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ED 471 913 

EF 006 020 





The Development of Educational Facilities through Joint Use 
Mechanisms . 


8p.; Produced by the New Schools Better Neighborhoods Joint 
Use Working Group. 

For full text: 

http : //www. nsbn. or g/ joint use /ed_facili ties . html . 

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^Educational Facilities; Educational Facilities Planning; 
Flexible Facilities; School Construction; ^Shared Facilities 


This paper was prepared as an outgrowth of a Getty Center 
symposium sponsored by New Schools Better Neighborhoods (NSBN) and its 
partner organizations in May 1999. The subject of joint use, generically 
meaning the development of K-12 education facilities in combination with 
other facilities such as parks or libraries, was broached at the Getty 
Symposium as one of several means of accelerating and enhancing new school 
construction. Accordingly, a working group was formed under the guidance of 
NSBN with the charge to research, evaluate, and formulate recommendations 
regarding joint use. This is the first in a series of products prepared by 
the Joint Use Working Group. The paper is an overview of the subject and a 
point of departure for further study. It discusses the benefits of joint use, 
such as additional student housing, cost savings, and community enrichment 
programs and services, as well as its constraints, such as conflicting or 
non-aligned goals of the partners, operations and maintenance issues, and 
regulatory constraints. Also explored are themes of joint use, such as the 
school district as community developer, leveraging community goals, and 
adaptive re-use of existing structures. (EV) 

Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made 
from the original document. 

EF 006 020 


The Development of Educational Facilities Through Joint 
Use Mechanisms 

5 New Schools/ Better Neighborhoods 
£ Joint Use Working Group 
p January 18 , 2000 

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction 

II. Description of The Joint Use Opportunity 

III. Themes of Joint Use 

IV. Findings and Next Steps 
Project Assessment Summary 

Joint Use Working Group 

Alex Rose, Co-chair, Continental Development/Urban Land Institute 

Steve Ross, Co-chair, Playa Vista/ Urban Land Institute 
Paul Hernandez, Moderator, New Schools / Better Neighborhoods 
Jeanette Justus, Jeanette C. Justus Associates 
Susan B. Davis, Cox, Castle & Nicholson 
Amy Arnold, City of Los Angeles 
Anne Ferree, Gensler Architects 
Kate Diamond, Siegel Diamond Architecture 
Micheal B. Lehrer, AIA, Prop. BB Oversight Committee 

I. Introduction 

This paper was prepared as an outgrowth of the Getty Center symposium sponsored by New 
Schools Better Neighborhoods (NSBN) and its partner organizations in May, 1399. The 
subject of joint use, generically meaning the development of K-12 education facilities in 
combination with other facilities such as parks or libraries, was broached at the Getty 
Symposium as one of several means of accelerating and enhancing new school construction. 
Accordingly, a working group was formed under the guidance of NSBN with the charge to 
research, evaluate and formulate recommendations regarding joint use. This is the first in a 
series of products prepared by the Joint Use Working Group. 


Office of Educational Research and Improvement 

This document has been reproduced as 
' received from the person or organization 
originating it. 

□ Minor changes have been made to 
improve reproduction quality. 

Points of view or opinions stated in this 
document do not necessarily represent 
official OERI position or policy. 


Jerome Lewis 




This paper is an overview of the subject and a point of departure for further study. Several 
case studies of functioning joint use projects in California have been researched by the 
members of the working group. Each project was evaluated through telephone interviews 
with project representatives, usually school district staff, and analysis of written agreements 
upon which the projects are based. The primary focus of the case study analysis was to 
learn from the experiences of those who have gone before, from their successes as well as 
from actions they would do differently if they had the chance to start again. 

In addition to the case studies, the working group monitored the deliberations of the State 
Allocation Board in its evaluation of joint use. The SAB is presently considering joint use as 
one of a number of cost reduction strategies for new school development as required by SB 
50. Education Code provisions relevant to the subject of joint use have also been evaluated. 

