Renovate or rebuild new, a multi-million dollar decision
Facilities age, materials once thought to be desirable (think asbestos) become known to be toxic, functionality of buildings once thought to be state of the art, become thought of as restrictive or contrary to contemporary methodology (think education classrooms or libraries). At some point buildings are evaluated against the inevitable dilemma.
Is it better to spend the money removing the various toxic materials and renovate the geometry of an old building to accommodate the new technology and functionality? or do we demolish it and start over.
This is a decision which will have many factors involved, from politics to cost of operations to energy efficiency and more. My article below was published during a time
when a community was suffering through this same internal battle over a 100 year old school. The process I watched and participated in is summarized in this article at the link below.