This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol3", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
In planning a school the playground should be open and airy, proportioned to size and need. The site should, if possible, have a building frontage suitable to its area.
A site open to the sun is specially valuable to children, and important in effects on ventilation and health. The minimum size of site in absence of exceptional circumstances is a quarter acre for every 250 children irrespective of space for teacher's or caretaker's house, and cookery or other centre. If the school is of more than one storey the area may be proportionately reduced, but a minimum open space of 30 square feet per child should be preserved.
Except in case of very small schools, boys' and girls' playgrounds are separate, having, where practicable, separate entrances from the road. All playgrounds should be fairly square, levelled, drained, and enclosed. A portion should be covered, and have one side against a boundary wall. A covered way should never connect offices with main building, while buttresses, corners, and recesses should be avoided. Infants' schools should have the playground on same level as school. A sunny aspect is of importance.
Walls, Floors, and Roofs The Height of Rooms for teaching, if ceiled at level of wall-plate, must be at least 12 ft. from floor to ceiling ; if area of room exceed 360 sq. ft., 13 ft. in height; if 600 sq. ft., it must at least be 14 ft. high.
Height of rooms for teaching, if ceiled to rafters and collar beam, must be at least 12 ft. from floor to wall-plate and 14 ft. to the ceiling at collar. Great care should be taken to render roofs impervious to cold and heat. Those open at apex are very undesirable, and are permitted only where roofs are specially impervious to heat and cold, and where apex ventilation alone is provided.
In case of a school of more than one storey, care must be taken to render floors sound-proof.
The whole of external walls of school and residence should be solid. The thickness must be at least one brick and a half, or 20 inches if of stone. Where hollow walls are proposed, the external leaf must be 9 inches thick, with a 4 1/2 feet lining and a 2-inch cavity between.
The erection of schools lighter in construction- namely, of iron, wood, or other suitable material - is only sanctioned in very special circumstances, as, for example, in colliery districts where, owing to mining operations, no site is available for a building of the ordinary solid type to be safely erected; or where population is not of a stationary nature, as during the progress of a large engineering work, or when temporary accommodation is required during the rebuilding of an old school or the building of a new one.
Where such buildings are proposed, special care must be taken to ensure the comfort of children regarding warmth and ventilation. All walls should have a damp-proof course just above ground level. The whole space within the area of a building should be covered with a layer of concrete not less than 6 inches thick, and air bricks should be inserted in opposite walls to ensure a through current of air under floors, whilst timber should be protected from mortar and cement by asphalt or tar.