URBAN SCHOOL FACILITY ISSUES
Information on urban school facilities issues including funding challenges, equity and adequacy, site and size considerations, schools as agents for urban revitalization, historic preservation, and schoolyards.
References to Books and Other Media
Transforming Philadelphia’s Public Schools. Key Findings and Recommendations
(Boston Consulting Group, Aug 2012)
A management firm has concluded that the Philadelphia school district should close between 29 and 57 schools in the next five years. 120p
Tax Increment Financing and Chicago Public Schools Construction Projects
(?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education, Jun 2012)
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is one of Chicago’s leading financing tools for development. This white paper examines the nature of TIF funded public school construction projects. The paper begins by categorizing the types of schools receiving TIF revenues for construction projects and where they are located in the city. Next, student and community demographics of these schools are examined to get a sense of the socio-economic characteristics of the groups benefiting from the allocation of TIF revenues. The white paper finds that the TIF program is contributing to income and race/ethnicity place-based inequality in the city of Chicago. TIF financial support for school construction projects is uneven and polarized between high and low-income communities, neglecting the middle.School construction projects funded by TIF revenues favor exclusive schools (selective enrollment schools, charter schools and magnet schools, etc.) while underfunding inclusive neighborhood area attendance schools. This is directly playing a role in the move toward an inequitable, two-tiered public education system. 7p
Review of the Illinois Facility Fund's Analysis of School Location and Performance in Washington, D.C.
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.
(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
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]TO ORDER: http://msupress.msu.edu/bookTemplate.php?bookID=4268
Rebuilding, Expanding, and Maintaining Our Facilities. 2011-2012 Through 2015-2016. Five Year Capital Plan.
(Miami-Dade Public Schools, FL, 2011)
Includes a summary of capital projects and work plans.
Moving the Classroom Outdoors. Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning in Action.
Broda, Herbert W.
(Stenhouse Publishers, 2011)
Designed to provide teachers and administrators with a range of practical suggestions for making the schoolyard a varied and viable learning resource, this presents examples of how urban, suburban, and rural schools have enhanced the school site as a teaching tool. Includes ideas for seating, signage, planting considerations, teaching/meeting areas, outdoor classroom management, pathways, equipment storage, raised gardens, and more. The book also provides an outdoor activity sampler, information on incorporating technology into the outdoor learning experience, and a chapter on the unique concerns of urban schools.TO ORDER: http://www.stenhouse.com/shop/pc/viewprd.asp?idProduct=9338
Closing a School Building: A Systematic Approach.
(National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, DC , Sep 2010)
Cites a decline in some regions' school enrollment due to demographics, economics, and school choice. The author then presents a step-by-step analysis for deciding to close a school, and then for closing the building once the decision to close has been made. De-commissioning steps for each month of the last year of the school are suggested, and advice for maintaining the vacant building included. Re-purposing the building while maintaining ownership is strongly recommended, and successful examples of this are cited. 23p.
Transforming the High School Experience: How New York City's New Small Schools Are Boosting Student Achievement and Graduation Rates.
Bloom, Howard; Thompson, Saskia; Unterman, Rebecca; Herlihy, Corinne; Payne, Collin
(MDRC, New York, NY , Jun 2010)
Presents encouraging findings from a study of New York City's 123 small schools of choice (SSCs), providing evidence that, in roughly six years, a large system of small public high schools can be created and can markedly improve graduation prospects for many disadvantaged students. Since 2002, New York City has closed more than 20 underperforming public high schools, opened more than 200 new secondary schools. SSCs were intended to be viable alternatives to the neighborhood high schools that were closing. SSCs are small facilities that emphasize strong, sustained relationships between students and faculty. Each SSC also received start-up funding as well as assistance and policy protections from the district and other key players to facilitate leadership development, hiring, and implementation. 189p.
New Construction. Strategic Execution Plan 2010.
(Los Angeles Unified School District, Facilities Services Division. , Jan 2010)
Outlines the Los Angeles Unified School District's continuing effort in delivering new schools for the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District. By 2010, 81 new schools, 60 classroom additions and more than 88,500 K-12 classroom seats have been delivered. In addition, more than 30 new K-12 schools are under construction. In 2010, the plan is to open 20 new K-12 schools, two of which are opening a year earlier than previously anticipated. The mission, vision and organizational structure of the program are outlined, and the scheduling and costs of every project are provided, along with maps and renderings. 274p.
