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Division of the State Architect

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 The Division of the State Architect's Sustainable Schools Resource

Community Matters

Sustainable design encompasses more than the physical building. It is imperative for school districts to consider the impact of new schools on the surrounding community. This consideration should begin during the siting process. The location where a school is constructed impacts the surrounding community in a number of ways: how it affects pedestrian and automobile traffic, the quantity and quality of open space in the neighborhood, its location within the community, and if the school can be used as a tool to revitalize a community.

Once the school site is determined, the school's design, construction, and use should be considered. Aspects such as the exterior design of the school, amenities that it may provide and environmental design features can be a source of pride to the community. Schools can be a center for teaching and learning, and also add a functional value within the community by providing access to facilities and play fields, as well as services such as after-school daycare and extended education.

Further Subtopics

Historical & Cultural Value
Architectural Aesthetic Value
Community Joint Use of Buildings
A Teaching Tool
Safety & Security

Featured Resources

New Schools, Better Neighborhoods (NSBN)
This organization promotes the community joint use of schools byway of designing smaller school facilities that can build upon and accommodate existing community land and facilities to save on the time, money, land, and other resources used to duplicate functions elsewhere.

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF) - Build New or Renovate School Facilities
NCEF's resource list of links, books, and journal articles on how education agencies decide whether to renovate existing school buildings and historic structures or construct new facilities.

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)-Community Use of Schools
NCEF's resource list of links, books, and journal articles on how community members can share in the use of school buildings and grounds during and after school hours.

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