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When schools close forever

From Pew Trust’s Philadelphia and Other Big Cities Struggle to Find Uses for Closed Schools.

Beyond the school closings, what happens when a school closes and the property must be redeveloped. Will the structures be abandoned? How will the property be sold or leased and who is in on planning for redevelopment? Chicago will face this issue if the CPS proceeds with school closings.

In other large cities, the most common use for a shuttered public schools is as a charter school. In Chicago, where the CPS reason for closing existing schools is low enrollment, communities should be considering how the property and buildings can best be used to make a stronger, more vibrant community. Is your Alderman working with your community to look ahead if the local school must be shuttered?

Pew Trusts created a video overview of the challenge of finding new uses for old school buildings so that they don’t sit abandoned.

Beyond the video, you can read about the experiences of 12 cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years.

For more information and to download the report, “Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life,” visit

Community members from Philadelphia talk about school closings from their point of view.

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