Why It Is Important to Renovate Schools

In their research detailing the effect of school construction on test scores, school enrolment, and home prices, Christopher Neilson and Seth Zimmerman found that all three of these elements were positively affected by school construction projects (SCPs). 

The school principals they surveyed reported moderate to large effects on parent involvement and on student and teacher motivation. Nine out of 10 principals believed that the motivational effects of the SCP were at least as important as the direct effects of improved infrastructure.

Further, renovating a school offers an opportunity for the community to invest in its own future and provide a safe and welcoming environment for our children. Renovating schools also means new jobs, which creates opportunities for people who live in that area.

Most importantly, renovating schools offers new possibilities to make them more inclusive spaces for all children. In this article, we look a little closer at the reasons to renovate a school.

The pros of renovating a school vs. the cons of renovating a school

What do you think is the best way to approach an outdated school? Should it be left as-is, or should it be torn down to start from scratch? The process of renovation offers many pros and cons. 

Renovation is less expensive than construction from scratch, and it allows for further expansion in the future. Well-structured and planned renovation work can be undertaken while the school remains open, too. On the downside, renovations can be time-consuming and disruptive to the school, while the new building offers better technology options.

All told, investment in renovation, new furniture, technology, and equipment provides students with an environment that’s suitable for learning, delivering exceptional educational benefits. 

What are some of the most used renovation strategies for schools?

There are several school renovation strategies that schools can use to improve the experience, depending on the needs of a school district.

For instance, some districts may only need an upgrade to their heating system or need repairs on the roofing; while other districts might have systems that are more outdated and need someone with expertise in that area to help them plan out what they want before anything else can happen. Renovating classrooms is one strategy that helps with making spaces safer and more comfortable for students. 

The type of renovation will also depend on the condition and age of a school building. As we know, new buildings require fewer renovations than older buildings. The aims of renovation should include to:

  • Improve physical and safety conditions
  • Enhance the educational environment 
  • Provide updated technological infrastructure 
  • Increase accessibility of facilities for disability access

Because of new building codes and other requirements, school renovations are not always cheap. However, with the right strategy, you can renovate a school in a reasonable amount of time and cost effectively. The top three renovation strategies for schools are: 

  • Renovating an old building to meet current needs – is cheaper than building from scratch
  • Retrofitting an old school – this is more expensive because it usually requires demolition and rebuilding 
  • Adaptive reuse – this is a cheaper option than retrofitting because it doesn’t involve rebuilding, but can be difficult if there is a lack of utilities available

Whatever the strategy employed, it is important to consider environmental issues, using sustainable materials in the construction process. This will help to deliver long-term benefits for the school environment and reduce waste and emissions.

Renovating schools – setting our moral compass

It is important to renovate a school because it can be an opportunity for the community. It is not just about the students, but about the parents and teachers too. The renovation of a school can deliver better educational environments in which children can thrive, in locations that are home to some of the most underfunded schools in the country.

When you renovate a school, it offers a chance for a community to invest in its future and provide a safe and welcoming environment for children. Renovating schools also means new jobs, which creates opportunities for people who live in that area.

As a society, don’t we have a moral obligation to provide equity and opportunity for all children, no matter where they come from?

At ACB Consulting, we are committed to helping improve the communities in which we live, work, and play across the neighborhoods in which we develop. To learn more contact ACB Consulting.

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