Finally, the Joint Use Working Group has engaged in a number of brainstorming discussions 
as a means of framing up the issues and challenges of this important topic. The 
brainstorming sessions have informed the paper as a whole and were particularly relevant to 
the section on Themes of Joint Use. 

II. Description of The Joint Use Opportunity 
A. Benefits 

In their struggle to provide cost effective and adequate student housing in a way that 
promotes quality of life in the community, school districts are exploring more joint use 
opportunities. The potential benefits are multiple and can be categorized as 
opportunities that provide: 

Additional Student Housing 

Cost Savings, either in capital facilities and/ or in ongoing operational cost 
Community Enrichment Programs and Services 

1. Additional Student Housing 

A primary benefit to joint use agreements is to provide additional student 
housing. This is especially true in areas where existing schools are 
overcrowded and land to build new schools is scarce. School districts in urban 
areas have by necessity become creative in their search for places to build 
and expand school facilities. Joint use increases those opportunities. Through 
partnerships with the private sector and with other public agencies, schools 
have been built on park, museum, college, commercial and other school sites. 

One example of a public-private partnership in a community that is almost 
entirely built-out is the Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School. Currently 
completing construction on a site that shares space with a renovated 
shopping center, this Santa Ana Unified school project provides school 
facilities constructed on top of a shopping center parking structure. Mendez 
has not proven to be an inexpensive school to build. However, it does not 
displace any housing, and this in and of itself is extremely important in the 
Santa Ana community. Besides some relief from overcrowded school housing, 
the community also benefits from the redevelopment of an underutilized 



shopping center. 

The Center for Advanced Research and Technology, jointly constructed and 
operated by two unified school districts provides another example of a 
creative way to provide additional student housing when limited space is 
available. The project serving the Clovis Unified and Fresno Unified school 
districts, will serve 1500 half-time high school students in a state-of-the-art 
technology learning center. These students will also be enrolled in 
comprehensive high schools where they will be able to participate in sports, 
theatre arts and all the activities provided by traditional high schools. The 
Center for the Advanced Research and Technology is being built on 9 acres, in 
an existing manufacturing building. The two districts have established a Joint 
Powers Authority (JPA) to operate and maintain the school. The JPA will 
contract with each district to provide services such as human resources, food 
services and fiscal services. Each district will be relieved of some high school 
over-crowding as 750 students from each district enroll in the specialized school. 

2. Cost Savings 

Traditionally, joint use has been seen as a mechanism to save capital and 
sometime operations costs to the taxpayer. In 1998, the California legislature 
signed into law SB 50, representing comprehensive school facility and finance 
reform. Within SB 50, the State Allocation Board is required to adopt 
guidelines to achieve costs reductions in school construction. Joint use 
recommendations are mandated to be included in the cost reduction guidelines. 
Cost saving benefits frequently come from the shared use of land, such as the 
combination of schools and parks or of two schools sharing field space. 

Districts also build combination school/city library facilities and theaters on 
school campuses. This saves the community from the construction of two 
separate facilities. 

Measuring the amount of cost savings is complicated, since joint use projects 
often are funded by a combination of various funding mechanisms and 
sources and are regulated by various entities. The ultimate facility may not 
result in school district savings, especially since districts must follow higher 
construction safety standards that are carried over to community facilities. 

This puts the school district in the position of often funding the projects 
themselves to ensure these standards are met. The savings is realized in the 
overall costs, which would be considerably higher if the same facilities and 
services were provided to the community without joint use agreements. 

3. Community Enrichment Programs and Services 

The provision of more and better services to the community is often the 
greatest benefit of joint use. The services may be providing after school use of 
school playgrounds, theaters and libraries. Schools get the use of fields and 
other athletic facilities, theaters and libraries during school hours. 

The joint use library on a school campus is an excellent example of the 
enrichment of the school children and the community. A city/ county library 
can offer student access to the county-wide system on campus and much 
greater resources than secondary schools can offer. The hours can be 
extended for easy access for students after school. 

