the legal considerations before opting for this non-traditional approach to school construction. Chapters 3, and 4 describe the agreements school districts will sign with various entities in the design and construction process. Chapter 5 deals with issues relating to architect-owner agreements and construction manager contracts review standard forms of agreement commonly proffered by these professionals and recommend changes to protect the school district's interests and concerns. Chapter 6 discusses school construction bidding issues; and finally, chapter 7 explains the provisions crucial to an effective contract between schools and general contractors. (An appendix lists other resources.) 202p.

Education and Smart Growth: Reversing School Sprawl for Better Schools and Communities. Translation Paper Number Eight. Adobe PDF
Passamore, Sam
(Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in collaboration with the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and Grantmakers in Aging. , Mar 2002)
The paper describes how the trend toward building new schools on large sites far from existing development centers, called “school sprawl” or “school giantism,” can have far-reaching impacts on school children,school districts and the larger community. Educators and parents express concern that large schools reduce educational outcomes, particularly for at-risk youth. Schools that are more distant can diminish student participation in extra-curricular activities, parental involvement and taxpayer support. Students are walking and cycling to school less, which contributes to alarming rates of childhood obesity. Rather than build shopping mall schools at the edge of town, smart growth advocates encourage the continued use of existing schools and the construction of new schools on infill sites within existing neighborhoods. Smart growth advocates' interest in neighborhood schools dovetails with education reformers' interest in small schools, presenting an important opportunity for collaboration. 12p.

Primer on School Planning and Coordination.
(Florida Dept. of Community Affairs, Division of Community Planning, Tallahassee , Feb 2002)
Advises on collaboration between school boards and local governments when planning schools in Florida, in an effort to relieve overcrowding in certain schools and to coordinate school siting with community growth patterns. 8p.

Creating Safe Learning Zones: Invisible Threats, Visible Actions. Adobe PDF
(Child Proofing Our Community Campaign, Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Falls Church, VA , Jan 2002)
This report is a follow-up to the first publication of the Child Proofing Our Communities Campaign, titled "Poisoned Schools: Invisible Threats, Visible Actions." The previous report looked at the problems of public schools built on contaminated land years ago, the trend of proposing new schools on contaminated land, the the threat of toxic pesticide use in schools. The current report addresses the need for protective laws concerning building new schools. It presents data from five states (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York) on the number of schools located on or near hazardous chemical waste sites or other contaminated sites. It describes children's special vulnerabilities, the school siting process, and examples of schools built on or near contaminated land. Based on its findings, the report calls for state laws to ensure that the locations for new schools are safe and that contaminated property is properly cleaned up. It provides model school siting legislation for use in drafting legislation on the state level and for local school policies. The report also outlines action steps that parents can take to ensure that their children are not placed in harm's way. 50p.
TO ORDER: Child Proofing Our Community Campaign, c/o Center for Health, Environment and Justice, P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22040. Tel: 703-237-2249.

Sprawl Guide: Reducing "School Sprawl"
(Planning Commissioners Journal/PlannersWeb, 2002)
Focuses on state and local efforts to reduce school sprawl. Included are links to articles, reports, and organizations.

Securing School Site Acquisitions Approval. Adobe PDF
Wiles, Wendy H.
(Presentation at the 2001 Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) Fall Conference, Sacramento, CA, Sep 28, 2001)
This describes the kind of investigation that is required to secure approval of a proposed school site. Investigations include environmental analysis, geology and soils, title restrictions, local agency review, proximity to airports, and existence of utilities and infrastructure. 7p

Land Acquisition Practices of the Miami-Dade County School District. A Special Review.
(Florida State Legislature,Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, Tallahassee , May 2001)
This review, requested by the Florida Legislature, answers six questions about Miami-Dade County School District's land acquisition practices: (1) Does the district effectively identify its facility needs and plan for those needs? (2) Does the district acquire the land it needs? (3) Has the district adopted land acquisition processes needed to ensure that it acquires land at reasonable prices? (4) Does the district construct cost-effective facilities? (5) Can the need for construction be limited by more efficient use of existing facilities? (6) Can the district raise extra local revenue to support its construction program? The review's findings indicate that, while the district is generally effective in identifying its facility needs, it has not acquired the land it needed because it often did not use the five-year construction plan to guide its acquisitions, nor has it established procedures to help ensure it pays reasonable land prices. The findings conclude that the district is capable of raising adequate funds for new facilities and land without raising taxes or obtaining additional state funding. 60p.
Report NO: R-01-26

Electric and Magnetic Fields in California Public Schools. Adobe PDF
(California Dept. of Health Services, Electric and Magnetic Fields Program; California Public Health Institute, Oakland , Apr 2001)
Explains the significant results of the survey "The Electric and Magnetic Field Exposure Assessment of Powerline and Non-Powerline Sources for California Public School Environments." The document provides a method for comparing levels in other schools to those in the test schools and in homes. As it is unknown whether or not magnetic fields are a health hazard, it does not propose what a "safe" level of exposure might be. Options for reducing magnetic fields are offered. 41p.
TO ORDER: City Copy Center; Tel: 510-763-0193

Fast Tracking School Site Acquisition: A Perspective of An Eminent Domain Attorney.
Behrens, Jerry
(Presentation at the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) 22nd Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA , Mar 2001)
This paper discusses key issues in fast-tracking the acquisition of school sites in California. Discussion addresses: (1) assembling an experienced team; (2) whether the property owner is a willing or unwilling seller; (3) level of community support or opposition to the site; (4) timing and commencement of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis; (5) timing and sequencing of statutory notices and approvals, including approvals by the Department of Education and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC); (6) relocation assistance issues; and (7) vesting of title, prejudgment possession, and eminent domain actions. 12p.

Poisoned Schools: Invisible Threats, Visible Actions. A Report of the Child Proofing Our Communities: Poisoned School Campaign. Adobe PDF
Gibbs, Lois
(Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Child Proofing Our Communities Campaign, Falls Church, VA , Mar 2001)
This report embodies the findings of several studies, which conclude that America's schools have fallen into disrepair and sometimes present students and teachers with an unhealthy, unsafe, or even harmful educational environment. The researchers say that no guidelines are in place to help school districts select safe school sites. School sites are regularly sprayed with pesticides, and these chemicals are thought to be partly responsible for a whole generation of children who are increasingly hyperactive, slow to learn, and disruptive in school. The report offers specific recommendations to protect children from chemical contamination in air and soil surrounding schools and from exposure to toxic pesticides in schools and on school grounds. The report presents recommendations for school site selection and for developing integrated pest management programs. The report lists resources for additional information, and its appendices provide samples of school siting and pest management surveys. 80p.
TO ORDER: Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22040; Tel: 703-237-2249

Planning Delaware's School Needs: Issues of Location, Design, and Infrastructure. Adobe PDF
Moody, Stephanie; Edgell, David
(Delaware Policy Forum, University of Delaware, Newark , Mar 2001)
This report presents discussion from the 2000 Delaware Policy Forum held October 12, 2000, in Wyoming, Delaware. The goals of the forum were: (1) to provide an overview of the current process used to plan for the siting of Delaware's schools; (2) to discuss steps and priorities for anticipating needs, selecting school sites, and determining how community infrastructure, including transportation, impacts the school siting process; and (3) to discuss new and comparative options for enhancing the process of placing Delaware's schools in appropriate sites. 29p.

Schoolyard Habitats: A How-to Guide for K-12 School Communities.
(National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA, 2001)
Three-ring binder that provides clear directions for those seeking to establish schoolyard habitats in new or renovated schools. Brief background and lists of further resources are provided on gardening for wildlife, teaching with schoolyard habitat sites, gathering information, assembling the elements and monitoring and maintaining projects once established. Includes a glossary, application for membership into the National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Schoolyard Habitat program and NWF contact information. 217p.

Collaborative Planning for School Facilities and Comprehensive Land Use. Adobe PDF
Earthman, Glen I.
(Presented to the Stein and Schools Lecture Series: Policy, Planning, and Design for a 21st Century Public Education System, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY , Oct 10, 2000)
Examines the areas of local jurisdictional cooperation required for successful new school planning that also benefits community development. Reviews responsibilities shared by local municipal governments and school districts. Explains the areas of mandated responsibility for each jurisdiction and the relationship between the two major players on the local level of government. Addresses the difficulties of collaborative planning, including technical difficulties such as budget cycle differences, fiscal dependency, lack of coordination and planning impetus, and social and political difficulties. Also discusses planning issues involving a new school's impact on land use within the community. Several examples of successful new school planning collaborations are described, followed by descriptions of three collaboration models, which cover an area of rapid growth and a higly-populated but settled area. 50p.

