Date of Award

Fall 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Franklin Ross Jones

Committee Member

Raymond F. Morgan

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Donald A. Myers


In the mid-1900s there were over eighty thousand public school buildings in the United States housing approximately thirty-nine million pupils. Many were constructed thirty or forty years earlier and have approached the end of their useful life without requiring major retrofitting or replacement. Rising construction costs prompt school systems to investigate alternative means of housing rapidly growing student populations. This study traced the historical background of the school facility and the development of school construction relative to the function of education.

The focus of this study was to ascertain the current use of temporary and permanent housing in the fifty largest school systems in the United States. The protocol for this dissertation required the study of certain systems through the categories of: (1) demographics, (2) facilities, (3) finance, (4) rationale for decision making, and (5) curriculum and instruction.