Attention, K-Mart students

Closed K-marts are being turned into schools in Florida. Remodeling is cheaper than starting from scratch. And there’s already plenty of parking.

Number 2 Pencil suggests leaving the hot dog warmer and the Icee machine.

About Joanne


  1. Do they use the “blue light” in the cafeteria??

  2. Ah, the circle of life in capitalism.

  3. PJ/Maryland says:

    I’ve often thought that schools spend way too much on new buildings. No sensible company thinks they need an entirely new building every 20 years, and insists it has to be built from the ground up. (The parochial school I attended was built in the 1920s, and was used as a school right through the late 1990s.)

    But note that the school is spending $11.6 million to buy two Kmarts, but the final price tag will be $29 million because of all the renovations. Apparently there won’t be much money saved here (“The final expense will be slightly less than traditional elementary schools…”). Granted there have to be sound-proofed walls put in, and a gym, and maybe some windows, but I have to wonder if all the renovation is necessary.

    Lee County has estimated it needs $3.3 billion worth of new schools over the next 20 years, and financial planners say the district presently can borrow only $180 million more in the short term for construction.

    I thought this was interesting. Of course these estimates are usually figments of someone’s imagination, but you’d think the district would be looking for major cost savings (after all, they have money for 1/18th of what they need!). Instead, apparently, they’re saving nickels and dimes.

  4. My old elementary school is more than 100 years old. Of course, in Illinois they have to build to last through the winters. I visited the place 10 years ago. It was amazingly unchanged from the 1950s. They still had the tile my sister made in second grade up on the wall. And the Robin Hood mural by the principal’s office.

  5. I’m not sure there are any major cost savings to be had. Where would they save the money? I’m wondering how much developable land is an issue, too.

    I’ve never lived anywhere (6 states and counting) where new schools were built on a whim every 20 years. The only reasons I’ve seen for new construction is overcrowding or perhaps a building that is way too far gone to save.

  6. In my corner of NJ, the number of students hasn’t changed since about 1970, but they’re making major expansions because of new state-mandated sq ft per student rules. Interesting that the State can mandate this but the towns have to pay for it somehow.

  7. The Lee County High School football championship, 2006:

    Bluelights 27, Kathie Lees 20