Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Applied Research in Business, Management and Economics
The use of an abolished school building for a research facility in partnership between a municipality and university
As public facility management has been a challenge for municipalities under the population decrease and financial difficulties, the merge of schools has been increasing the number of abolished school buildings. In Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, College of Engineering, Nihon University has been using an abolished school building for a research facility on shallow earth thermal for public houses based on a contract with Koriyama City Government in a close relationship with its regional plans. By analysing this case, this study aims to clarify (1) the process of the case, (2) the significance and challenges for municipalities, university, and region, and (3) the contribution to policy objectives such as the spread of renewable energy sources and industrial development. It concludes that (1) favourable relationships between the municipality and the university enabled the use of the school building, (2) the project and partnership are significant to find a means to bring the results of research to society and a way to use the abandoned school, (3) administrative burdens should be eased and (4) the use of the abandoned school buildings can work to push the policies of renewable energy adoption and industry building. It proposes that municipalities should (1) create regulations such as guidelines for sharing costs and procedures for simplifying processes, (2) assess the current state of each abandoned school building and present it, (3) set a framework for subsidies and (4) take on a support role to put research results back into the community.
Keywords: contract between a municipality and a university, industrial development, public facility management, renewable energy, shallow earth thermal.