Funding Formulas Encourage School Sprawl, Not Smart Growth. Adobe PDF
Paxton, Greg
(Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Atlanta, GA, Feb 07, 2000)
Excerpt from the author's testimony before Georgia Governor's Education Reform Study Commission regarding the adverse impact on older schools under the state’s funding formula. Over 100 smaller, older Georgia school buildings have been closed since 1986. Provides justification for renovating older schools and keeping educational facilities within community centers. The author is President of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

Brownfields to School Sites: How Can the State Facilitate Cleanup To Build Essential Schools?
(California State Legislature Senate Select Committee on Environmental Justice, Sacramento , Jan 14, 2000)
This document presents background information and testimony concerning the cleanup of potentially contaminated vacant or underutilized property for use as future school sites in low-income and minority communities. Various proposals are offered that would allow the state, where necessary, to facilitate the cleanup of these "brownfields" to create safe schools and meet the demand for classroom space in underprivileged areas. Testimony covers the need to remediate brownfields for school sites in urban areas; the current process for evaluating environmental conditions and conducting cleanup; and the current funding mechanisms. The final section provides a roundtable discussion on how to make the process work better. 101p.
Report NO: 1045-S

Safe Ways to School "Tool Kit."
(University of Florida, Dept. of Urban & Regional Planning, Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program, Gainesville , Jan 2000)
Advises on improving conditions for walking or bicycling to school by assessing the neighborhood, reducing traffic, improving crossings, redesigning the school site, and creating community involvement 62p.

The ABC's of School Site Selection
(Maine Department of Education; State Board of Education; State Planning Office and Department of Administrative and Financial Services; Bureau of General Services, 2000)
Brochure outlining the steps to take when making decisions about school siting: 1)consider renovation or expansion in a central location; 2)follow community's comprehensive plan; 3)site ancillary facilities such as playing fields creatively; 4) select a site where students can walk or cycle to school; 5) use existing services and facilities; 6) tap into community resources to plan school expansion; and 7) consult with site selection experts. This brochure urges school districts to avoid sprawl; consider school renovations or expansions in central locations; analyze school sites for their proximity to village centers and established neighborhoods; and select sites served by adequate roads, utilities, and other essential services.
TO ORDER: Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Tel: 207-624-6600.

Guide to School Site Analysis and Development, 2000 Edition. Adobe PDF
Brooks, Duwayne; Williams, Robert; Pendleton, Sue
(California Dept. of Education, School Facilities Planning Division, Sacramento , 2000)
This document updates California's 1996 guidelines for school district determination of land size needs to support their education programs. The guide reflects the changes in educational programs that have affected school site usage and size requirements and includes recommended changes in site acreage for very large schools; equal access for female athletes; classroom size and class size reductions; the need for a master plan of the site and functional link between educational specifications and site size; and site requirements for county community schools, community day schools, and continuation high schools. Also provided are numerous dimensional figures for athletic fields and courts. The document's final section presents procedures for developing a site plan. Appendices contain a comparison of school site sizes for 1996 and 2000; and lists site requirements for small schools and elementary through high school facilities, county community schools, community day schools, and continuation high schools. 48p.

Wait for the Bus: How Lowcountry School Site Selection and Design Deter Walking to School and Contribute to Urban Sprawl. Adobe PDF
Kouri, Christopher
(A Report Prepared for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Charleston. Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC. , Nov 1999)
This paper presents a study on how the South Carolina school site selection process can affect the quality of the students' experience and access to their schools. Focusing on students options for getting to school, e.g., hazards that prevent students from walking to school and the size of school sites that place schools on the edge of communities, the study found that students are four times more likely to walk to schools built before 1983 than to those built after 1983. The reasons for these trends is the disconnect between the school site selection process and land use planning considerations. School officials and planning agencies work independently of one another. This disconnect is partly attributed to current habits of site selection that were crystallizing in the early 1970s. Recommendations are discussed. Appendices provide lists of Lowcountry schools with data, schools with hazard routes and applicable date, and school sites by decade of construction. Appendices also present the percentage above and below state requirements of K-12 schools built in different decades, the South Carolina Department of Education criteria for school site selection, conservationist land use goals, and efforts to improve site selection in other states to avoid sprawl. A list of informational sources concludes the paper. 70p.

Belmont Learning Complex: Report of Findings - Part II. Adobe PDF
Mullinax, Don; Eiler, Janis; Roble, Pete; Valenciano, Norma; Dungca, Conrad; Peregrino, Uly; Datu, Roger
Sep 13, 1999)
This report provides findings of fact on the development of the Belmont Learning Complex of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and contains recommendations to remedy identified deficiencies in the LAUSD's current policies and procedures for siting and developing school buildings. The report addresses the following issues: (1) all contracts and payments to outside consultants and attorneys involved with Belmont; and (2) any account(s) controlled by the former Bond and Asset Management/Planning and Development offices. Principle findings reveal the LAUSD Board of Education and senior staff did not place sufficient priority on financial management from 1995 to 1999; that the Office of Planning and Development Personnel failed the LAUSD on Belmont; and that the contractors, consultants, and LAUSD staff failed to provide proper oversight of expenditures by the developer, contractor, and subcontractors. A list of the report's 72 exhibits is included. 142p.
Report NO: OSI-99-20

Belmont Learning Complex: Report of Findings. Adobe PDF
Mullinax, Don; Eiler, Janis; Roble, Pete; Valenciano, Norma; Dungca, Conrad; Peregrino, Uly; Datu, Roger
(Los Angeles Unified School District, CA , Sep 13, 1999)
This report provides findings of fact on the development of the Belmont Learning Complex of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and contains recommendations to remedy identified deficiencies in the LAUSD's current policies and procedures for siting and developing school buildings. The report addresses the following issues: (1) the acquisition, environmental assessment, and remediation of all land associated with Belmont; (2) alleged existence of conflicts of interest relating to Belmont; (3) the selection, negotiation, and contracting process for the development and construction of Belmont; and (4) pursuit of legal rights and remedies including restitution in the event of the discovery of any wrongdoing regarding Belmont. Recommendations include reforming school board practices, developing new environmental/public health and safety policies, reviewing and restructuring professional staff functions, disciplining certain LAUSD employees, pursuing legal action against LAUSD's professional consultants or vendors, negotiating with and/or pursuing legal action against the Belmont developer, reforming the safety team, and implementing all requirements imposed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control regarding the completion of Belmont. 195p.
Report NO: OSI-99-12

What If.
Bingler, Steven
(Metropolitan Forum Project, New Schools Better Neighborhoods, Los Angeles, CA , Sep 1999)
This paper addresses the growing population trends in California; the need to counteract the current model of community sprawl by designing smarter schools and community growth strategies; and the changes in planning, policies, and practices needed to achieve these goals. Recommended strategies described support the following actions: more participatory and community-based planning; innovative educational facilities that promote the concept of learning communities and schools as centers of community; the joint use of all public facilities; the planning of urban and suburban projects based on the principles of smart growth; the assessment of all public expenditures based on the concept of integrated resource development; and the development of an ongoing vehicle for communications and decision-making between all agencies, institutions and organizations involved in education reform and smart growth issues. Six case studies are highlighted that illustrate some of the goals outlined for smarter schools and smarter growth strategies. 37p.
TO ORDER: James Irvine Foundation, One Market Steuart Tower, Suite 2500, San Francisco, CA 94105; Tel: 415-777-2244.

School Site Selection Guide. Adobe PDF
(Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Education, Mar 1999)
Outlines the purpose and method for evaluating potential school sites, including a checklist with thirteen considerations. British Columbia school districts are required to follow the procedures outlined in this guide. 6p.

The Environmental Quality Act and the Belmont Learning Complex: A Breakdown in Process. Adobe PDF
Wildman, Scott
(Joint Legislative Audit Committee, California State Assembly, Sacramento, CA , Mar 1999)
This report concerns the Belmont Learning Complex (BLC) and the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) propensity for engaging in a series of school construction projects on contaminated land. It suggests that the LAUSD was made aware of the BLC site's toxic problems as early as 1989, yet apparently had not followed applicable regulations by seeking State approval of the site prior to ensuring that the wastes had been removed. The LAUSD may have also violated many regulations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Health and Safety Code. The BLC, reported to be the most expensive high school in California history, may cost tens of millions of dollars more as remediation efforts to rid the toxic wastes from the site get underway. 94p.

