Rightsizing design considerations

5. Science.

The issue of science often surfaces when downsizing secondary schools because science classrooms have traditionally been located together in a wing of the building not easily divided among the new small schools. The staff at some schools undergoing conversions decide to offer science instruction within typical classroom space in each small school, sharing the existing lab space on a scheduled basis – not unlike the pattern used on many college campuses. Others redistribute science classrooms immediately, incurring the necessary costs to run water, power, gas, and ventilation to each small school. Still others share science classrooms during the first few years of a conversion, distributing them as soon as transitions are complete and/or funds become available. When planning new designs or dealing with multi-story structures, others address needs for appropriate chemical storage, ventilation, water, and gas by organizing such services vertically in a central core of the building to support small schools in wings that radiate out.