Saturday, April 4, 2009

Idea #5: Sensible Architecture

This point was brought up by a neighbor chatting about the campaign, and also makes a lot of sense to me.

If you look around at the school buildings in Hillsboro, you will likely be impressed with many of them. There are unique designs and architectural touches to each one, and some are quite beautiful. But why has our school district devoted so many resources to its buildings?

Compare to how Intel, one of the most successful and profitable businesses in Oregon, designs its facilities. If you drive by the buildings, you will be rather unimpressed-- they all look like large boxes. On the inside, you will find that many of them seem like exact copies of each other. This isn't by coincidence: the company follows a "copy exactly" methodology, where they make minimal variations to a standard design as they build new facilities.

I see no reason why the school district should be any different. Settle on a standard, simple, modular design and do not waste time or resources changing it, except to the degree absolutely necessary based on local land contours, regulations, or similar issues. Resources that should be going to education should not be spent on making buildings aesthetically pleasing.

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