Saving Historic Schools

Crafton Elementary School, Carlynton School District, Threatened With Closure in 2011

Many communities treasure their historic school buildings as centers for neighborhood or community activity, symbols of civic pride, and as local architectural landmarks. At the same time, communities face the challenge of ensuring that older school buildings meet the needs of today’s students and teachers. Meeting the challenge requires good planning, knowledge of preservation tools, and, at times, creative design solutions.  Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation has been assisting communities and Schools find creative ways to preserve historic school buildings and address the needs of both the community.  We have had productive relationships with schools throughout Pennsylvania including:
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education, Technical Assistance for School Renovation Guidelines
  • Allegheny College, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Brentwood School District, Moore and Elroy Elementary
  • California University of Pennsylvania, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Carlow College, Technical Assistance
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Technical Assistance
  • Chatham University, Technical Assistance
  • City of Pittsburgh School District
  • Geneva College, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Grove City College, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Hazleton School District, “The Castle”
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Meadville School District, Technical Assistance
  • Mt. Lebanon School District, Technical Assistance
  • Point Park University, Technical Assistance
  • Seton Hill University, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Slippery Rock University, Campus Preservation Plan
  • University of Pittsburgh, Technical Assistance & Educational Programming
  • Washington & Jefferson College, Campus Preservation Plan
  • Woodland Hills School District, Turtle Creek High School

Link to Photographs Of An Elementary School Undergoing Complete and Comprehensive Rehabilitation

Publications Relating to Saving Your Historic School

A Roadmap For Saving Your School
by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Why Johnny Can’t Walk To School
by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The National Park Service, and Smart Growth Network

State Policies and School Facilities:  How States Can Support or Undermine Neighborhood Schools and Community Preservation
by Constance E. Beumont, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Renovate or Replace?  A case for restoring and reusing older school buildings
by the Pennsylvania Department of Education
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association
The Pennsylvania Historic Schools Task Force
AIA Pennsylvania, a Society of The American Institute of Architects

Historic Schools:  Renovation vs. Replacement & The Role of the Feasibility Study
by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

How to Save Your Historic School:  10 Action Steps

Historic Neighborhood Schools Deliver 21st Century Education
By Constance E. Beumont, National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

A Community Guide to Saving Older Schools
By Kerri Rubman, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Model Public Policies:  Preserving Historic Schools
A Public Policy Report published by National Trust Forum, a program of the Center for Preservation Leadership

New Life through Adaptive Use: Saving Our Historic Schools
2010 Saving Places Conference, Denver, CO

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