Toxic School Sites in Los Angeles: Weaknesses in the Site Acquisition Process Adobe PDF
Wildman, Scott
(Joint Legislative Audit Committee, California State Assembly, Sacramento, CA , Aug 1998)
This report addresses the school site acquisition process to attempt to discern how the system has allowed a minimum of nine Los Angeles public schools to be built on toxic lands. It examines two such sites, the Jefferson Middle School (JMS) and the combined elementary and high school complex in the South Gate (California) community. The State's school construction site approval process was determined to be sufficiently flawed that it contributed to the California Department of Education's (CDE) decision not to stop the JMS acquisition process. It also reveals that a willingness to act with due diligence to ensure that new schools are built on clean sites is lacking in both the Los Angeles Unified School District and CDE despite evidence suggesting that CDE practices and procedures may have resulted in other toxic sites being acquired for schools. The report recommends suspected toxic sites be reassessed and, if necessary, cleaned up; that the CDE immediately modify its internal site approval protocol to ensure local compliance with the law; and that districts with a history of failing to ensure that their school sites are toxin free be placed under strict state oversight. 37p.

School Site Acquisition and Related Environmental Concerns. Adobe PDF
Wildman, Scott
(Joint Legislative Audit Committee, California State Assembly, Sacramento, CA , Jul 01, 1998)
This report identifies two areas of concern:(1) acquiring land for new schools in congested urban settings; and (2) managing the conflict that may arise from local, state, and federal environmental regulation. It focuses on the Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego City Unified School District's approaches to acquiring urban land for new school construction, the role of the State Allocation Board, and the complexities of asserting Eminent Domain. Also addressed are misadventures that contributed to one California school, the Jefferson Middle School, being built on contaminated land. Appendices present witness testimony, environmental reports, and state agency action concerning Jefferson Middle School. 29p.

The School Site Planner. Land for Learning. Site Selection, Site Planning, Playgrounds, Recreation, and Athletic Fields. Adobe PDF
(Public Schools of North Carolina, State Board of Education, Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh , Jun 1998)
The report examines not only the site selection and planning processes, but also playground planning, recreation and athletic fields planning, and the North Carolina agencies and statutes that are involved. Specific considerations include analyses of the surrounding community or territory; of building access and security; of the surrounding natural environment and available support services; of landscaping, utilities, and vehicular traffic; and of playground equipment and safety. Final sections provide athletic field layouts for track and field events; football, soccer, and baseball fields; and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. 75p.

Planning School Sites for School Bus Safety.
(National Safety Council, Motor Transportation Division/School Transportation Section, Itasca, IL , Mar 1998)
Provides an 18 point checklist on factors to consider during school site selection and planning that will enhance the safety of pupils riding school buses.

Site Selection Criteria and Evaluation Handbook. [Alaska]
Mearig, Tim; Crittenden, Edwin; Morgan, Michael
(Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development, Juneau, AK , 1997)
This handbook establishes a set of basic site selection elements and offers suggested evaluation criteria for rating each element's desirability and cost effectiveness. The selection elements are grouped into three major categories: social and land use factors; construction cost factors; operations and maintenance cost factors. The handbook describes the basic evaluation procedures including the ranking system for each site selection criteria. It concludes with advice on writing a site evaluation report. Appendices contain a site evaluation matrix form with the three categories and each criteria element arranged for ranking and rank totalling, and a sample site graphic analysis. 24p.

Building Bulletin 82: Area Guidelines for Schools. Adobe PDF
Williamson, Beech, Ed.; Thompson, Andy, Ed.; Bishop, Robin; Watson, Lucy; Brooke, John
(Department for Education and Employment,Architects and Building Branch, London, England , Sep 06, 1996)
This bulletin provides non-statutory guidance on the provision of teaching and non-teaching accommodation for nursery, primary, and secondary pupils, as well as school grounds. It is directed at the early stages of school projects when strategic decisions must be made about the buildings and site. It follows the steps that designers and school planners can take to identify the appropriate areas for all mainstream schools. Section 1 identifies the approximate overall areas for the school buildings with the idea of helping to reduce the economic drain on school budgets. Section 2 helps to establish the number and types of teaching spaces needed to support particular curriculum or staffing models. Sections 3 and 4 provide more detailed information on the individual spaces required. Section 5 deals with the site area and layout, and provides help in choosing a site, in locating a new building or extension, and in planning a layout of the main eternal features. 85p.
Report NO: Building Bulletin 82

Controlling Nitrate-Laden Runnoff in a Marine Environment.
Greven, Erik D.W.; Crabtree, Frank L.; Deshaies, Andre J.
(Harriman Associates, Auburn, ME, 1996)
Maquoit Bay near Brunswick, Maine, supports a productive shell fish industry. When a 50-acre site just a mile from the bay was selected for the town's new high school, there were concerns that pollutants in storm-water runoff would be carried to the bay. The town enacted one of the strictest local codes in the nation to protect the bay, receiving national recognition for its work. Environmental engineers at Harriman Associates became the first to use the code, transforming the ideas in the code into reality with their site engineering at the high school.

Making the Most of Your School Site. School Buildings Planning, Design, and Construction Series No. 2. Adobe PDF
Odell, John H.
(Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales, Ltd., Sydney, Australia , 1995)
A school construction guide offers key personnel in school development projects with guidance on the complex task of master planning and construction of schools in Australia. This chapter of the guide provides advice on site selection covering selection criteria; traffic issues; and site services such as water, power, and sewer. Additionally discussed are tips on state government planning proposals; environmental considerations, such as flooding control, landscaping, site drainage and erosion control; safety; public and private transport needs; recreational facilities; and other site facilities and services, such as roads and paths, sewage disposal, and communication systems for support staff. 26p.

A Procedural Guide for Planning an Educational Facility.
Logsdon, Gordon B.
(Doctoral Dissertation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville , May 1993)
Provides the board of education and administrators with a single document containing information needed to implement an educational facility construction program. The objective is to provide planners with the basic principles of educational planning, to emphasize the relationship between educational facilities and the programs they must accommodate, to show the relationship of human involvement to functional planning of successful educational facilities, and to examine the broad steps necessary to plan and construct new educational facilities. Data for this guide was collected through an intensive search of literature divided into seven major categories: 1) historical background; 2) demographic projections; 3) educational planning; 4) personnel; 5) architect; 6) financing the educational facility; and 7) site selection. 185p.
Report NO: 9334083

TO ORDER: Proquest, 300 North Zeeb Road, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106-1346; Tel: 734-761-4700, Toll Free: 800-521-0600, email:

Site Selection and Acquisition: The Process and the Pitfalls [California].
(California Association of School Business Officials, Sacramento, CA, 1992)
This manual covers most of the common steps and considerations in site selection and acquisition in California as well as some of the measures to be taken to avoid potential problems. It considers master planning and policy requirements, specific site selection procedures and specific site acquisition procedures, steps to adopt CEOA guidelines, relocation, site selection factors, pre-acquisition site assessment, potential contamination, and condemnation. 62p.
TO ORDER: California Association of School Business Officials Bookstore, 700 N. 10th Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95811; Tel: 916-447-3783, Fax: 916-447-3794

An Analysis of the Safety Issues Involving Local School Children as Pedestrians
Ducote, Kenneth J.
(New Orleans Public Schools, New Orleans, LA , 1987)
The New Orleans Public Schools' Department of Planning has been concerned with school children as pedestrians for the past five years. The safety issues include the streets, the drivers, and the children. First, the streets contribute to the hazard because many major streets traverse residential areas; many streets serve as major commuter highways; pedestrian tunnels, pedestrian bridges, and safe sidewalks are lacking; and there is considerable truck traffic. Second, drivers speed through school zones and double park while waiting for their children. Finally, children are often too small to be seen by drivers and cross streets with less discretion than adults. To promote safety, principals should examine school zone signs and report inadequacies; the Department of Planning and principals should identify locations needing flashing lights, one-way streets, and no-parking zones; the Planning Department should minimize student pedestrian crossing of major streets when planning attendance zones; the New Orleans Police Department should expand the enforcement of school zone speed limits; the areas of instruction, curriculum, and staff development should consider pedestrian safety; elementary schools should have a school safety patrol; and New Orleans should found a full-service program of school crossing guards. Three-fourths of the document is comprised of data from a survey of crossing guard programs in 34 school districts in the United States and crossing guard proposal plans at 127 New Orleans public schools. 37p.

Pedagogical Site Policy and Neighborhood Quality.
Thiel, Frank William; Grube, Karl William
(Woodlands Research Group, Inc., Dexter, MI , 1980)
The Thiel Model for school site planning exemplifies a multidisciplinary approach to school site planning theory and a historical synthesis of seven decades of public school site planning research. The model relates the cause and effect relationships of the educational policy-making variables of economic, political, and social pressures to the school site variables of selection, planning and construction, and environment. The interaction of these variables has contributed to the current standards of public school site policy. Analyses of these current standards yielded 21 concepts of school site planning. Further extrapolation produced 10 principles of future school site policy. A flow chart schematic and outline description of the model is presented. 41p.

