Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Typical Views of a High School Exterior

Once you make it past the front of the campus, it just gets worse and more depressing. Look at all of the concrete. Imagine the huge sewer bill. Rain goes straight into the system, and I'm sure the water bill is huge with all of the grass in the front. What is up with the grass and gravel "landscaping" on the side? And we wonder why kids don't want to go to school? Would you want to be here five days a week? Why can't we create physical spaces that create a sense of excitement, that are welcoming, stimulating, appealing? That make a statement? That create a sense of place for the kids?The physical surroundings of a school campus set the tone for everyone - students, teachers, administrators and neighbors. Many school districts have received funding to build new schools, as many older buildings are just too decrepit to renovate, so now is your chance to contact your school board, councilperson, mayor or principal to demand green and welcoming environments for our kids, for whom, too often, nature is a concept reserved for the movies. I just wrote the head of our school district with my thoughts. In Ohio, the building commission that is responsible for school construction and renovation funding and standards, has mandated that all future buildings be LEED certified. But trust me, my research reveals that LEED certified building exteriors can be just as cold, sterile and uninspiring as older or conventionally constructed school buildings. Don't all kids deserve to attend a school like the Sidwell School? So, this is the site I chose for my project. I will feature my site plan next week for your review (left the memory device at work). What are your thoughts?

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