An opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun argues that the additional funding for Baltimore City school construction provides an opportunity for the City to revitalize the areas around the schools as well.
The $1.2 billion approved by the Maryland General Assembly for city school construction is a historic opportunity for transformation in Baltimore. But if, after 10 years, the outcome is just new schools, we will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to affect not only schools but entire neighborhoods. As an architect, I believe in the value of good facilities and their ability to create healthy environments that promote learning. But better buildings alone are not enough to restore communities. The challenges faced by Baltimore communities are deeper and more complex than the problems of city schools. True transformation will require a larger, more comprehensive vision for community development that addresses both the problem of failing neighborhoods and the problem of failing schools.