Schools as third places…

What better way to get a community involved in its schools, than to transform its schools into community centers. Here are some examples across the country:

-The K-5 Tenderloin Community School in San Francisco has medical and dental facilities, counseling rooms, adult education facilities, a family resource center, and a community garden and kitchen.
-High school academies in Michigan and Arizona are built within museums that provide real-world applications.
-The Big Lake Public School District doubles as a state-of-the-art performing arts theater.
-Schools are increasingly opening up their K-12 facilities to evening adult classes, community events (e.g. dances, even weddings), technology demonstrations and daycare.

Design guidelines and detailed case studies can be found in Schools as Centers of Community: A Citizen’s Guide for Planning and Design.

The beauty of such a school in a CoolTown is that the students can then easily access the community’s amenities as well.

  • Anita Lee

    It’s Anita again,

    I have been searching for property large enough to have just what you described. But again, real estate prices just won’t come down. A place for kids surrounded by a hands-on environment is exactly what I want to see happen in Chinatown. Can this work?

  • Anita,

    Financing facilities, especially land, is usually the toughest question. This week’s Friday blog is committed to some of those answers. Anyone else? Maybe examples of cities, philanthropies and individuals that have donated land for new schools?