Schools Located Near Highways: Problems and Prospects. Final Report. Adobe PDF
Wells, Leslie J.; Shapiro, Richard; Felsburg, Robert W.
(Federal Highway Administraion, Dept. of Transportation, Washington, DC , Aug 1977)
Findings and recommendations are presented from 22 case studies involving the impact on schools adjacent to highway systems in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, and Virginia. The impacts described include: noise; vehicular and pedestrian safety; air pollution; access; circulation changes in service area; and visual distraction. The cases illustrate the range of mitigation measures utilized to minimize negative impacts and their relative success. Twenty-six broad recommendations are provided to minimize the adverse impact resulting from school/highway juxtapositioning. 118p.
Report NO: FHWA-SES-77-12

School Sites: Selection, Development and Utilization
(New Jersey State Dept. of Education, Bureau of Facility Planning, Trenton, NJ , 1973)
School sites are an integral part of educational facilities. Modern educational programs emphasize the discovery approach to learning where pupils do more than just read about the world around them. For example, they become active explorers and participate in discovering nature and how best to enjoy it and care for it. Thus, there is a curricular use for a site. Every part of the school program can involve some activity in the out-of-doors. Consequently, any consideration of the need for and design of educational facilities must, by necessity, include a careful analysis of the site, including its selection, development, and planned utilization. This bulletin is written to assist school administrators, local boards of education, planning consultants, and school architects in that process. Specific guidelines are offered with regard to desirable sites and their characteristics of size, shape, topography, subsurface conditions, surrounding conditions, and location. Suggestions are offered to alleviate the limitations of inadequate sites, where the financial problems of land purchase require alternate solutions. The importance of planning to protect and enhance the environment is cited, several types and sources of information useful in site selection are listed, and a selected bibliography is provided. 30p.

A Study of the Factors and Procedures Used for School Site Selection, Site Development, and Site Utilization Adobe PDF
Woehr, William Stewart
(Dissertation, Temple University , 1973)
This study attempted to determine the factors and procedures used by school administrators and school boards in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Pennsylvania, when school sites were selected and developed; as well as to find the extent to which these sites were being utilized by school and community groups. Specifically, the study strove to determine which of 25 preestablished site selection factors an administrator uses when considering a site for purchase; to what extent (1) educational specifications concerning future site utilization are written and implemented, (2) local citizens participate as resource people in site selection and development, (3) plans are written for site development, and (4) various sources of funds for initial site development are used; and to what extent sites are used for the daily instructional program, school recreational and athletic programs, and by the community. Two questionnaires were devised to gather information for the research. Sites included in the study were identified by a thorough search of all nontaxable property records located in each county court house. Site selection factors found to be most important include location, accessibility, availability, size, educational adaptability, utilities available, cost of land, site development, public services, and topography. 35p.

References to Journal Articles

Sustainability in Action
Oppelt, Mark
School Planning and Management; , p50-56 ; Apr 2012
Case study of the water selection, siting, and energy costs factored into the design of Samuel V. Champion High School in the Boern ISD in Texas.

The Rise of Downtown Campuses
D'Andrea, Claudio
University Affairs; Feb 06, 2012
Describes several Canadian colleges and universities that have built downtown campuses as solutions to the problem of decaying downtowns in smaller Canadian cities. Universities, in turn, are reaping community goodwill – as well as badly needed expansion space.

Systemic Approach to Building 21st Century Schools: Experiences in the Aloha State Adobe PDF
Bingler, Steven N,; Kaneko, William M.; Oshima, Alan M.
Educational Facility Planner; v45 n4 , p35-37 ; Dec 2011
Recognizing that public funds are severely limited, in 2009, the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) initiated a research- and community-based effort to develop an innovative, systemic and practicable approach to school facilities upgrades, management and development. The essence of this approach is to leverage underutilized or vacant public school lands that are consistent with the educational and community needs of the school, teachers and its students. Joint-use, lease-backs, land swaps and other use of public school lands provide unique opportunities to maximize the value of public school lands.

A Safe Environment
Pratachandran, Sarat
School Planning and Management; Dec 2011
Discusses the EPA's first-ever federal guidelines for locating school facilities that encourage high-performance schools, stress the importance of locating schools near populations and infrastructure and promote schools as diverse centers of communities. They urge communities to consider children's ability to walk to school, access to public transportation and how to locate schools away from potential environmental hazards.

The Sustainability & Innovation Awards. Green Designs in Educational Facilities.
College Planning and Management; , p44-55 ; Nov 2011
Describes the winners of the 2011 awards program for green schools, colleges, and universities, recognizing innovation and best practices. Awards categories are: Building as a Teaching Tool; Energy Efficiency and Conservation; and Site Selection and Development. [See detailed information about each project at Education Design Showcase.]

Air Pollution Around Schools Is Linked To Poorer Student Health And Academic Performance.
Mohai, Paul; Byoung-Suk Kweon; Lee, Sangyun; Ard, Kerry
Health Affairs; v30 n5 ; May 2011
Exposing children to environmental pollutants during important times of physiological development can lead to long-lasting health problems, dysfunction, and disease. The location of children’s schools can increase their exposure. We examined the extent of air pollution from industrial sources around public schools in Michigan to find out whether air pollution jeopardizes children’s health and academic success. We found that schools located in areas with the highest air pollution levels had the lowest attendance rates—a potential indicator of poor health—and the highest proportions of students who failed to meet state educational testing standards. Michigan and many other states currently do not require officials considering a site for a new school to analyze its environmental quality. Our results show that such requirements are needed. For schools already in existence, we recommend that their environmental quality should be investigated and improved if necessary. [Authors' abstract]

Safe Sites for Green Schools.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; Apr 2011
Discusses proposed EPA guidelines will help school systems decide where safe, healthful, sustainable facilities should be built.

School Travel Mode Choice and Characteristics of the Children, School and Neighborhood
Spinney, Jamie; Millward, Hugh
Children, Youth and Environments; v21 n2 , p57-76 ; Winter 2011
The journey between home and school presents one of the most widespread opportunities for children to engage in regular physical activity, yet this opportunity is apparently being squandered. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether travel mode choices for children’s journey between home and school are associated with characteristics of the children, the schools, and the neighborhoods in which the schools are sited. Travel mode choices were collected from children aged 5 to 15 in Halifax, Canada, and joined with information about their schools and their school’s neighborhood. Pearson’s chi-square was used to highlight major differences from expected values and examine the associations with each mode choice (bus, car, or walking). Results suggest that, for the sake of communities and children’s health, the siting of new schools should consider the negative implications of chauffeuring students, and should strive to encourage active forms of transportation. [Authors' abstract]

Site Headaches Can Be a Gift for Students.
Way, Nancy
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce; Jul 22, 2010
Discusses the inclusion of wetlands on school sites as a resource for outdoor learning environments, rather than as an obstacle that needs to be remediated.

Selecting Safe School Sites.
Robertson, Sue
School Planning and Management; v49 n6 , p20,22-25 ; Jun 2010
Advises on school site selection, detailing issues of land characteristics and accessibility. Distance from environmental hazards, traffic management, and the ability for students to walk there safely are detailed.

Utah Lab Project Requires Persistent Site Analysis.
Taft, Kyle
Laboratory Design; v15 n5 , p1,5,6 ; Jun 2010
Describes the challenge of building a new laboratory at Utah Valley University. The lab had to be constructed along an existing campus concourse that connects major campus buildings and whose transparency reveals desirable panoramic views of nearby mountains and water features. The solution was a smaller building than originally sought that preserved the amenities, but required relocation of utilities.

A Small Footprint.
School Planning and Management; v49 n4 , p58,60,62 ; Apr 2010
Profiles this prototype school that was built on an infill site by virtue of its small footprint and its proximity to public facilities. The site selection, community participation, building design, "green" features, and use of the building as a teaching tool are described.

School Siting: Contested Visions of the Community School.
Journal of the American Planning Association; v76 n2 , p1-15 ; Apr 2010
Traces the evolution of school siting standards, explains factors currently influencing school facility location decisions, and identifies what local and regional planners could contribute to school siting decisions. The author's research discovered that different groups use very different definitions of community school. Smart growth proponents advocate community schools that are small and intimately linked to neighborhoods, while school facility planners expect community schools to meet the needs of entire localities. She recommends that individual communities consider the tradeoffs associated with different school sizes and make choices that meet local preferences for locations within walking distance of students, potential for sports fields, school design, and connections to neighborhoods. State school construction and siting policies should support flexibility for localities.

