Feature Article - June 2009
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SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS

A Look at Trends in Schools and School Districts


School Construction

Respondents from schools and school districts were less likely than other respondents to have plans in place for new facilities, additions or renovations over the next three years. Half of respondents from schools and school districts said they have no construction plans over the next three years, compared to just over a third of all respondents. Around a quarter (23.6 percent) have plans for new facilities, and the same number have plans for additions. Just over a third (36.5 percent) have plans for renovations. (See Figure 46.)

School respondents last year were much more likely to indicate they had construction plans in place, with just 30.5 percent indicating they had no plans to build over the next three years.

School respondents last year were much more likely to indicate that they had construction plans, with just 30.5 percent indicating they had no plans to build over the next three years.

That said, schools are among the higher spenders for the construction plans they do have, second only to colleges and universities. On average, respondents from schools are planning to spend $7,426,000 on their construction plans, 53.6 percent more than the across-the-board average, and 6.9 percent more than last year's school respondents were planning to spend.

Also, recent legislation may have an impact on school's likelihood of committing to additional construction. H.R. 2187, the "21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act," introduced by Rep. Ben Chandler (KY), would authorize $6.4 billion in fiscal 2010 for school construction projects. The funds could be used for projects that meet environmentally friendly standards for school modernization or renovations, including installing green roofs, improving infrastructure to encourage more bicycle and pedestrian access, and renovating energy and heating systems to improve efficiency.

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, applauded the measure. "USGBC's vision is that every child will go to a green school within a generation," he said.