Palm Beach County Superintendent Hopes for Nearly $100M From Jobs Bill for School Construction

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Palm Beach County School District stands to gain $98.4 million for construction and capital projects under President Barack Obama's American Jobs Act, the district learned Tuesday.

The bill, sent from the White House to Congress on Monday, is estimated to cost the U.S. Treasury $447 billion and is meant to jump-start the economy and create jobs. The bill proposes to allot $25 billion for K-12 school infrastructure, including $1.28 billion in Florida schools - and Palm Beach County is slated to get a piece of that pie.

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Bill Malone said the district could quickly put the money to work. The district has a backlog of $397 million worth of construction projects and could get 20 percent of that under way in a year, if they money came through. He added that the district has a backlog of $839 million in major renovations, repairs and modernization; 20 percent of that, also, could be started in a year.

In addition, he said the district has a $21.2 million maintenance backlog that could all be under contract within a year if the money was there to support it.

The projects could include a new bus depot or maintenance compound. Wynnebrook and Melaleuca elementary schools in West Palm Beach and Addison Mizner Elementary in Boca Raton are in line for major renovations.

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