Future Planning Is Crucial for School Facilities
By William B. Thiel
Futurists would have us believe there will be no school buildings within the next 50 years. Facilities planners are talking about wireless schools and schools without books, paper, or even walls.
That might not be the case, but there’s no question that student learning methods are shaping design trends. Too often, today’s schools are built without consideration for growth and change of curriculum development or instructional design. Tomorrow’s schools must be adapted to meet individual learning levels.
As you might expect, this raises significant questions for board members and administrators who are in charge of building the “perfect school.” Among them: How are emerging educational practices affecting the way we think about school construction? How is the demographic composition of our community changing the way education should be delivered? What are taxpayers willing to support? And finally, how can education be delivered in a more efficient, effective manner?
The good news is that, with today’s construction and mechanical capabilities, there is no limit to the adaptability of school facilities. But any facilities plan worth its weight must answer these questions -- and ask some more.
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