4. Other 

Sometimes, joint use provides other benefits. One community in northern 
California incorporated a joint use project advocated by the community into 
their general obligation bond strategy. When the community voted general 
obligation bonds to build school facilities, they also got tournament level 
athletic fields. The district was able to leverage the general obligation bonds 
to get state funding to construct new facilities and modernize existing schools. 
The new fields are maintained with user fees. A local community athletic 
association runs the concession. The secondary school students also use the 
fields during school hours and the community benefits after school and on 
weekends. National tournaments are attracted to community. 

B. Constraints 

Along with the benefits of joint use, come a complicated assortment of obstacles and 
challenges that must be overcome to realize a successful project. These constraints 
can be categorized as follows: 

Conflicting or non-aligned goals of the partners 

Operations and maintenance issues 

Regulatory constraints 

1. Conflicting or Non-aligned Goals of the Partners 

School districts, cities, counties, community colleges, and private sector 
partners attempting joint use partnerships are often confronted with turf 
issues, difficulties in implementing joint use agreements and assorted battles 
along the way. A recent workshop among school community representatives 
addressing joint use outlined a number of ways to avoid these issues, 

Obtain support of the joint use project by the policy makers 
Identify specific benefits and relative value of the project to each party 
Document benefits in a formal agreement 

Determine governance of joint use facility up front and document in the 

Outline a process to resolve inter-jurisdictional conflicts in the formal 
agreement. These conflicts can be expected. 

Obtain approval of the formal agreement by the policy makers 




2. Operations and Maintenance Issues 

Typically, operations and maintenance issues revolve around hours of use, 
responsibility for maintenance, security and cost of maintenance, especially 
when facilities are heavily used by the district and the community. Successful 
joint use projects seem to result through well developed agreements that are 
clearly understood by both parties and from on-going communication between 
the partnering entities. Monthly and sometimes weekly coordinating meetings 
have been helpful in many of the projects documented in the case studies. 

In one of the case studies, the Sweetwater Union High School and the City of 
Chula Vista collaborated on the joint use of a library and high school . Here, 
the library was built and maintained on the high school campus by the 
District. However, the City operates the library from 3 until 10 PM weekdays 
and on weekends and summers. Each weekday there is a school-city library 
staff turnover at 3 PM. Security is one area that has not been worked out to 
the satisfaction of the community. Because of security reasons, the general 
public is not allowed in the library when high school is in session. 

3. Regulatory Constraints 

All construction projects in today's world are regulated by a multitude of laws 
to protect the safety of the community and the environments. The regulations 
governing the construction of schools, other public buildings and private 
buildings each have different policy goals and legislative histories. Joint use 
projects often involve regulatory compliance beyond the familiar world of the 
entity with whom the school district is partnering. An example is the Field Act 
that establishes a higher construction standard to address earthquake safety 
in all school facilities. A theater, auditorium, multipurpose center built by a 
city, but to be used by the district for classes or school activities must be built 
to Field Act standards. On the other hand, local ordinances, often not required 
by school districts, become relevant as joint use projects are implemented. As 
a case in point, Elk Grove Unified is currently planning a joint use library with 
the Sacramento Public Library Authority. This project comes under the county 
art-in-public-places ordinance. The JPA formed to build and operate the 
library, however, does not have funding to provide the art required. 

Regulatory constraints not only complicate construction projects, they can 
also effect the operations of joint use facilities. For example, school districts 
have run into conflict with libraries as they address school library policy and 
the Library Freedom Act. Districts are typically more restrictive of access to 
library reading materials and the internet than are libraries. 

III. Themes of Joint Use 

Building schools in conjunction with other compatible, synergistic facilities represents an 
opportunity for school districts to leverage their limited resources in meeting their new 
facilities goals. The opportunity is of even greater importance in urban districts where 
available land is scarce. 


V 6 

We believe that those charged with building new schools will benefit from considering joint 
use in the context of the following themes or paradigms: 

A. School District as Community Developer 

New Schools Better Neighborhoods, as the name says, is predicated on the idea that 
schools and neighborhoods can and should have a positive influence each other. While it 
may not be self evident, school districts are in the community development business 
when it comes to building new facilities. As such, it may be useful to think like a 
company that is in the business of building new communities. Successful community 
building is driven by many factors. A few precepts that may be relevant: 

1. Land is a limited resource. It must be handled with respect and a strong sense 
of economy. Look for ways for the project site to serve multiple functions. 

