Schools in and around downtown

I just posted a quick one about Wiley Elementary and how they will be wrapping up construction on an expansion and renovation this summer over on St. Mary’s Street.

Schools aren’t discussed much on this community but perhaps it should as the current model of school building is very suburban and you can’t find enough land to put a new school in most places in Raleigh.

Alternatives? You need to build taller and denser which planners seem to squirm about these days.

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I wonder if that isn’t driven by the ADA rules. You could never build a school like Wiley, Olds, Washington & I am sure others that appeared to have gone up at the same time, today. (That 20s & 30s elementary school Gothic) Elevators can complicate safety for children & increase costs. Of course a good challenge is what brings out great architecture!!

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It’s hard enough to get perfectly capable 8 year olds out of Costco shopping carts these days (playing on their phones and tablets), no less getting them to walk up stairs in their school buildings.

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I think schools are overrated. With wikipedia and YouTube, what else do you need? lol

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I drive by Wiley Regularly. I have a heard time believing they will wrap that up by this summer. They just started putting up steel a month or two ago. Hope they pull it off.

Your write I learnt everey thang I no from the Internet and I’m fine.
But seriously this is a good topic. We’re going to have schools in and around downtown what the best way to utilize them for not only school activities but community activities when school isn’t in session? It seems like that’s done a lot with Project Enlightenment in Boylan but could there be even more uses?

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@Straggler and I mentioned in another topic that our downtown residences aren’t zoned for schools that are within walking distance from our homes. With density increasing downtown, it doesn’t make sense for downtown residents’ children to have to be bused 17 miles away for school.

I’ve heard the excuse that the schools closest to us are full, but does this really make sense???

I’m sure that socioeconomic issues are at play. My neighborhood was historically low income, and is near Heritage Park, which is zoned for the same schools as my property. But homes on the next street over are zoned for Wiley, Daniels, and Broughton.

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There are three story schools throughout the county. The building design and layout are not really what makes them anti-urban. It is the acreage requirements which go partly to athletic/play areas but mostly to carpool lanes and parking lots that cause the problem. Like it or not, parents driving their kids to school in the morning is a fact of life around here these days. Hard to think of how to accommodate that without big problems or extreme expense. Carpool on floor 1, parking on floor 2, classrooms floor 3-5, outdoor space on the roof?

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Actually, “learnt” is normal in the UK and other English speaking countries. :wink:

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I mean if we accept outdoor space like the Dillon’s 9th floor terrace as outdoor space meeting the requirements why couldn’t outdoor space at a school work also?

I think Raleigh schools would just have to slim down a bit, not to an extreme, but the point is to take full advantage of the land we have. Maybe one day, the parking lots of Wiley and Broughton will have buildings on them and a team of industrial engineers can smooth over the mass “rush” to and from school so as not to cause a huge burden on the roads.

Or kids can ride the GoRaleigh bus to school when they are young. This is not a crazy idea BTW. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Another school-related topic to throw into the mix here is the site of the old Bobby Murray Chevrolet on Capital. This seems like a good re-use but would be great if it was more mixed-use as Capital will have BRT in this area. Of course, you have this mentality:

One of the issues that would need to be resolved is whether the school would offer a special theme. The property’s small size means it can’t be like a traditional Wake high school that has more than 2,000 students.

I think 2,000 cars can fit on this property easily.

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Conn Elementary is actually being torn down so they can build a taller new Conn Elementary in its place. So they are definitely thinking about how to pack more school into the near downtown area. I am sure this will be an interesting trend to watch. I know transit oriented development is a topic that has picked up, but I think there are things like School and Parks where we could plan development that makes them easier to access without needing cars if we planned more development oriented towards them.

  • Library oriented development
  • Parks and Greenway oriented development
  • Grocery store oriented development
  • School oriented development
  • Job oriented development
    What are the other things that people need to access?
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Hope they build the school on stilts like beach houses.

Yeah this is pretty much normal in lots of places in the US. Sometimes a bus will deviate somewhat from its regular route for one run in the morning and one run in the afternoon in order to drop kids off at the curb directly in front of their school.

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I read (once upon a time in Asphalt Nation(?maybe?) ) that the biggest single expense to the educational system, not directly towards actual education, was having to start busing kids around. Traditionally, kids walked to and from school and buses weren’t a thing. But as the autos took over, and we spread out, buses became necessary to get kids to and from school.

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I used to take the subway and city bus to and from school in Dowtown Buffalo. Its the norm for all us city kids.

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That’s probably very normal in larger cities, but personally, I’d never send my child off on a public city bus unsupervised ever. I’ll drive them to school before it came to that.

Two of my friends used to ride the bus from Cary into Downtown Raleigh most days to go to high school. It’s certainly an option if both ends of your school commute are near transit, as theirs was.

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Well this was in high school. Walked to elementary and middle school.

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I know of at least 3 examples of kids riding the city bus to school. There’s 2 kids on my bus every morning who go to Moore Square Middle. Another kid down the street from me rides the city bus to Martin Middle. My neighbors growing up took the city bus to Exploris for school everyday.

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