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You no longer have to choose between the buildings your students need and what you can afford.

The spiraling costs of school construction have made it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to build schools that support the instruction boys and girls need to compete in the 21st-century world. The per-student costs in many states now top $40,000. Utilizing new technologies and lessons we have learned over the last decade, the DBS team has provided turnkey solutions for much less—often building or renovating space for as little as $11,000 per student. We have built schools from the ground up, re-purposed warehouses and retrofitted manufacturing facilities.

Who can benefit from our services?

• Public Schools

• Charter Schools

• Private Schools

• Religious-affiliated Schools

How can the DBS team deliver the highest quality at lower prices?

The answer is simple. We reverse engineer every project—starting with the desired outcomes and working back. We look for ways to save money, not to spend it. Many schools are designed and built based on the assumptions and practices of 100 years ago. We build schools for the people who use them today, taking advantage of economies of scale that result in the best possible environment for boys and girls. Look at our services and call today to speak with one of our building specialists.

Our Services

Market Analysis:

A market analysis of community needs is done using Proctor and Gamble’s Human Centered Design research tool in order to ensure a clear picture of the populations to be served and the needs of the community related to educating their children. Based on the results of this analysis, we reverse engineer the project, starting with the desired outcomes.


We work with you to find a building or property if needed, choose and retain the right architect for your project, hire a project manager and supervise all aspects of the building, renovation or expansion of your school building. We also will work with your leadership team to design the interior of your school building to create exciting and attractive learning environments. All construction will be done with the infrastructure in place for expansion, anticipating your needs for additional classrooms or perhaps a new wing.

• Project Financing:

We will direct and coordinate all aspects of project financing, including the identification of prospective lenders, oversight of the application process, and negotiation of terms and conditions. Additionally, we explore the possibility of securing non-traditional funding sources like tax credits.

Value Engineering:
We provide cost-effective value engineering  services to improve the performance and functionality of school buildings, while reducing their cost. By analyzing education specifications, building features, systems, equipment, and materials, our value
engineering experts can recommend changes that reduce construction cost while maintaining, performance, reliability, safety and compliance with education specifications and required regulations. We can articulate why proposed changes do not have a negative impact on learning because we are educators first and builders second.

Ongoing Support and Consultation:

We can support your school in many ways to include program and curriculum design, human resources, financial accountability structures, student recruitment and all other aspects of running your school needed to ensure success and build a culture to support your objectives.

Charter School Operator Selection and Vetting:

If you are considering leasing your facility to a charter operator, we will research charter school operators using our extensive network of relationships in the charter school community. We will interview prospective partners to determine which operators fit best with your vision and the culture of your school. We will negotiate contracts with the prospective operator to achieve sustainable agreements that address all relevant issues and contribute to smooth operations and relationships between all the parties.


The Children’s Guild has been operating schools since 1953. We have been designing school interiors since the early 1990s and building and renovating school buildings for the past 15 years. DBS, a division of The National Children’s Guild Fund, offers 65 years of knowledge and depth of experience to help others. You can hire an architect and a builder to design and construct a school, but then you will have a school designed and built by an architect and a builder. Or you can hire DBS and have a school that will motivate discovery, activate the intellect, touch the emotions and stimulate the senses of the children in your school. Additionally, because of the value-engineering process of DBS, your school will maximize the benefit-to-cost ratio for your school program.
Because we believe in transformational education, everything we do puts kids first. We build environments that foster learning based on research and neuroscience. Our buildings and interior designs help to create a culture where children feel valued, complement the learning experience and reflect the population served. Best of all, our non-traditional approach to school construction has allowed us to do all of this at one-third to one-half the cost of traditional public school building construction, coming in on time and on budget at a price you can afford. DBS has experience working in a wide variety of communities with diverse school populations, from the inner city to suburbia. We have renovated warehouses and retrofitted factories and old school buildings. We have also built new school buildings from the ground up.
Our services go beyond bricks and mortar. DBS can do market analysis studies, find a charter school operator, help secure financing, serve as the owner’s representative and provide ongoing support and consultation to your school. If you are thinking about starting a new school, building or renovating a school building or redesigning the interior of your existing building, call DBS today and begin the journey of providing the children in your community the school they need at a price you can afford. Contact Stephen Baldwin at 410-444-3800, ext. 1246, or for more information and a consultation or to arrange a visit to see some of our schools in operation.

DBS / A division of 

The National Children’s Guild Fund
6902 McClean Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21234