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Creating Schools and Strengthening Communities through Adaptive Reuse

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Examines four school projects that illustrate the many benefits of adaptive reuse and show that mainstream school districts can meet the regulatory and political challenges necessary to make such projects succeed, providing new schools when and where they are needed and transforming unused buildings into spaces that serve the diverse needs of students, parents, educators, and communities. While geographically and demographically distinct, the four projects share certain similarities: an immediate need to provide more school space existed; long construction lead times and state-mandated minimum site sizes were not available; non-educational buildings existed within the school district that could be transformed affordably; and the school district and the community possessed people who could recognize adaptive reuse opportunities and follow through with a project that called for innovation, good management, and political savvy. (12 Pages / 2003)

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