Creating Communities of Learning: Schools and Smart Growth in New Jersey.

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This paper discusses New Jersey's unprecedented $12.3 billion school construction and reconstruction project, launched in 2000, as an opportunity to reconstruct the state's communities, enhancing quality of life and reducing sprawl. It aims to stimulate a statewide conversation about the opportunity to integrate the design of the next generation of public school facilities with the state's blueprint for smart growth--the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, or the State Plan. The paper discusses the historical background, schools as centers of community for cities and towns, state agencies' roles, and the relevance of national design policy. It then provides design guidelines for creating schools that serve as centers of New Jersey communities: (1) enhance teaching and learning and accommodate the needs of all learners; (2) serve as centers of community; (3) result from a planning/design process involving all stakeholders; (4) provide for health, safety, and security; (5) make effective use of all available resources; and (6) allow for flexibility and adaptability to changing needs. The paper also includes sections discussing the example of Paterson, New Jersey, and key components of sustainable school design. (Contains a list of resources.)
Bird, Kathleen, Ed.
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