Size

The historic vacant schools in this study come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest school, Healy, is less than 17,000 square feet (sf); the largest school, Crockett, is six times as large, with over 108,000 sf. The average size is about 50,000 sf.

The image at right shows the footprints of each school building arranged from smallest to largest. You'll notice that the size of a school's footprint doesn't always tell us how much floor area it has. For example, Hanneman and Holcomb on the second row are have similar floor areas, even though Holcomb looks much larger. This is because Hanneman has three levels, while Holcomb only has one.

Building size can affect the rehab potential of a vacant school in a variety of ways. While larger buildings provide a lot more space, they are typically more expensive to repair up front and to operate and maintain over time.

(keep reading below...)

Web_Site_Area_Comparison-01.png

The schools in this study can also be measured by the size of their site (the piece of land the building sits on). Like building area, school sites vary in both shape and size. Lynch is the smallest site, at just 1.62 acres (ac); Sherrill is the largest, with a whopping 7.4 ac site—two full city blocks! 

 

Two school sites, at Kosciusko and Crockett, are right next to additional City-owned land. Although these neighboring parcels are not part of the school property, but they make the school site feel much larger. If Crockett's site was combined with the neighboring parcel, it would be the largest area in the study by far, at over 17 ac.

The size of a school site has an impact on the possibilities for redeveloping the property. The size and position of the school building on the property also matters. Many schools with larger sites have a lot of leftover land. For example, Healy's site is over 90% open space. Of course, that open space could be preserved as parkland or green space. New buildings could also be built on that land to make the site more dense. On the other hand, schools with small sites like Stephens or spread-out buildings like Oakman and Burbank don't have much land left over, so there isn't much opportunity to build more.