The Hidden Costs of Locating Schools on the Outskirts
Kristi Marohn reports on the implication of a proposal to move the location of Technical High School in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota to a location on the edge of town 4.5 miles away from the current location. Among the costs of moving the school away from the city's core, according to the article: the loss of walkable access to the school.
Marohn presents the Technical High School case as an example of a trend found elsewhere in the country:
"As school districts nationwide seek to provide modern learning environments, many are building large schools outside of core urban areas, where land is cheaper and more plentiful. The spacious, modern schools offer many benefits, including attractive and functional designs, better accessibility for students with disabilities and on-site athletic fields."
"But they also come with hidden costs," adds Marohn. The article goes on to describe the case made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as smart growth advocates, who argue that a more holistic cost benefit analysis should influence the decision of where to site the location of new schools. Writes Marohn: "Among the costs of building a new school farther from the center of St. Cloud: extending sewer and water utilities and improving roads that aren't designed for the traffic a school would bring."