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Old 12-18-2017, 06:30 AM
 
102 posts, read 91,508 times
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School design, particularly public school design, is often lumped in with the design of other institutional structures like jails, civic centers and hospitals, to detrimental effect. My high school, for example, had the dubious distinction of having been designed by the architect responsible for San Quentin. (The convicts got the better building.) Schools fulfill a practical function, to be sure, but shouldn’t they be designed to inspire? >>> https://www.childrenandnature.org/20..._like_prisons/

In the United States today, our public schools are not very good at educating our students, but they sure are great training grounds for learning how to live in a Big Brother police state control grid.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:32 AM
 
102 posts, read 91,508 times
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:36 AM
 
102 posts, read 91,508 times
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All I did above was search "old elementary school" then "new elementary school" to find pictures to post.


What made me type schools look like prisons into search the first time was when I was visiting a friend we stopped for lunch and across the street they were building a new building. I thought to myself that is odd building a prison so close to the center of town. It was not a new prison it was the new highschool.

It looked just like a prison to me, great big high walls and tiny narrow little windows. Hideous ugly building !
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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This will only get worse as new ones are built, with an ever increasing need for better security. They have to be able to lock down quickly, in case of a threat, and that means looking like a prison. There are ways to achieve security along with more pleasing esthetics, however that would be costly, and that would mean far more cost to the taxpayers. As it is, school construction bonds are a hard sell to the voters in many areas.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
5,121 posts, read 8,482,153 times
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It's not so much that schools look like prisons, but that prisons are often designed to look like other buildings.

Was the Biltmore Estate (http://biltmore.s3.amazonaws.com/100...-rectangle.jpg) designed to look like a prison? (http://www.post-gazette.com/image/20...field-Ohio.jpg)
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:42 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
38,398 posts, read 49,977,727 times
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Because having a creative design is incredibly expensive when the cost of building a new high school is touching $100M+.

Where I live was building so many schools through the 1990s to around 2010 (one a year for twenty years) that they used a common design for all the new elementary and middle schools
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Inland FL
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Schools were better looking prior to the 1950s, when they used to build those large brick buildings with large windows in every class room.

The middle school I went to was built in the sixties. Half the classrooms didn't even have windows, it was dark, pipes and wires sticking out, moldy, tiny little grey lockers and was depressing looking in general. We all hated it. Our high school had been built in 2003 and was way nicer looking compared to the middle school but all the classrooms still had small windows and there was too much concrete everywhere. Barely any green space which made it incredibly hot.

Schools also don't have good playgrounds like they used to anymore.
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Lack of funding. Schools are expensive to build, and nobody wants to finance large bond payments with their local land taxes. As a result, you get utilitarian buildings that are relatively inexpensive to build. This leads to the decision to use concrete and brick rather than stone and wood.

Another reason is utility. Prisons and schools have some commonality of use. Both are used for large numbers of people who have to circulate through the building on a schedule throughout the day. This is going to lead towards rooms grouped by function surrounding corridors for pedestrian circulation.

Environmental and infrastructure concerns follow. Most governments want energy efficient, low maintenance buildings. This will tend to push design in the same directions. An entryway might have a lot of glass for impact, but the rest of the building will be different materials for insulation.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:26 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
38,398 posts, read 49,977,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridarebel View Post
Schools were better looking prior to the 1950s, when they used to build those large brick buildings with large windows in every class room.

The middle school I went to was built in the sixties. Half the classrooms didn't even have windows, it was dark, pipes and wires sticking out, moldy, tiny little grey lockers and was depressing looking in general. We all hated it. Our high school had been built in 2003 and was way nicer looking compared to the middle school but all the classrooms still had small windows and there was too much concrete everywhere. Barely any green space which made it incredibly hot.

Schools also don't have good playgrounds like they used to anymore.

Educational theory drove some of that-open classrooms.
Construction cost drove other things-it's cheaper to build any building if you don't have windows.
Liability and insurance demands drove the next-playgrounds.
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Florida
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There is one huge difference. Prisons are built to keep the riff-raff in, and schools are designed to keep the riff-raff out.
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