The teachers and students in my district are lucky. The voters and administrators are committed to keeping older schools like mine (built in 1966) up to the standard of the newer schools. When my school was remodeled this summer, the upgrades were necessary for modern technology to be used safely. We got a new ac system, upgrade electrical systems, more outlets in each room, bathrooms were upgraded to meet ADA, and new staff bathrooms were added. A new wall between the cafeteria and entrance was intended to cut down on noise in the office. The contractor took advantage and added doors that are fire door locked during the day, this forces people coming into the building to pass through the office.
The other major change was adding real walls and doors to the open concept rooms. That has cut down on the noise. It means that today my students could work on their group projects, while next door 4th and 5th graders were taking a district test.
We do have one major security hole. Our school is built around a court yard. On one side the court yard opens onto our play ground. The playground is fenced, but residents of the neighboring apartments cut through the fence so they can cross the play ground. There is a gate that can be pulled down during an emergency closing off the court yard. We would like a door or gate to be placed there with teachers having keys. Maybe in a future bond vote, this will happen.
Even before the remodel our school was well maintained. Yes the new floors look better, the others were worn from 40 years of foot traffic, but they were cleaned daily and waxed over breaks. We never had the pest problems I’ve read about on other sites. We did have a sugar ant problem. That was more about kids and their lunch bags not cleanliness.
The courtyard in the center of our school was neglected. Trees grew there, but not smaller plants. A group of teachers have solved that problem. They wrote a grant and asked for donations to build a butterfly garden. They have had two work days, were the families of our students turned out on Saturdays to do the work.
Our school is 100% Title I school and is 40 years old – and people try to get transferred to our school. Our kids feel they are safe, protected, and valued. Because our students have invested in our school, by doing the work, they are fierce defenders of their school.