Rightsizing design considerations

6. Shared-use spaces.

When considering the division of large into small, many decide to share food service areas, gymnasiums, athletic fields, auditoriums, health centers, and other common spaces. The formation of a building council that meets regularly (with representation from each small school) can help inhabitants negotiate how and when shared spaces are utilized. Some stagger schedules to accommodate autonomous use patterns. Others relieve the pressure to share space in-house by seeking out community-based learning opportunities and facilities and/or find ways to create partnerships with the community for shared space. Since sharing meals together is a way to build community, many small schools encourage students to eat within their own space, rather eat in a common cafeteria with others. Other small schools ensure there is room somewhere within their autonomous space to gather their entire school community. And while budget considerations may dictate that restrooms are shared between more than one school, when adequate amenities (restrooms, project labs, etc.) are available within each small school, autonomy is more readily supported.