THE BUILDING OF RESEARCH:
A Center for the Study of Educational Facilities
According to a 1996 General Accounting Office study, “More than 14 million children are being taught in school buildings needing significant repairs to restore them to good overall condition” (GAO/HEHS- 96-103). Since then that number has grown significantly. As much as $112 billion will be spent with little research or documentation to assure those problems of the past 40 years will not be repeated (GAO/HEHS-95 ). Another study by The Council of Educational Facility Planners International has identified a need for over $200 billion in school construction in the United States. They cite cities “like Las Vegas and Miami, where the populations are increasing at a rate of 5,000 people per month, find that they don't have time to think about designing schools in new, more effective ways. Instead, they defer to obsolete models of learning environment configuration; perhaps housed in new skins, but essentially designed on old models of teaching and learning.” In addition there are numerous new and threatening conditions of which science and health officials are now aware, that can be inadvertently designed into educational facilities. Many of the nation’s schools were designed in the 1950’s and 60’s and are facing serious deterioration. Those that still have value need renovation while others need to be completely replaced.