Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

W. Randolph Nichols

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Donald A. Myers


This research tested utilization of the "team approach" to planning for new school construction. The "team approach" is characterized by seven essential variables. To successfully plan a new school building, educators must: (1) involve more than one individual in collecting data; (2) provide quantitative data to the architect; (3) provide qualitative data to the architect; (4) provide data to the architect in advance of design; (5) provide data to the architect in written form; (6) provide original data, not prototype data; and (7) provide data which is used by the architect. Collective use of all seven variables constitute the "team approach" to planning new school construction.

A group of ten urban school divisions which constructed new school buildings since 1984 was selected for review. The question under investigation was: Have urban school divisions which constructed satisfactory school buildings utilized the "team approach" to planning as described in research literature? Data was collected through personal interviews during on-site visitations to each of ten selected schools. The purpose of the interviews was to measure the degree of satisfaction urban school divisions have with new school buildings and to identify the process used by urban divisions when planning new school construction.

Three schools were identified as the most satisfactory and labeled exemplary buildings. Tanner's Creek Elementary School in Norfolk, Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, and Nansemond River High School in Suffolk were perceived by individuals interviewed as the most satisfactory school buildings.

Only Norfolk utilized the "team approach" to planning as defined in school plant planning literature. Fairfax and Suffolk used six of the seven planning variables identified as the "team approach" to planning. Both Fairfax and Suffolk failed to supply architects with original data for each new school, opting to use prototype data when simultaneously constructing more than one building.

The three divisions constructing exemplary schools involve more than a single individual when planning new school construction. Additionally, the individuals planning each of the three exemplary buildings prepare and supply both quantitative and qualitative data to architects in written form in advance of building design. In each case, information presented to architects has been used to produce building designs.