Planning and Managing School Facilities

Planning and Managing School Facilities

Planning and Managing School Facilities

Planning and Managing School Facilities

Synopsis

Nearly half of the nation's school buildings need to be renovated or replaced. This book provides a knowledge base for administrators to plan and manage construction projects, and addresses specific planning tasks including public opinion polling, enrollment projections, financial planning, selecting architects and other professionals, and managing facilities once they are operational.

Excerpt

Beginning in the late 1980s, several national reports warned policy makers, educators, and the public of the fact that approximately half of the elementary and secondary schools in American needed to be replaced or renovated. Studies, such as Wolves at the Schoolhouse Door (Lewis, 1989), Schoolhouse in the Red (American Association of School Administrators, 1991), and School Facilities: America's Schools Report Differing Conditions (General Accounting Office, 1996), initially received considerable media attention. In addition to providing relevant statistics, these reports suggested that education reform would be stalled if problems with outdated, unsafe, and inflexible instructional environments were not addressed. The school facility crisis exists at a time when changing economic, political, social, and technological conditions make instructional environments more essential than ever. Even sound, relatively new buildings often require some reshaping to accommodate emerging instructional paradigms and modern communication systems. As a result, responsibility of planning and managing school facilities has become an even more important element of effective practice for both district-level and school-level administrators.

This book focuses on school administrator responsibilities associated with school buildings. These duties extend beyond the obvious functions of planning a new school to include other tasks such as political leadership, economic planning, and sound management. This introductory chapter traces how school facility administration has evolved over time. While early schools were merely intended to be shelters, today's buildings are expected to be modern, accessible, inviting, flexible, durable, and efficient. Consequently, new schools are expensive, and gaining necessary political and economic support can be one of the . . .

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