Co-location Opportunities for Dynamic Use of Existing and Proposed School Buildings

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We have, on average, 1,098 to 2,168 annual school closures per year. That means thousands of school buildings need to be repurposed every year or they will stand vacant, become vandalized, and bring blight and a sense of abandonment to their neighborhoods. However, at the same time, there is an ever-growing need for affordable housing, community centers, meeting and workspaces, childcare facilities, parks and recreation areas, and other community spaces that can be accommodated within these structures. In this paper, I analyze the typology of the school building through history, and through some notable examples, demonstrate how school buildings can be adapted to other uses in the community. I also present examples of schools and community spaces sharing common buildings and the unique opportunities this co-location provides for the students as well as community members. The ultimate takeaway for this paper is to show that a school building is not just a place we send our kids to get an education. It can and should be a place for all people in the community to feel a part of and welcomed





Etin, Bozhena (2022). Co-location Opportunities for Dynamic Use of Existing and Proposed School Buildings. Capstone project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.