2. Consider the community. No project happens in a vacuum. The neighbors of a 
project site are your constituency. Explore how your goals may overlap with those 
of your neighbors and pursue alliances. 

3. Create value. Schools that enhance their neighborhoods create value in terms 
of improved quality of life and property values. The ability of a new school to 
create value may be a function of the other facilities that come with it, such as a 
library or park. 

4. Create projects you'll be proud to show your grandchildren. School districts are 
in the "placemaking" business when it comes to creating new facilities. Building 
schools in conjunction with parks, libraries, museums, hospitals, fire stations, or 
performing arts centers is an enormous opportunity to create places that enhance 
neighborhoods and the larger community. 

B. Leveraging Community Goals 

1. Look for common ground. 

Look for common ground with your community. School facilities that address a 
community goal as well as a new school facilities goal are prime opportunities for 
joint use. The case studies include examples school districts collaborating with 
public and private entities to achieve their respective goals. Whether the shared 
use is a softball complex or a performing arts center, the result is a new school 
facility with lower initial cost, lower operating cost or both. 

2. Community Initiated. 

Sometimes, the idea of joint use can be initiated by the community itself. 

Consider the Clovis Unified School District case study involving a shared 
education center and softball complex initiated by community sports field 

C. Adaptive Re-use of Existing Structures 

1. Building Recycling. 

Consider adapting existing, available buildings for single or joint use projects. 
Under utilized or vacant office or industrial buildings may offer opportunities to 
produce new classroom capacity faster, cheaper or both. Consider, for example, 
the Otis Parsons School of Design occupying the former IBM building near LAX or 




Loyola Marymount University acquiring the former Hughes Aircraft headquarters 
building in Westchester. While these facilities were not public schools subject to 
Field Act requirements, they are instructive of a potential source of new school capacity. 

2. Revenue Potential. 

The re-use of existing facilities as a joint use may create the opportunity to offset 
costs through the generation of revenues to the district. Consider the office 
building examples where a portion of the building is used by the district for 
classroom space and a portion is leased to users such as childcare or health club 

IV. Findings and Next Steps 

The environment is excellent for exploring and developing joint use opportunities. Through 
SB 50 and the flexibility of this legislation, joint use is made easier. The State Allocation 
Board and Office of Public School Construction are openly encouraging districts to work with 
other entities. Local government and the private sector are aware of school construction 
funding and recognize the opportunity to get facilities built that would serve a broader 
community as well as the district. Still there are a number of challenges that must be 
addressed and resolved. The New Schools Better Neighborhoods Joint Use Working Group 
will next turn its attention to strategies and actions necessary to deal with the issues raised 
in this paper, including: 

1. Joint use facilities, while providing an overall cost savings to the taxpayer, may cost 
school districts more than a facility built solely for school use; 

2. Negotiating joint use agreements followed by ongoing communication between 
partnering entities are staff time intensive; 

3. It is easier for districts to stay in the comfort zone of building schools within its world 
of regulatory constraints; 

4. It is easier for other entities to stay in the comfort zone of constructing buildings 
without the additional regulatory constraints that accompanying school construction; 

5. While SB 50 encourages joint use, it also establishes the new requirement that school 
buildings using state construction funding can only be built on sites that are owned by 
school districts; 

6. Clean-up legislation to address funding for "district-owned sites only" may provide 
that only publicly owned sites can be used for state funded school construction. This 
would eliminate many public-private opportunities for joint use; 

7. School districts are becoming increasingly concerned not only about the cost 
effectiveness of building joint use, but of the long term cost and commitment districts 
must make to operate and maintain community facilities. 

David Abel, Managing Director 

811 West Seventh Street, Suite 900 Los Angeles, CA 90017 
Telephone: (213) 629-9019 Facsimile: (213) 623-9207 


U.S. Department of Education 

Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) 
National Library of Education (NLE) 

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