Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

School Business Affairs


Restoration or new construction? That is a dilemma that educational leaders, particularly superintendents and school business officials, have had to wrestle with for years. In the past, state regulations often dictated whether school buildings should be renovated or torn down to make way for new construction. State reimbursement guidelines favored new construction over restoration for public school development by either withholding funds or denying the full state support for restoration projects. In fact, some states established complex formulas that mandated new construction if the cost of restoration exceeded approximately two-thirds of the new construction costs.

Reversing the mindset among many educators and legislators that new construction is always the best option for districts has not been an easy sell for designers, preservationists, and school architects. However, restoration of school properties has been on the rise in recent years, fueled by citizens’ interest in maintaining community landmarks, by districts’ recognition of the importance of preserving existing schools as important community institutions, and by demonstrating that the restoration of aging buildings can be a cost-effective way to preserve history and create safe and exciting educational facilities.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


This article originally appeared in the July/August 2007 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates.

Permission documentation on file.


Association of School Business Officials International





Place of Publication

Reston, VA



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.