Achieving Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Understanding Shared Concerns of Environmental Planners, Public Health Professionals, and Educators.
Cohen, Alison
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy ; v20 n1 , 49-72 ; 2010
Discusses policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment--both, school siting and school facility planning policies. These are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, communities can work toward a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work.[author's abstract]

Harvard Fits Large, Versatile Lab into Sensitive Campus Site.
Higginbotham, Julie
Laboratory Design; v14 n5 , p3,8-10 ; May 2009
Profiles Harvards Northwest Science Building, which accommodated neighborhood concerns over the buildings bulk by placing more than half the total square footage of the facility below grade, and incorporating three functioning green roofs. Placing much of the structure underground also allowed creation of ultra-low-vibration space for sensitive imaging equipment, and produced sustainability benefits by reducing material use and energy consumption.

The School Site Acquisition Process: From Initial Search through Close of Escrow. Adobe PDF
Suich, Jerry; O Neill, Michael
CASH Register; v30 n3 , p10-15,17 ; Mar 2009
Advises on school site acquisition, with particular attention to procedures applicable to California. The article addresses searching for a site, obtaining site approval, relocation issues, voluntary acquisition, and eminent domain.

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children.
Pediatrics; v123 , p1591-1598 ; 2009
Highlights how the built environment of a community affects children s opportunities for physical activity. Neighborhoods and communities can provide opportunities for recreational physical activity with parks and open spaces, and policies must support this capacity. Children can engage in physical activity as a part of their daily lives, such as on their travel to school. Factors such as school location have played a significant role in the decreased rates of walking to school, and changes in policy may help to increase the number of children who are able to walk to school. Environment modification that addresses risks associated with automobile traffic is likely to be conducive to more walking and biking among children. Actions that reduce parental perception and fear of crime may promote outdoor physical activity.

Overcoming Challenges to Community-Centered Schools.
Kuhlman, Renee
Forum Journal; v23 n2 , p12-19 ; Jan 2009
Reviews state- and local-level challenges to creating smaller, community-centered schools and preserving historic neighborhood schools. These historically come from acreage requirements in school facility guidelines that are gradually being abandoned. Nonetheless, the desire to build large, remote schools persists. Deferred maintenance that has led to decrepit inner city schools that are deemed unsalvageable is also blamed. A variety of remedies suggested include relaxing cost percentage rules for renovation versus new construction, joint use of neighborhood facilities, and more accurate feasibility studies for renovation versus new construction.

Site Makes Right: Choosing a Sustainable Location.
Yost, Carl
Laboratory Design; v13 n12 , p1,2,4,6,8 ; Dec 2008
Advises on sustainable site selection and development for laboratories. Selecting a new or reusing an old site is addressed, as are construction techniques that minimize impact on the environment. Examples of research and academic laboratories in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and California illustrate both rural and urban illustrate thoughtful projects that have used unusual sites, benefitted their institutions, and improved their surrounding neighborhoods.

Integrating Infrastructure Planning: The Role of Schools. Adobe PDF
McKoy, Deborah; Vincent, Jeffrey; Makarewicz, Carrie
Access; n33 , p18-26 ; Fall 2008
Discusses the ways in which schools affect urban development and transportation, acknowledging that their location, design, and physical condition may be some of the most important determinants of neighborhood vitality. The article presents three key recommendations to align school planning with broader infrastructure planning and investment.

Proximal Exposure of Public Schools and Students to Major Roadways: A Nationwide U.S. Survey.
Appatova, Alexandra; Ryan, Patrick; LeMasters, Grace; Grinshpun, Sergey
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; v51 n5 , 631-646 ; Sep 2008
Addresses the effect of urban planning and road development on the health risk of students attending schools near major roadways. The proximity of public schools and students was quantified to Interstate, US and state highways in nine large Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) of the USA. In total among the surveyed schools and students, over 30% fell within 400 m of a major roadway and over 10% were within 100 m. For some MSAs almost half of the student population attended schools near (=400m) major roadways, resulting in a potentially increased risk for asthma and other chronic respiratory problems, especially in schools representing the urban fringe locale. It was concluded that proximity of major roadways should be an important factor in considering sites for new schools and developing policies for reducing the exposure in existing schools. The findings provide an important reference point for coordinating future urban development, transportation and environmental policies.

Children's Active Commuting to School: Current Knowledge and Future Directions. Adobe PDF
Davison, Kirsten; Werder, Jessica; Lawson, Catherine
Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy; v5 n3 , p1-11 ; Jul 2008
Summarizes research on predictors and health consequences of active commuting to school and outline and evaluate programs specific to children's walking and bicycling to school. The results indicate that children who walk or bicycle to school have higher daily levels of physical activity and better cardiovascular fitness than do children who do not actively commute to school. A wide range of predictors of children's active commuting behaviors was identified, including demographic factors, individual and family factors, school factors (including the immediate area surrounding schools), and social and physical environmental factors.

A Welcoming Environment.
Bozikovic, Alex
Architectural Record; , p88,89 ; Jan 2008
Profiles the North Campus of Pittsburgh's Winchester Thurston School. The vernacular buildings reflect the site's former use as a horse farm. A list of project participants, photographs, and plans are included.

School Design and Physical Activity Among Middle School Girls.
Cohen, Deborah; Scott, Molly; Wang, Frank; McKenzie, Thomas; Porter, Dwayne
Journal of Physical Activity and Heatlh; v5 n5 , 719-731 ; 2008
Examines the associations among school building footprints, the size of school grounds and in-school physical activity of 1566 6th grade girls from medium to large middle schools enrolled in the Trial of Activity among Adolescent Girls (TAAG). The school building footprint and the number of active outdoor amenities were associated with physical activity among adolescent girls. On average, the school footprint size accounted for 4% of all light physical activity and 16% of all MET-weight moderate to vigorous physical activity (MW-MVPA)during school hours. Active outdoor amenities accounted for 29% of all MW-MVPA during school. School design appears to be associated with physical activity, but it is likely that programming (e.g., physical education, intramurals, club sports), social factors, and school sitting are more important determinants of total physical activity.

Critical Factors for Active Transportation to School among Low-Income and Minority Students: Evidence from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey. Adobe PDF
McDonald, Noreen
American Journal of Preventive Medicine; v34 n4 , p341-344 ; 2008
Uses data from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey to document rates of walking and biking to school among low-income and minority youth in the U.S. The data showed that low-income and minority groups, particularly blacks and Hispanics, use active travel modes to get to school at much higher rates than whites or higher-income students. However, racial variation in travel patterns is removed by controlling for household income, vehicle access, distance between home and school, and residential density. The study concludes that active transportation to school may be an important strategy to increase and maintain physical activity levels for low-income and minority youth.

Honoring Ancestry, Landscape.
Gould, Whitney
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Sep 02, 2007
Profiles this inter-tribal pre-K through 8th grade school and community center, located outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Visits to the site and various tribal lands informed an understanding of the physical and mythical place the building would occupy. The building form was carefully woven along a high ridge on the site in order to avoid removing ancient trees. The school was also recognized by the Paralyzed Veterans of America for its barrier-free design.

From Headaches to Lawsuits.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v46 n8 , p20-23 ; Aug 2007
Reviews situations in new school construction that can escalate from inconvenience to litigation. These include site selection, project delays, cost overruns, improper contracting, and poor workmanship.

School Buildings and Community Building. Adobe PDF
Torma, Timothy
The Commisioner; , p6-10 ; Summer 2007
Discusses problems caused by school building that is not integrated with local planning. Policies that favor construction of new schools over renovation, minimum acreage standards, and the trend to very large schools are also held responsible for inappropriate school siting and design. Includes 11 references.

Active Transportation to School: Trends Among U.S. Schoolchildren, 1969-2001.
McDonald, Noreen
Analyzes data from the 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, 1995, and 2001 National Personal Transportation Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation to document the proportion of students actively commuting to school in aggregate and by subgroups and analyze the relative influence of trip, child, and household characteristics across survey years. The data show that in 1969, 40.7% of students walked or biked to school; by 2001, the proportion was 12.9%. Distance to school has increased over time and may account for half of the decline in active transportation to school. It also has the strongest influence on the decision to walk or bike across survey years.

Walk This Way.
Mason, Nick
American School and University; v79 n10 , p44-47 ; May 2007
Discusses the Safe Routes to School and SAFETEA-LU Programs which will help encourage walking and biking to school. The goal is to help curb childhood obesity and to alleviate the traffic caused by parents driving their children to school. The programs provide funding for engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation of walk- and bike-to- school programs.

