Sims 3 bug: Schools are parks

After installing Sims 3: Ambitions, all my schools became parks.

Since I have been stupid enough to waste time on this, I should post this so others can find it with Google. Perhaps they can get away with less work and lost time than I. After all, that is what I would have wanted someone else to do to me. And they tried, too, but mine was a particularly hard case.

I am not sure if it happened as soon as I upgraded, or sometime later. I am not sure if the two mods played a role (I have Awesomemod and Twallan’s StoryProgression mod).  But in any case, it affected all my schools, in all my neighborhoods. The schools became parks. You could go visit them, but you could not take painting courses. Worse, children and teens could not go to school. The school bus would still come, but the kids did not take it.  If I sent them to school, they would just walk around there like a park, which it was marked as on the map too.  There was no other option to go to school. I used Awesomemod’s Supreme Commander and it tried to send them to school as well, but they dropped the attempt without going anywhere.  Unsurprisingly, their grades were dropped to F.  If this continued, most of them would grow up insane or otherwise mentally deformed.

I have fixed the problem, but it was pretty drastic.  I read that you could fix it by going into neighborhood edit mode (one of the choices in the F5 menu) and save the school to the community bin, then delete it and put the copy back.  This did not work for me, though it has for others.  I recommend backing up your saved games before you try anyway – when I bulldozed the school and then the flat land it was built on, it became impossible to place anything there at all.

I also tried saving the school from Riverview and using that instead, as someone else had succeeded with. Did not work for me.

Eventually I backed up the whole My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3 folder to another disk, uninstalled both the expansion and the base game, and installed them again.  Now the schools were back.  On the other hand, Riverview was gone.

I tried to download it again from the launcher. It opened the web page in Internet Explorer, but when I clicked “download again” nothing happened. I closed the launcher, and now when I clicked “download again”, the launcher opened again and downloaded the neighborhood. It did not installed though, but quit with an error message.

The solution turned out to be downloading it from within the game. Again using the F5 menu, I used the game’s download manager while I was playing a home in another neighborhood. This worked.  Now I can load my old save games and the schools are there as well.

I hope this was useful to some poor gamer.  It is not exactly the kind of thing I usually write about these days, I guess.

4 thoughts on “Sims 3 bug: Schools are parks

  1. Hey, i need help in this.
    I reinstalled everything again but nothing works.
    I really want my sims to go to school but for the past 3 days im trying to figure out how to fix this. but nothing seems to work. ):

    • Hi Jasmine!
      I would think perhaps Electronic Arts may have fixed this bug now, since it is several months since Ambitions came out. Did you allow the program loader to update the game to the newest version after you re-installed but before you started playing? I would do that and start a new game and see if the school was marked as a school in the new game. If so, you should be able to copy it to the lots bin and paste it in to your existing neighborhoods after you put those back.

      I just upgraded to Ambition on another computer I have here, and patched it before I started a new neighborhood, and have not had any problems with the school. So it seems worth a try.

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