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.