Case Studies: School Facility Consolidation
Some schools have lower occupancy rates and are geographically close. Consolidating those schools so that students
of one of those schools can take advantage of the facilities of another will improve their learning environment
and the overall school performance rating district-wide. It will also free up precious land for charter schools
or other institutions so that the school district can save on maintenance expenditure and possibly get extra revenue.
The following are two case studies that prove the feasibility of school facility consolidation.
Case I: Niemez, Juarez and Kennedy
The first case study involves three K-6 schools Niemez, Juarez and Kennedy. These schools are not too far away from
each other, with Juarez located between Niemez and Kennedy.
According to the district's enrollment data, the capacities of these three
schools are 528, 556 and 720, respectively, and the numbers of in-district students in 2013 are 266, 399 and 527,
respectively. With a combined capacity of 1276 students, Niemez and Kennedy can completely absort the 266 in-district
students in Juarez, and still have room to spare.
This will save taxpayers $4.2 million slated for Juarez Elem school facility improvement.
Case II: Aloha, Furgeson, Hawaiian and Melbourne
The second case study involves four K-6 schools Aloha, Furgeson, Hawaiian and Melbourne. These schools are also near
According to the same enrollment data, the capacities of these four schools
are 533, 745, 818 and 801, respectively, and the numbers of in-district students in 2013 are 349, 412, 433 and 528,
respectively. The beauty here is the in-district student population of any one of these schools can be easily absorbed
by the combined surplus capacity of the other three schools.
Assuming students of Hawaiian Elementary are permitted to go to any one of the other three campuses, taxpayers will
save an additional $5.1 million slated for Hawaiian Elem school facility improvement.
Under certain circumstances, school facility consolidation is in the best interest of students, parents, the school
district and taxpayers alike. It really should not be treated as a taboo subject. As the website of
California Department of Education states:
The decision to close a school is anguishing. It profoundly affects parents, neighborhoods, communities, district
personnel, and, of course, students. It affects relationships, routines, and cherished territorialities. In short, it
alters not only district operations but also lives.
A decision not to close a school, however, amidst circumstances of declining enrollment and economic necessity, can
be imprudent. And while the immediate effects of closing a school may be painful, the long-term effects can be
beneficial to everyone.