New Schools, New Sites-in Older Cities: School Siting Practices in New Jersey.
(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.
The Mechanics of City-School Initiatives: Transforming Neighborhoods of Distress & Despair into Neighborhoods of Choice & Promise.
McKoy, Deborah; Bierbaum, Arial; Vincent, Jeffrey
(Center for Cities and Schools, Berkeley, CA , Nov 2009)
Presents an evidence-based framework for improving the quality of public education and creating more vibrant and healthy neighborhoods through integrated city-public school initiatives. Case studies reveal how to simultaneously leverage innovations in the built environment, educational practice, and collaborative policymaking. These lessons draw on work with six city-school district partnerships in the San Francisco Bay Area. 23p.
School Overcrowding: Limiting Hispanic Potential.
(United Neighborhood Organization, Chicago, IL , Apr 2009)
Reports that 69 percent of overcrowded Chicago elementary schools have enrollments that are more than 50 percent Hispanic. Also reported is that whereas Hispanic students make up 43.5 percent of public elementary school enrollment, their presence at charter schools is only 35.1 percent. 23p.
Partnerships for a Sustainable Future: Schools and Community, The Rosa Parks School. [Video]
(American Architectural Foundation, Washington, DC, Mar 2009)
This video profiles the Rosa Parks School, which opened in 2007 to students in one of the most impoverished areas of Portland, Oregon. Facing a burgeoning population and a tightened budget, Portland Public Schools (PPS) and the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) joined forces with The Boys & Girls Club of Portland and the City of Portland’s University Park Community Center to create a two-acre educational campus. PPS developed a gold-standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified sustainable building. The school is a model for how multiple partners and creative design can result in a sustainable school and a sustainable community.
References to Journal Articles
Urban Schools: What’s Next
School Construction News; May 23, 2012
Today there is a potpourri of public schools operating within urban school districts, including typical PK-12 neighborhood schools; magnet, thematic and choice schools; and a wide variety of charter schools that are operated by the school district or independently. This fragmented scenario creates new challenges and opportunities for facility planners and the facilities divisions in urban public school systems. Recommends creating a non-profit real-estate organization that manages all educational facility assets in a city. Discusses effectively disposing of excess property, or closed school buildings.
North Charleston School District Creates Its First Shared Campus
School Construction News; Dec 2011
Describes how the Charleston County School District participated in the transformation of an older neighborhood into a successful, sustainable community. CCSD engaged both the community and local government leaders, creating its own school master plan to construct facilities designed to attract young families and foster local neighborhood development. Details the design of the new 330,000-square-foot Center of Arts and Academics, located on a 55-acre abandoned school site in North Charleston, that is now a state-of-the-art arts facility and a community asset.
Urban Consolidations Raise Issues Similar to Rural Consolidations.
Rural Matters; Apr 2011
The drive to turn around so-called failing schools is one factor fueling a spate of urban school consolidations across the country, as well as declining enrollment, poor facilities, and budget crises — all factors familiar to rural communities who have long been in the trenches trying to maintain local rural schools.
Building Blueprints: Playgrounds and Outdoor Spaces.
School Planning and Management; v50 n4 , p82,83 ; Apr 2011
Highlights how an urban Boston charter school created play and exercise areas on their small site, formerly six-acre industrial property.
College Planning and Management; v14 n4 , p44, 46,48,50 ; Apr 2011
Describes sustainability efforts at Boston's Suffolk University, whose urban campus boasts exemplary waste reduction, supplies conservation, recycling, energy conservation, green cleaning, adaptive reuse of facilities, and connection to public transportation.
Charles W. Morey Elementary School.
Architectural Record; v199 n1 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this Massachusetts elementary school that fits a large facility onto a tight site, and mimics the colors and textures of the surrounding residential neighborhood.
Media Production Center, Columbia College Chicago.
Architectural Record; v198 n11 , p115-119 ; Nov 2010
Profiles this urban communication arts facility, built rapidly with pre-cast walls and carefully designed to mitigate noise from nearby train and car traffic. A green roof reduces the noise of rain as well. Photographs, plans, and a list of project participants accompany the text.
The Richard E. Griffin Academic Center: College Sets Its Sights on a Difficult Site.
Building Design and Construction; v51 n5 , p44-46 ; Sep 2010
Profiles this academic and administrative center built on a 7,500 square foot lot in a sensitive neighborhood that had been damaged by urban renewal projects of the past. Two below-ground levels and a traditional brick façade mitigate the impact.
