school construction trends up, but some districts opting instead for facility upgrades and renovations
New school construction continues to increase across the country, according to numbers compiled by the U.S. Census, with spending up by nearly 5 percent in the first 10 months of this year over the same time period in 2017.
Overall, for the entire year, school construction projects are up by 8.5 percent nationally.
According to an analysis of those trends by the Washington-based Associated General Contractors, the national increase in school construction has been fueled by increases in residential and commercial property values.
Those increases mean more property tax revenue for school facility projects.
But voter support of general obligation bond issues across the country have also been providing the means for new school construction projects.
Despite those trends, according to the AGC study, the largest district population increases among students ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old have also been in districts more likely to see the renovation, upgrading, or expansion of existing, older buildings.
The districts included in the AGC study include Arizona’s Glendale Union High School District, the Mesa Unified District, the Phoenix Union High School District, and the Tucson Unified District.
Two districts in Colorado were reviewed: the Denver County School District 1, and the Jefferson County School District 1; while in New Mexico, the AGC looked at the Albuquerque Public Schools district.
By Garry Boulard
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