A Way to Healthier Kids.
Moore, Deb
School Planning and Management; v46 n5 , p10 ; May 2007
Reviews some causes of childhood obesity, the health and school attendance problems it can cause, and urges emphasis of physical activity through, walking to school, opening of school grounds after hours, and athletic activities that emulate video games.

Move Toward Neighborhood-Scale Schools Slowly Gains Momentum
Langdon, Philip
New Urban News; Apr-May 2007
Decisions on where schools are built and how much land they occupy are gradually beginning to reflect New Urbanism’s belief in the importance of physically fitting the schools into their communities. This discusses school siting, minimum acreage requirements for schools, and using non-traditional structures and sites.

Planning for School Facilities. School Board Decision Making and Local Coordination in Michigan.
Norton, Richard K.
Journal of Planning Education and Research; v26 n4 , p478-496 ; Apr 2007
A prominent part of current debates on sprawl involves the relationship between schools and communities. Two key questions on this issue are to what extent considerations about community growth and development influence school boards as they decide, first, whether to renovate an existing school or build new and second, if building new, whether to site the new school in an urban or exurban location. Research on these questions to date has relied largely on case study or anecdotal analysis and has yielded a variety of recommended policy reforms. This paper presents the results of a systematic statewide study of local school board decision making in Michigan. The findings suggest that school boards, in general, are influenced most by a sense of competition with neighboring districts and by shifting demographics. Moreover, little meaningful coordination is occurring between school districts and local governments, largely because of the institutional arrangements that shape the school board decision-making process. [Author's abstract]

Urban Design.
Wilson, Kyla
New York Construction; Apr 2007
Profiles New York City's new P.S./I.S. 260 in Queens, built five stories high on an extremely tight site. A list of project participants is included.

Easy on the Earth.
Hall, Julie
American School and University; v79 n7 , p46,48-50 ; Mar 2007
Cites the environmental benefits of geothermal systems, proper school site selection and design, and green roofs.

Making the Grade.
Leonard, Michael
School Planning and Management; v46 n2 , p26,28 ; Feb 2007
Reviews site selection, soil testing, and remediation of toxic school sites. Advantages and responsibilities that accompany reuse of brownfields as schools are covered, as are California's guidelines for school site assessment and remediation.

South Los Angeles High School No. 3, Los Angeles USD, Los Angeles, California.
Architectural Record; Supplement , p66-69 ; Jan 2007
Describes a design team's response to an environmental problem at the site that prohibited building this high school as planned, as well as changes in enrollment projections. The team combined two planned high schools on one site, retaining the small learning community organization, amenities, and daylighting.

The Sum of Smaller Parts.
C. Sullivan
Architectural Record; Supplement , p106-109 ; Jan 2007
Profiles the new Blythewood High School in Columbia, South Carolina. The wooded site features wetlands and a 10-acre pond, and the building is organized into four zones on the themes of business, health, engineering, and the humanities. Plans, photographs, and a list of project participants are included.

Estimating the Proportion of Children Who Can Walk to School.
Falb, Matthew; Kanny, Dafna; Powell, Kenneth; Giarusso, Anthony
American Journal of Preventive Medicine; v33 n4 , p269-275 ; 2007
Estimates the percentage of children in Georgia who live within a safe and reasonable walking distance from school and to identifies demographic, school, and neighborhood connectivity characteristics associated with the potential to walk to school. Geographic information systems techniques were used to estimate the number of schoolage children living 1 mile and 0.5 mile from public schools in Georgia. The percentage of potential walkers ranged from 1% to 51% depending on grade group and parameters of distance and safety. High population density, small enrollment size, and high street connectivity were associated with higher percentages of potential walkers.

Field of Vision.
Sokol, David
Architectural Record; Supplement , p122-125 ; Jan 2007
Profiles Kirkland, Washington's Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. The daylit building operates without mechanical ventilation and is visually and spiritually connected to an adjacent stand of Douglas fir trees. Plans, photographs, and a list of project participants are included.

School Trips: Effects of Urban Form and Distance on Travel Mode.
Schlossberg, Marc; Greene, Jessica; Phillips, Page; Johnson, Bethany; Parker, Bob
Journal of the American Planning Association; v72 n3 , p337-346 ; Summer 2006
Examines the relationship between urban form, distance, and middle school students walking and biking to and from four schools in Oregon. The results indicate that: 1) Urban form helps predict travel mode to and from school. 2) Middle school students walk further than planners expect. 3) Many students use a different mode when they travel to school from when they leave school. 4) Urban form measures that predict walking behavior differ from those that predict biking behavior. 5) Urban form is only one factor in students' transportation decisions.

Construction Completed on Valle del Sol Elementary School for Coachella Valley Unified School District. Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v27 n6 , p11 ; Jun 2006
Describes this K-6 community school that consists of a cluster of buildings each serving a separate grade. Students can reach the school by walking or biking, and the plan has been adapted for another site in the district.

The Power of a Neighborhood.
Wasley, Paula
Chronicle of Higher Education; v52 n35 , pA27-A29 ; May 05, 2006
Narrates Villanova University's struggle to locate and build a new law school, including a lack of available land, environmental concerns, and neighborhood opposition to the site, size, and design of the new building.

The Coal Mine Next Door.
Slavin, Peter
American School Board Journal; v193 n3 , p16-21 ; Mar 2006
Describes the illnesses of teachers and students in a school near a coal mining and processing operation. The possible effects of toxins from the mining operations are detailed, as is the protracted struggle pitting the mine's operators and supporters against activists, which was ultimately waged at the state level.

School Design, Site Selection, and the Political Geography of Race in Postwar Philadelphia
Journal of Planning History; v5 n3 , p241-263 ; 2006
Through a close exploration of site selection and school design, this article seeks to demonstrate the continued significance of school buildings on the landscape of Philadelphia. By assessing the decisions made by school district bureaucrats in the post–World War II era in light of race, the roots of a separate and unequal school system are revealed.

Proximity to School and Physical Activity Among Middle School Girls: The Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls Study.
Cohen, Deborah; Ashwood, Scott; Scott, Molly; Overton, Adrian; Evenson, Kelly; Voorhees, Carolyn; Bedimo-Rung, Ariane; McKenzie, Thomas
Journal of Physical Activity and Health; n3, suppl 1 , pS129-S138 ; 2006
Examines the association between distance from school and physical activity in adolescent girls. The addresses of 1554 sixth-grade girls were mapped and the shortest distance from home to school along the street network was calculated. Distance to school was inversely associated with weekday physical activity for middle school girls. For every mile the girls lived from their schools, they engaged in an average of 13 fewer activity minutes per week. The most adversely affected girls lived more than 5 miles from school. Time spent commuting could explain reduced time for physical activity.

Tight School Sites.
Cooper, Lynne
Educational Facility Planner; v41 n1 , p34-36 ; 2006
Profiles a new Los Angeles elementary and high school built on restricted urban sites. The massing of the buildings, traffic and parking, athletic facilities, scale, and accommodation of community use are described.

Public Schools as Public Infrastructure. Adobe PDF
Vincent, Jeffrey
Journal of Planning Education and Research; v25 , p433-437 ; 2006
Focuses public schools as public infrastructure, particularly in the context of inner cities and older suburbs. The article argues that there is a profound and detrimental "cities and schools disconnect," and as a field, planning has virtually ignored public schools. City planning scholars need to increase their engagement with public schools and school facilities and think more critically about how development and redevelopment decisions ultimately impact our public schools. Includes 36 references.

Got to Grow-But Where to Go?
Ezarik, Melissa
University Business; v8 n12 , p52-56 ; Dec 2005
Relates how a number of higher education institutions have expanded into surrounding neighborhoods, while working with the community to buy properties amicably and be agreeable neighbors. In some cases, relationships were adversarial at the start. In others, the institutions were welcomed from the outset, as the facilities planned for acquired properties represented an improvement over what was previously there.

Barriers to Children Walking to or from School United States, 2004
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; v58 n38 , p949-952 ; Sep 30, 2005
Reports results of surveys examining reasons why children do not walk or bike to school, with distance from school accounting for almost 60%, followed by traffic dangers (37%), exposure to weather (20%), and crime (14%). In 7% of the cases, the school did not even permit walking or biking to the campus. Includes nine references.

Site Seeing.
Kendler, Peggy
District Administration; v41 n8 ; Aug 2005
Advises on school site selection, recommending attention to state specifications and possible waivers from them, consideration of unusual sites, working with developers, placing more than one school on a site or otherwise sharing infrastructure, adaptive reuse of available commercial and other non-school buildings, and vertical expansion. Advice for evaluating sites is included.

