July 28, 2015; National Public Radio, “nprED”
In large cities across the country, public schools districts are consolidating schools. Sadly, once the schools close, many of the buildings remain vacant, breeding crime and hemorrhaging resources.
Over the last decade, many major cities from Chicago to Tulsa lost large numbers of families with school-aged children. As these families moved to the suburbs, the infrastructure that supported them also emptied, particularly the schools. Many city districts consolidated and closed schools. In the 2010 school year alone, two percent of all public schools in the U.S. were closed. As schools close, one question rarely considered is what happens to the abandoned buildings afterward.
Over the last 43 years, the number of students in the St. Louis, Missouri school district fell almost 80 percent from 115,543 to 24,000. This drastic drop led to the closing of 43 out of the 111 schools in the city, most in the last ten ye