According to Building Design+Construction’s April cover story on charter schools, “charter schools have come a long way in just over two decades. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws recognizing charters, and resistance to charters by public school administrators and teachers’ unions has diminished over the years … Despite this progress, getting schools built remains a daunting task for charter operators … Most charters can only afford to allocate about 14-15% of their budgets to facilities, compared to 22% or more for public schools. Typically, charters will start with one or two kindergartens in leased space and move up a few years later to a K-3 in a renovated space. The real test comes when the charter becomes successful enough to consider building its own facility.”
In the article “23 Things You Need to Know About Charter Schools,” editor Robert Cassidy interviewed HMC Architects’ Phil Nemeth and Steve Prince, along with several other architects, to provide insight into executing successful charter school projects and to provide guidance to charter schools that are looking to build new or expand their facilities.