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ing certain prescribed requirements may receive State aid or a plate or other mark of distinction.
The experience of the majority of States is that suitable, safe, and sanitary buildings are best assured when there are State laws or regulations, and inspection by State authorities sufficient to give at least general supervision to the matter of the erection of school buildings. A study of school buildings in almost any section of the country at the present time would show many new as well as old buildings, unsightly, poorly arranged for school purposes, and injurious to the health of children because of improper ventilation, poor lighting, and insanitary conditions. Still others are exceedingly dangerous as fire risks. Scarcely a year passes without loss of life of school children from fires which might have been prepented by buildings with properly arranged exits and fire escapes.
All States now have some regulations governing schoolhouse construction. Much of this legislation has been enacted in the past decade. At least three-fourths of the States have laws on the sanitary features of the building. Many States now require that all plans for schoolhouses be submitted to the State board of health or the State architect or the State board or department of education before public funds can be used in proceeding with the building. Sometimes two or more of the agents mentioned cooperate in the approval of building plans. More and more State departments of education are adding a school architect for whole or half time to their staff. These architects not only approve plans submitted but prepare for the State department plans and specifications for new buildings which may be secured without cost by school districts about to erect buildings. A number of States keep building inspectors in the field constantly to assist in improving old buildings and to see that regulations are followed in the erection of new ones.