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Articles: Facilities

Shawn Joseph is the director of schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee.

Shawn Joseph, director of schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, created four new groups of K12 educational facilities.

How do you design a wellness program that appeals to the employees who stand to gain the most? (Gettyimages.com: Drafter123)

Since 2014, 20 percent of schools offered diabetes screening, 31 percent provided nutrition education and 30 percent offered weight management, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Fairmount Kindergarten Center near Seattle hopes to use innovative design to maximize classroom learning time when it opens in September for the 2017-18 school year.

SMILE EVERY DAY—Magazine second-graders brush their teeth during a wellness center event that promotes healthy living for K12 and the community.

Some parents of students in Magazine, Arkansas, can’t afford the gas to drive their sick child 50 miles to the nearest doctor, says Brett Bunch, superintendent of the town’s school district.

SEAT BELTS MAKE THEM SIT—New Hanover County Schools in North Carolina is adding seat belts to some buses as part of a state study. Ken Nance, transportation director, says just having students staying put in their seats reduces distractions to bus drivers, two of whom are pictured above.

More districts are adding seat belts to their bus fleets, following the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s 2015 recommendation that “every child on every school bus” needs a seat belt. 

Design Tech High School, or d.tech for short, opened in 2014 and is authorized by California’s San Mateo Union High School District. It commits to the concept of design thinking: Students learn to look for problems, understand the cause and empathize with people involved. Then they develop and test solutions, refine, try again, and share their findings.

A total of 287 leaders participated in DA’s construction survey.

About two-thirds of district leaders say their districts will repair, replace or build new schools this year, according to a DA survey.

From classrooms to condos— The Wilkinson School in St. Louis, which closed eight years ago, will be renovated into apartments for teachers. Aside from offering low-cost housing, it will provide teachers with a collaborative atmosphere.

Bigger paychecks offered by wealthier suburban districts sometimes lure teachers away from St. Louis Public Schools. But a promising solution to a teacher-housing problem faced by many districts has emerged: St Louis schools' collection of more than two dozen vacant buildings.

An $84 million renovation that includes a pedestrian walkway and greater security at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas was the only public school to receive prestigious architecture this year.

This past summer, a number of districts broke ground and got to work . (Photo: Gettyimages.com/martin barraud)

Districts and government agencies spend nearly $50 billion every year on school construction projects across the U.S.

This past summer, a number of districts broke ground and got to work while many others, with their projects still in the planning phase, approved funds for new buildings, upgrades and repairs.

Big high school football stadiums in Texas have come under scrutiny from local fiscal watchdogs, but pushback is just part of the story about sports facility finance—where expenditures and potential revenue sources have grown more complex and potentially lucrative.

A 2014 study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory examined five districts using propane in their bus fleets, and some saved nearly 50 percent on a cost-per-mile basis for fuel and maintenance. (Photo: Gettyimages.com/Leekris)

Transitioning to eco-friendly propane school buses may help districts save money and safeguard student health. A propane bus costs about $15,000 more than a diesel vehicle, but is less expensive to operate and maintain.

Community helped design Hampton Bays Middle School, which opened in 2008, on Long Island in New York. The LEED-certified building can be used for town hall meetings and adult learning classes, and offers a community garden.

More relevant library: Students from Vista USD in southern California work on a project in their school makerspace.

Future Ready Librarians expands concepts of literacy—from books to tech to STEM. The initiative also drives the nationwide transformation of libraries, as librarians take the lead in creating makerspaces in their districts.

School with a view—beautiful but dangerous? Seaside High School is the only building in Seaside School District in Oregon with ocean views, above. Broadway Middle School is in the tsunami inundation zone, but without a view.

The earthquake-susceptible Seaside School District in Oregon—which covers the communities of Gearhart, Cannon Beach and Seaside—faces an estimated $99.7 million bond referendum November 8 to move its schools out of a tsunami zone on the Pacific Ocean.

Seaside has three schools with 1,500 students in the tsunami inundation zone, says Douglas C. Dougherty, former schools superintendent.

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