Sharing space

Schools are increasingly sharing buildings as the small schools movement gains momentum across the country. A number of small schools share common services and spaces such as a library, clinic, gym, fitness center, and/or music, theater, and performance areas within the same complex. Others share spaces with community partners.

Principles for sharing space, memorandums of understanding, guidelines for building council agreements, inter-local, and lease agreements are tools groups find helpful as they work together to rightsize their schools.

Schools can share buildings: a toolkit

This toolkit describes examples of schools sharing buildings in Chicago, and gives practical advice for how to do this successfully. (This toolkit and others can be found in the Small School Resources section of this site under "tools.")

Schools Sharing Buildings The Chicago Toolkit Brochure (606k PDF)

The following files are tools and references designed to accompany the Chicago Toolkit Brochure:

Building sharing documents

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Template (Word document)
Annual Sharing Agreement Template (Word document)
MOU Sample: Williams School (Word document)
Annual Sharing Agreement Sample: Williams School (Word document)
Lease Agreeement Sample (787k PDF)

Sample Williams floor plans showing schools sharing buildings

First Floor Layout (140k jpeg)
Second Floor Layout (116k jpeg)
Third Floor Layout (120k jpeg)
Aerial Site Rendering (120k jpeg)

Chicago Public Schools design competition

Design Winner for North Side Site (1.4mb PDF)
Virtual Courtyard Tour (29.9mb Quicktime file)
Virtual Hallway Tour (29.7mb Quicktimefile)
Aerial View (88k jpeg)
Generative Spaces (64k jpeg)
Music Courtyard (68k jpeg)
New School Designs from the Chicago Competition (41.3mb PowerPoint file)

To order an actual brochure and CD-ROM with the above files, e-mail