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ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012

Yan lowest, and one-third of school district superintendents reported that student drop-off area was unsatisfactory. The Chi-square test results revealed that the rural school district superintendents’ satisfaction ratings with building accessibility did not vary significantly by school characteristics, such as instructional level, region, and percentage of low-income students (all ps > .05). Functional Age of School Building and School Building Conditions Functional age of school building. Rural school buildings tend to be older than the national average age of schools (41 years), with an average age of 44 years (SD = 17.5). Many rural schools have been renovated in the years since they were built. For this reason, to accurately determine the school building age, a functional age was used for this study. For schools that have completed major renovation projects, functional age was identified as the number of years since the completion of such projects. The average functional age of schools, as defined above, was 16 years (SD = 11.5). Fifteen percent of rural schools had a functional age of 35 years or more. One-way ANOVA tests showed the rural schools’ functional age did not show any variation by school characteristics with regards to region, F (2, 123) =1.24, p=.29, and percentage of low-income students, F (3, 122) =.62, p= .60. However, there was some variation in the functional age distributions by school instructional level, F (1,124) = 5.03, p = .03. The average functional age of secondary schools is smaller than the average functional age of elementary schools (13 years versus 18 years). Functional age of school building and school building conditions. Previous studies reported that school age and condition are closely related, with older schools being in worse condition than newer schools (NCES, 2000). In addition to examining the average functional age of schools, schools were further divided into four groups based upon the distribution of schools across different functional age groups. Overall, about 22% of rural schools had a functional age of less than 5 years, 29% had a functional age of 5 to 14 years, 34% had a functional age of 15 to 34 years, and 15% had a functional age of 35 years or more. The relationship between the functional age of schools and school building conditions was further examined by Chi-square tests in: (a) environmental factors, (b) major building feature, (c) building safety, (d) minor building features, (e) building accessibility, and (f) building energy efficiency. The Chi-square test results revealed that school district superintendents were more likely to report environmental factors (indoor air quality, air filtration system, local exhaust system, heating system, air conditioning, and acoustic control of buildings) in old schools (with functional ages of 35 years or more, and those aged 15 to 34 years) in poor condition than those in newer schools with functional ages of less than 5 years or 5 to 14 years (all ps reported by their school district superintendents as in excellent condition. The Chi-square test results revealed that school district superintendents were more likely to report major building feature conditions (roof, foundation, and walls) to be unsatisfactory (in poor and borderline condition) for old schools (with functional ages of 35 years or more, and those aged 15 to 34 years) than for newer schools with functional ages of 5 to 14 years or less than 5 years, (all ps . The roof conditions in over half of schools with functional ages of 35 years or more were reported by their school district superintendents as poor or borderline conditions. 27 Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012


ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012
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