Design standards for a high school museum resource center
Wallace, Rex Milford
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A dilemma that educational leaders face in high schools is where to look for visual materials which are easily available for teachers to use without great expense. A solution to this problem is to incorporate a school museum into a high school facility. However, there is a dearth of literature providing standards, guidelines, and other information that educational leaders can use to place a museum in their high school. Therefore, the primary research question for this study was: Will post-occupancy evaluations of existing school museums provide examples of design standards and other information that educational leaders can use to help bring about the changes in educational facilities necessary to place a museum resource center in a high school? This study employed an investigative post-occupancy evaluation using a facilities assessment instrument entitled Appraisal Guide for a Museum Resource Center Building Program. This appraisal guide represented a model for a school museum. The appraisal guide and site interview questions were used as the framework for the gathering of data in this study. Two of the museums in this study were described as separate facilities within a high school and three were defined as separate facilities within a school system. One of the three facilities within a school system received the highest percentage score on the appraisal guide for being closest to the model. None of the facilities in this study had a dark ride, a separate conservation laboratory, an open storage area, or a shop section. All five of the museums in this study had in common the need for more space. The post-occupancy evaluations of the five school museums in this study described, judged, and explained the performance of each facility. The development of the appraisal guide and its use in the post-occupancy evaluations of the five museums provided examples on an item-per-item basis of design patterns that were adaptable to high schools.