School Location Matters: Preventing School-Siting Disasters.
Fischbach, Steven; Gibbs, Lois; Gonzalez, Stacey
Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy; v39 n5/6 , p13-25 ; May-Jun 2005
Discusses the inadequacy of school-siting laws as they pertain to siting schools on or near sources of environmental pollution, as well as the effectiveness of litigation brought in response to dangerous school siting decisions. Recommendations on how legal aid attorneys can work to promote school siting practices that protect children's health are included, along with 54 references.

How Do They Get There? A Spatial Analysis of a "Sprawl School" in Oregon. Adobe PDF
Schlossberg, Marc; Phillips, Page; Johnson, Bethany; Parker, Bob
Planning, Practice and Research; v20 n2 , p147-162 ; May 2005
Using a school in a "sprawl" location in Oregon, this study examines three basic questions: (1) How do children get to school and what are the reasons behind those choices? (2) What is the relationship between distance from school and mode used to access school? (3) What characteristics of the mobility infrastructure may influence student mode choice? Clearly, there are several reasons why children do not walk or bike to school beyond the physical infrastructure and urban form. With this facility, it was found that its location at the urban fringe and on an arterial highway restricted the capacity for children to walk or bike. Conclusions on the effect of a combination of distance, urban form, convenience, and personal requirements on school transportation choices are offered. Includes 33 references.

Going Green.
Simpson, Scott; Leary, Chris
College Planning and Management; v8 n5 , pGB3,GB4 ; May 2005
Describes the early planning required to achieve LEED certification points for site selection and landscaping. The way this process was undertaken in a higher education science facility and also a residence hall/campus center is included.

A Smart Map for Schools.
Cropper, Matt
School Planning and Management; v44 n2 , p46-50 ; Feb 2005
Disscusses the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to plan schools by combining census, land use, land ownership, transportation, housing, and student data. The importance of combining all data to make informed decisions is emphasized.

Of Sprawl and Small Schools.
Goldberg, David
On Common Ground; , p6-11 ; Winter 2005
Describes the logistical and social consequences of building large, remote, and pedestrian-unfriendly schools, efforts to preserve neighborhood schools, and opportunities for breaking up large schools into smaller learning communities. Historical and curricular reasons for constructing large schools, and some of the benefits realized when communities created smaller, neighborhood schools are also discussed.

Safe Routes for Children: What They Want and What Works.
Osborne, Paul
Children, Youth and Environments; v15 n1 , p234-239 ; 2005
Summarizes some of the key trends in children's travel, health and social behavior, and the influence of the city environment, particularly on the school journey. It draws on examples of safe routes in Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States, and includes a summary of policy and practice in the United Kingdom, with particular emphasis on lessons for other countries wishing to improve the environment for children and young people.

Downtown Schools. The New Urban Frontier.
Zimmerman, Martin
On Common Ground; , p52-57 ; Winter 2005
Describes successful urban schools created in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Raleigh, citing how they were sited and funded, the community services they provide, and the constituencies they serve.

So Long, Mom, I'm Off to the Factory
Saulny, Susan
New York Times; , p30 ; Dec 19, 2004
These days in New York City, it is possible to find a public school almost anywhere that can hold a few hundred students and accommodate a redesign for classrooms and a cafeteria. They are popping up all over, in the most unexpected places: an old salami factory in the Bronx, the boxy remains of a defunct department store in Harlem, a warehouse vacated by Sotheby's on the Upper East Side, the 13th floor of a downtown skyscraper. And the Department of Education plans to spend more than $1 billion over the next five years creating more of them, turning on its head the traditional - some say outdated - notion of what a public school should be.

Out of the Box
Agron, Joe
American School and University; , p6 ; Dec 2004
For a number of school districts and higher-education institutions that find themselves in the difficult spot of needing to build schools in areas with scarce available land, using sites that once housed "big-box" retailers has proven to be a solution. This not only meets space needs, but also revitalizes communities. Includes a look at the nation's largest retailer--Wal-mart--and the vacant stores it lists as currently for sale.

The Evolving Campus.
Gisolfi, Peter
American School and University; v77 n3 , p374-377 ; Nov 2004
Suggests analyzing the total physical environment of campus buildings and open space when planning new construction. Edge and object buildings are defined, and their relationships to each other and the whole described. Architectural style should adhere to context and compatibility, rather than fashion.

Walking to School. The Case for Renovating and Maintaining School Buildings in Established Neighborhoods.
Hylton, Thomas
Central PA Magazine; Nov 2004
School districts have been steadily abandoning walkable neighborhood schools in favor of corporate-style campuses outside established population centers. These "sprawl" schools not only make it impossible to walk, but also generate a demand for new housing and public water and sewer lines in rural areas. This discusses the issue of replacing or rebuilding older neighborhood schools, and the application of smart growth principles to school siting decisions.

The Link Between Schools and Land Value.
Newberg, Sam
Urban Land; v63 n10 , p102-103 ; Oct 2004
Schools play an important role in urban planning and development. Across the country, a variety of solutions are being tested to improve schools and their relationship to surrounding communities. Describes the new schools at the Stapleton development in Denver, a new urbanist community.

The School in the Woods.
Cecil, Daniel; Deshaies, Andy.
School Planning and Management; v43 n6 , p80,81 ; Jun 2004
Describes the compatibility of Maine's Noble High School with its site, highlighting the design of the school building, it's traffic flow, and recreational facilities available to the community.

Greenwich Academy.
Pearson, Clifford A.
Architectural Record; v192 n6 , p228-233 ; Jun 2004
Describes this largely daylit Connecticut upper school addition to a private girls' school that utilizes its steeply sloped site by positioning the main entrance on top of its green roof.

Scarcity of Property Is Growing Obstacle to Building Schools.
Sack, Joetta
Education Week; v23 n28 , p15-16 ; Mar 2004
A lack of land for new schools and additions is a common problem across the country, particularly in urban and fast-growing areas. To confront the problem, districts are building multistory schools, converting existing buildings to schools, and persuading housing developers to donate land or help build schools. Other districts in fast-growing areas have bought land on speculation while the cost is relatively modest. And in severe cases, districts that have the power of eminent domain—the right of governments to force owners to sell their land to them at fair market value for public purposes—have taken homes, businesses, farms, and other properties to build schools. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Schools, Developer Partner Up On Denver Project.
Sack, Joetta
Education Week; v24 n28 , p1,14-16 ; Mar 24, 2004
What used to be Denver's Stapleton Airport is now the largest current redevelopment project in the country. Stapleton is also a laboratory for creative school financing and planning that offers lessons for other communities. Stapleton developers Forest City Enterprises, Inc. have a partnership with the Denver school system to build better facilities and improve educational offerings for new residents, as well as for those already living in the older surrounding neighborhoods. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Smart Growth and School Reform.
Baum, Howell
Journal of the American Planning Association; v70 n1 , p14-26 ; Winter 2004
Considers the relationship of race, community, and education to sprawl and examines education as a means toward managing sprawl. Desegregating and improving urban schools is detailed as a means to attract students and encourage close-in living. Includes 93 references.

Edge-ucation. The Compulsion to Build Schools in the Middle of Nowhere.
Gurwitt, Rob
Governing; v14 n6 , p22-26 ; Mar 2004
Driven in part by concerns about stemming urban sprawl, in part by movements promoting smaller, neighborhood schools as antidotes to ailing educational quality, and in part by concern over keeping community cores intact, many people are asking whether it makes sense to keep putting up large new schools on the edge of town. Just as schools going up on the periphery of a community can promote sprawl, so a decision to build or renovate in the central city can generate revitalization.

Planning and Designing an Urban High School: The New Lewis Cass Technical High School. Adobe PDF
Buehler, Jake
Educational Facility Planner; v39 n2 , p8-11 ; 2004
Describes the planning and design process for this Detroit school, with attention to the design challenges presented by a small urban site in an area that compelled attention to architectural context and preservation of the venerated historical facility it replaced.

Successful School Design for Small Urban Sites. Adobe PDF
Gillmore, Don; McLean, Andrea
Educational Facility Planner; v39 n2 , p12-15 ; 2004
Outlines design issues related to K-12 schools built on small urban sites, including parking, setbacks, bulk and height restrictions, service access drives, shared facility use, and school building structures in an urban context. Design solutions proposed ard based on Seattle Public Schools 1995-2008 Building Excellence (BEX) school construction program.

