Schools are one of the most important public places for human life. Schools engage children to learn knowledge as a core role in cities. Unfortunately, in recent years, a lot of schools had been closed by some problems. We should promote using abolished schools more effective. For example, some cities transformed abolished schools to new buildings such as incubation facilities, hotels, and art museums.
First, closed schools are used for helping startups. Some developed countries such as Japan are facing a declining population. If children are less than before, schools should be closed. According to the Japanese Ministry of Education survey (2018), the number of the schools, which have elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools, declined 6,811 in 13 years. The Fukuoka Growth Next, which is located in Fukuoka, Japan, was made from the Daimyo elementary school for supporting startups. The building has coworking and shared spaces, DIY studios, cafes, bars and free internet. It provides startups some strong opportunities such as a networking event for creating a community formation, a matching meeting with venture capitals and investors. In addition, the facility has teaching programs called Engineer Lab Fukuoka and Fukuoka Design Hub for beginners of engineers and designers.
Second of all, hotels can been constructed from abolished schools. According to Mr. Milin (2010), the total number of the schools increased in these years in the U.S. However, Mr. Milin said “6 percent of school districts closed or consolidated schools during the 2008-2009 school year, double the rate of the previous year”. Because The U.S. has regional differences and some cities faced economic crisis or decreasing students. The Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon state is a good example to change a desert school to a hotel. In 1997, McMenamins, which is a chain company of hotels and pubs, bought the old school building. There are 57 guest rooms, a restaurant, some small bars, a movie theater and a pool. The fancy old yellow wooden hotel is enjoyed by not only tourists but also neighborhoods.
Finally, abolished schools are suitable for art museums. Some say, art is not an useful subject for students. However, there are a lot of opportunities to know histories, cultures, and technologies. In addition, it contributes improvement in value for products. MoMA PS1, which is in Long Island City, NY, is one of the most famous art institution in the U.S. The building was made from a Romanesque Revival school in 1976. The art museum focuses especially for modern art, and it provides people art programs and events. After constructed the building, the value of the area was increased significantly, and the museum helped people who could get job as the guides. This success story influenced other countries. For example, the 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo, Japan is a cultural arts center. It was made from Kanda Hitotsubashi middle school in 2010. The building designed to be used for artists and creators. There are art galleries, offices, and cafes.
In conclusion, abolished schools provide us another profits such as supporting startups, accommodations and art facilities. Schools engage benefits of not only typical study knowledge but also community, amusement and expressions. We should reuse old closing schools to earn more convenient public places.
Milin, E. M. (2010). Closing a School Building: A Systematic Approach. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
The result of actual situation survey on the utilization of school facilities. (2018). Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo: Local Facilities Aid Division, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).