One of the questions that readers have asked on the schoobrary is how kids will get their gym classes in two floors of the library. I don’t have the answer to that question yet, but I can tell you that some of the other charter high schools I looked at for this story on comparing the building costs of the schoobrary credit some of their savings to avoiding the stadiums, football fields and other facilities that we associate with big high schools.

Cortez Hill Academy, a charter school that recently closed downtown, didn’t have a gym in the building it leased. One parent at the school told me in interviews last year that physical education classes were at one time held in a public park. High Tech High, which has built its own facilities, eschews stadiums, track and football fields, and full gymnasiums with bleachers.

“It would be nice to have all those things,” High Tech High Chief Financial Officer Kay McElrach said of their two new schools in Chula Vista and North County. “But we can’t afford to do that.”

McElrach said they also save money because they don’t have to pay prevailing wage, do not need to bid out their projects, and aren’t subject to the same earthquake safety laws as schools run by districts. You might remember those earthquake laws: They’re the reason that the schoobrary is now a charterbrary.


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