A Toolkit for Tomorrow's Schools: New Ways of Bringing Growth Management and School Planning Together. Adobe PDF
Donnelly, Steve
Planning; v39 n9 , p4-9 ; Oct 2003
Describes many aspects of simultaneously planning development and schools. The influence of the modern school system's composition, with magnet schools, charter schools, school shopping parents, shared facilities, and GIS technology is discussed.

Placing Students First: Promoting Innovation in Sustainable Design.
Samish, Rob
School Construction News; v6 n6 , p25-27 ; Sep 2003
Describes the innovative features of the Truckee Middle School in Truckee, California. The school utilizes daylighting, environmentally sensitive building materials, water management and geothermal energy to create a high performance learning environment.

Site Development: Making the Most of Your Site Selection. Adobe PDF
SHW Concepts; Spring 2003
Provides 10 issues to consider when evaluating a site for school use and for how to place the building on the site, if it is selected.

What Lies beneath.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v75 n9 , p18-25 ; May 2003
Discusses why schools and universities must be diligent as they build new facilities to make sure construction sites are not contaminated with toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials. Addresses why schools often inadvertently choose these sites, the drive for national regulation, lessons from a situation in Los Angeles, tips for acquiring safe school sites, and new standards.

Getting the Most from Urban Schools. Education is Essential to a City's Future, but Can Schools Help Shape the City, Too?
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Quarterly; v3 n1 ; Winter 2003
This explores how schools can help define and enliven urban places. Includes a description of the Cities of Learning Project in Paterson, New Jersey, led by urban designer Roy Strickland, that envisions a network of learning facilities – schools, libraries, arts groups, mobile computer labs – all turned loose to infiltrate the economic and social life of a mid-size industrial city that desperately needs to reverse its fortunes.

Site Planning for Older and Historic School Facilities.
Peters, Ron
Educational Facility Planner; v38 n2 , p27-30 ; 2003
Discusses site location and size requirements to be considered when renovating a school. Changes in transportation habits, environment, accessibility regulations, and student athletics laws will affect the suitability of a current site.

Choosing a School Site.
School Planning and Management; v41 n8 , p16,18 ; Aug 2002
Describes the guides to school site selection developed in Maine, British Columbia, Alaska, and California, along with information on obtaining the publication. The state and province guides address site selection issues such as historic preservation, decision- making procedures, and site evaluation criteria.

Don't Destroy Neighborhoods To Educate Them.
Beaumont, Constance
Planetizen; Jan 16, 2002
Well intentioned but off-target planning regulations are neglecting to create the community-centered schools the public is demanding. This discusses acreage standards, policies restricting the amount of money that school districts may invest in the renovation of older schools, and the disconnect between land-use planning and school facility planning.

Before You Dig; Here's What You Need to Know About Selecting a Site for Your New School.
Carey, Kelley D.
American School Board Journal; v188 n10 , p18-22 ; Oct 2001
Mistakes in picking school building sites can mean unexpected cost overruns, excessive site maintenance, environmental hazards, and other problems. To avoid site-selection catastrophes, this article recommends asking for a report, written in plain language, about the planning steps. Document estimates of purchase and development costs; and project budget and a timeline for acquisition, design, and construction. Questions that should be answered are listed.

Mapping the Campus.
Stigner, Kenneth J.
American School and University; v73 n12 , p154,156-57 ; Aug 2001
Discusses how aerial photography and photogrammetry technology can help schools create visual records of their campus, land, and properties. Addresses efficiency and cost effectiveness of this method. Discusses how to develop the digital photogrammetry method for mapping from aerial photos.

Two Compact Urban Schools
Logan, Katharine
Architecture Week; , D1 ; Jul 25, 2001
This describes the Gonzalo and Felicitias Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California, that is tucked behind a shopping mall, on top of a parking garage, and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, that occupies a similar site in a mixed-use redevelopment of an industrial waterfront. Each of these two schools turn the liabilities of its dense urban site into an asset and respond to an increasingly critical challenge: combining people, cars, and buildings in less space.

Stopping School Sprawl.
Langdon, Philip
Planning; v66 n5 , p9,10 ; May 2001
Discusses school site planning and policies and the problem of school sprawl. Cutting down on free parking to help reduce school sprawl is explored as is why planners and educators should think about public accessibility when designing schools. Ideas to reverse the trend include relocating schools in city centers, reusing existing buildings, and smaller schools.

Welcome to the Neighborhood.
Schneider, Jay W.
School Construction News; v4 n1 , p15-16 ; Jan-Feb 2001
Case study of the Jordan Park School of Extended Learning, a K-8 school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Discusses how community interest and involvement helped this new school reinvigorate an urban area. The neighborhood rendered final decisions regarding site selection, school design, modifications to a park that borders the school, and stipulated after-hours access to various parts of the building-including the gym, multipurpose space, and computer lab. Construction management is also addressed.

Beneath the Surface.
Erickson, Forrest
American School and University; v73 n3 , p426-28 ; Nov 2000
Discusses how subsurface analysis can take the guesswork out of a building project and can save time and money. The basics of subsurface exploration are explained.

School Sprawl
McMahon, Edward T.
PlannersWeb [Planning Commissioners Journal]; , p16-18 ; Jul 2000
All over the country smaller, older schools are being closed in favor of bigger, new schools in far flung locations. Neighborhood schools are worth saving, and this article describes why. [The full article can be ordered and downloaded from PlannersWeb.]

Location, Location, Location.
Finucan, Karen
Planning; v66 n5 , p4-8,11 ; May 2000
Discusses how good schools have drawing power in revitalizing both urban and rural communities and increasing property values. Several examples of the value of school renovation and its impact on the surrounding community and enrollment are discussed, including descriptions of planning and financing renovation efforts by some communities.

Alternative Locations for School Buildings
Earthman, Glen I.
School Business Affairs; v65 n7 , p43-48 ; Jul 1999
Examines the plight of school systems in urbanized or highly-developed areas that have difficulties locating suitable sites for new buildings. Presents examples of schools that have found alternative locations, including the Parkway Program in Philadelphia; the Work Place School in Alberta, Canada; the Metropolitan Learning Alliance in Minnesota; and the Schoolhouse Boat in Vienna, Austria.

A Tight Fit
Williamson, Susan
Texas Architect; v49 n1 , p42-43 ; Jan 1999
Describes the campus design of the University of Houston (Texas) as an example of an urban campus where space is limited; the siting of new buildings was straightforward; and the planning focused on the campus' identity, accessibility, and enhancement. Two drawings of the campus layout from the master plan are included.

Site Planning and Layout
Moore, Gary T.
Child Care Information Exchange; n199 , p24-26 ; Jan-Feb 1998
Examines five issues related to child care facility design: (1) siting the building, outdoor play, and service areas; (2) creating favorable microclimates; (3) developmentally appropriate play yards; (4) pedestrian access and site circulation; and (5) vehicular access and parking away from pedestrians and play.

Favorable Locations for Child Care Centers: Child Care Facility Design.
Moore, Gary T.
Child Care Information Exchange; n117 , p73-76 ; Sep-Oct 1997
Author notes that the location of any child care center is a key factor in its success. Provides four major objectives to consider when siting a center: (1) the center as a part of the community; (2) access and visibility; (3) desirable and undesirable surroundings; and (4) characteristics of the site itself.

School Site Problems and Solutions.
Educational Facility Planner; v31 n6 ; Nov-Dec 1993
Results of a CEFPI survey about specific site problems and the solutions to remedy those problems. Contact names and telephone numbers are provided.

Selecting School Sites
Joseph Ringers, Jr.
Educational Facility Planner; v31 n6 , p4-6 ; Nov-Dec 1993
Information on site selection including initial decisions, changes, urban problems, and site size. This article was reprinted from the Nov-Dec 1972 CEFPI journal; however the information is still valuable today.

Environmental (Pre-Buy) Assessments
Spencer, Darrell, Ed.D.
Educational Facility Planner; v31 n1 ; Jan-Feb 1993
An environmental assessment of the site for a new school should be done to determine if the property is contaminated with hazardous wastes or other toxic materials which might pose a potential hazard to students, staff, and the environment. It will also assess if the site might be a liability to the district. The work should be done in two phases: 1. list steps for evaluating the potential for site contamination, 2. list a step-by-step approach for assessing the extent of on-site contamination.

Site Selection and Environmental Pitfalls.
Morgan, Gary M.
Educational Facility Planner; v30 n4 ; Jul-Aug 1992
A 5 step procedure on site selection including how to reduce risks.

Site Development Planning--A Must for Education Facilities
Perkins, James K.
School Business Affairs; , p28-30 ; January 1989
School site development planning involves consideration of location, topography, utilities, accessibility, lighting, landscaping, traffic and parking, playground areas,and athletic facilities. A checklist is provided.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).