Feature Article - June 2019
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Schools & School Districts

A Look at Trends in Schools & School Districts


While school respondents were not among those most likely to have plans for construction, the percentage who are planning construction has increased from 55.2 percent in 2017 to 64 percent in 2019. This compared with 71.4 percent of non-school respondents in 2019 who are planning for construction. There was an increase in the number of schools planning new construction (from 20 percent in 2018 to 24.5 percent in 2019), as well as those planning additions (from 21.5 percent to 33.8 percent). Another 36 percent of school respondents are planning renovations at their existing facilities. (See Figure 50.)

School respondents' average construction budget fell 9.7 percent from 2018 to 2019, decreasing from $6,360,000 to $5,740,000. That said, this is still 13 percent higher than the average amount budgeted for construction among all respondents.

The features most commonly included at school respondents' facilities remained consistent from 2018 to 2019. The 10 most common features include: locker rooms; indoor courts for sports like basketball and volleyball; bleachers and seating; natural turf sports fields; concessions; classrooms and meeting rooms; fitness centers; outdoor tracks; outdoor sports courts for sports like tennis and basketball; and playgrounds.

Schools were once again far less likely than non-schools to report that they have plans to add features at their facilities over the next three years. Some 24.5 percent of school respondents said they would be adding features at their facilities, compared with 45 percent of non-school respondents.

The 10 most commonly planned features include:

  1. Bleachers and seating (35.3 percent of schools with plans to add features)
  2. Synthetic turf sports fields (23.5 percent)
  3. Locker rooms (17.6 percent)
  4. Fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment (14.7 percent)
  5. Playgrounds (11.8 percent)
  6. Fitness centers (11.8 percent)
  7. Natural turf sports fields (11.8 percent)
  8. Classrooms and meeting rooms (11.8 percent)
  9. Park restroom structures (8.8 percent)
  10. Climbing walls (8.8 percent)

More school respondents in 2019 than in 2018 are planning to add bleachers and seating (up from 32 percent); and locker rooms (up from 18 percent). Fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment, natural turf sports fields, and park restroom structures did not appear among the top 10 planned features in 2018. They replace concessions, indoor sports courts and exercise studios.