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Addressing a Multi-Billion Dollar Challenge

Funded by the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows Latrobe Prize and J+J Flooring, this multi-year study illustrates how high-quality school environments can boost educational outcomes, improve well-being, and strengthen communities.

Addressing the nation’s inadequate school facilities is an important and necessary step toward supporting equitable educational and community improvement. With over half of all U.S. public schools in need of renovations, the cost of which totaling nearly $200 billion, the “Addressing a Multi-Billion Dollar Challenge” study was conducted to identify the potential benefits of school modernization to help jurisdictions make a stronger case for the importance and funding of school modernization, as well as provide guidance for designers and school districts to effectively spend the forecasted billions of modernization dollars to achieve their core mission of educating children for life in the 21st century. The study’s multi-disciplinary research team investigated the differences between modernized and non-modernized schools in two urban school districts in terms of Indoor Environmental Quality, Educational Adequacy, and Community Connectivity and the effect of these variables on performance and well-being outcomes. The researchers determined that, in multiple categories, modernized schools offered greater Indoor Environmental Quality and Educational Adequacy than non-modernized schools, while Community Connectivity had mixed, though favorable, results. The bottom line is, modernized schools outperformed non-modernized schools in a statistically significant manner across multiple factors.

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