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A school isn’t just a box for learning: The way it’s designed can make a big difference in children’s educational experiences.

Building new schools can improve learning outcomes, studies show. Researchers found that a construction program in New Haven, Connecticut, had "large and positive effects" on reading scores among elementary and middle schoolers. A similar study in Los Angeles concluded that a $19.5 billion rebuilding program led to to "significant achievement gains" among elementary schoolers. And there’s even evidence that greater natural light, better air quality, and less noise can calm schools, raising performance.

Jim LaPosta doesn’t think that the benefits stop there.

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