A community of practice dedicated to sharing and developing knowledge to improve urban public school facilities and the communities they serve.

What's at Stake?

“Our children’s education is vital to our future and fundamental to our democracy. Like the people and programs within them, the quality of our public school buildings matters.” – Mary Filardo; Executive Director of 21st Century School Fund

EDUCATION: The learning environment impacts student achievement and teaching quality. The condition and design of school facilities affect the ability of a school to retain teachers and what and how they teach. When school buildings are utilized for services and supports for children and families, barriers to academic success are reduced.

HEALTH: The school environment is a public health concern. School buildings and their sites directly affect student and teacher health.

ENVIRONMENT: America’s schools use of raw materials, commercial products, energy, land, and water, have an impact on the environmental quality of our communities. School buildings need to save energy, reduce pollution and provide opportunities for children to learn environmental stewardship. Outdoor areas around schools need to be planned and maintained to contribute to the environmental health of the community and region.

COMMUNITY: The design, construction, and maintenance of our school buildings affect the entire neighborhood. Schools are physically prominent, a part of local history and are often our only public commons. Public should have access to these public buildings and participate in planning for them as centers within our communities.

PUBLIC INVESTMENT: Schools represent a significant investment of hard won community resources. We owe it to future generations to utilize innovative building technologies and designs that are high quality and cost effective over time. The ongoing cost of maintenance, cleaning and repairs need to influence design and construction decisions.

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