School District Strategic Facilities Plan 2007-08 More than 260 Schools; More than 27,500,000 SF Philadelphia, PA

Demographic trends in Philadelphia suggested that the School District of Philadelphia had the opportunity to economize by closing schools. To understand the impacts of this politically volatile situation, the District needed expert advice for its portfolio of over 27 million square feet of school real estate. The contract was awarded to a team assembled by AthenianRazak. The team projected future population and enrollment trends, confirming and quantifying the opportunity to save money by closing schools. By combining GIS with linear optimization techniques, the team identified schools whose closure was geographically viable. The District received clearly presented data to show that closing schools would not lead to a shortage of facilities in the medium-term future, and an understanding of how to approach this project to include the criteria and principles it needed to set.  The objective, data-driven nature of the analysis assisted in the politically difficult discussions associated with any school-closing process.