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This thesis, What were School Officials Thinking: The Abandonment of Historic Schools in Rhode Island, addresses the problem that historic schools are being abandoned in favor of new construction because based on the literature there is the perceived relationship between school facilities design and pedagogical outcomes, there are state and local policies that discourage the use of older or historic schools, and there is uninformed decision making. The purpose of this research was to determine the issues and policies that are most given as to why historic schools are abandoned in Rhode Island through a survey research methodology. This was done so that in the future school officials who want to remain in their historic schools will have the opportunity and resources to fully understand how to make this possible or what measures can be put in place, by law if necessary, to keep their schools, and other historic schools, in continued use.