Green Roofs and Schools.
Peck, Steven; Van der Linde, Damon
Green Building Pro; Aug 23, 2010
Lists opportunities for instruction that a green roof provides, especially in dense urban neighborhoods. In addition to environmental benefits, a green roof supports plant species, insects, birds, and examples of urban agriculture.
Camino Nuevo High School Los Angeles, California.
Architype Review; v4 n3 ; Jul 2010
Profiles this school on a long and narrow urban site, bounded by four busy streets. The solution was to create the common area on the interior of the building, as an open courtyard between two two-story wings. A list of project participants, photographs, and plans are included.
Green Dot Animo Leadership Charter High School.
Architype Review; v4 n3 ; Jul 2010
Profiles this Lennox, California, facility. The small site near a freeway was addressed with an inner courtyard design, featuring 650 solar panels. A list of project participants, photographs, and plans are included.
The East Harlem School, New York, New York.
Architype Review; v4 n3 ; Jul 2010
Profiles this New York City middle school, highlighting its approach to building a light and airy school on a tight urban site. A list of project participants, photographs, and plans are included.
A Win-Win for Campus and Community.
Eckstut, Stan; Rosenfeld, Fran
College Planning and Management; v13 n6 , p52-54,56 ; Jun 2010
Dicusses mitigating the disadvantages and enhancing the benefits of being an urban higher education campus. Cooperation between institutions and neighborhoods, creation of green spaces, promoting community development, and access to public transportation are illustrated with examples of New York City's MetroTech Center and Cooper Union, as well as Rutgers University.
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.
Hang On to Those Buildings.
School Planning and Management; v49 n1 , p94 ; Jan 2010
Advises on how to operate small schools when enrollment declines, in order to avoid selling school buildings that might be needed when enrollment rebounds. Multi-grade classrooms, careful scheduling of school specialists, doing without a principal, and inviting community programs to use surplus space are discussed.
Roy Romer Middle School.
Profiles this new school that serves an underprivileged Los Angeles neighborhood, wrapping itself in an "L" shape around the school's "town square." Project information, plans, and photographs are included.
The Pride of East 103rd Street.
Metropolis; v29 n6 , p66-74 ; Jan 2010
Profiles this private middle school in Harlem, highlighting the rebuilding of their old facility, and the architect's absolute control over the design and construction of the school.
School Construction News; v16 n1 , p14--16 ; Jan-Feb 2010
Examines siting schools in urban, mixed-use developments. The advantages to sharing of facilities and convenience to other civic amenities are cited, and advice on how to consider traffic and other environmental conditions of a site are offered.
PS 59 - The Beekman Hill International School.
Architectural Record; v198 n1 , p104,105 ; Jan 2010
Profiles this renovation of a former nurse's dormitory into a temporary home for this New York City school. Project information, plans, and photographs are included.
When Schools Close: Effects on Displaced Students in Chicago Public Schools.
(University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research, Oct 2009)
Examines the impact that the closing of some Chicago schools had on the students who attended these schools. The research focused on regular elementary schools that were closed between 2001 and 2006 for underutilization or low performance and asked whether students who were forced to leave these schools and enroll elsewhere experienced any positive or negative effects from this type of school move. Student outcomes, including reading and math achievement, special education referrals, retentions, summer school attendance, mobility, and high school performance were examined. Also examined were characteristics of the receiving schools and if the differences in these schools had any impact on the learning experiences of the students who transferred into them. Students ages eight and older who were displaced by school closings were compared to a group of students in similar schools that did not close. 48p.
Dublin High School Looks to the Future with its Campus-Wide Master Plan.
CASH Register; v30 n5 , p14,15 ; May 2009
Reviews this California district's multi-year, multi-phase plan to increase the size and program of its high school without increasing its footprint or building a second high school.
Trends in Urban School Design.
Schooldesigner; Apr 2009
Discusses sustainability, finding space, special education needs, and the school as community anchor, all of which figure prominently in the creating of inner-city schools.
School Planning and Management; v48 n2 , p38-40 ; Feb 2009
Addresses declining school enrollment in some regions, suggesting an organized and thoughtful procedure for closing a school, preparing and securing a school for vacancy, and maintaining a vacant school.
Contrast and Context.
Architectural Record; Supplement , p16-19 ; Jan 2009
Profiles a variety of additions to existing schools, focusing on urban facilities that experiencing enrollment increases due to families moving back into the city.