Construction Watch

Local board in Minn. to hear $97.5 million long-range facilities plan

Big changes may be coming to the buildings and facilities of Stillwater Area Public Schools with a possible price tag of nearly $100 million. A long-range facilities planning committee will present changes to almost all of the district’s buildings — including options to build a new elementary school and to expand the high school.

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New California project combines elementary school with housing

 A West Oakland charter school is partnering with an affordable housing developer to combine academics and apartments by building a new $9.5 million elementary school that will be finished in time for classes next fall.

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Boulder Valley voters pass $576.5 million school construction tax increase

Voters passed the Boulder Valley School District's $576.5 million capital construction bond issue, the largest K12 bond in Colorado history. The property tax increase will allow the district to repair and upgrade all of its 55 schools, including rebuilding three elementary schools.

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Lexington 2 voters approve school upgrades in South Carolina

Students and teachers in Lexington 2 can look forward to upgraded school facilities, as voters approved a $225 million bond package to build four new facilities and other renovation projects. But in Kershaw County, voters rejected by a narrow margin a $130 million proposal for school improvements.

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Illinois county brings in the votes for a $250 million facilities plan

With approval from Rockford voters, the Rockford School District will put a $250 million 10-year facilities plan in motion. That means closing eight schools, building two and making improvements at the district’s nearly 40 other early childhood, elementary, middle and high school buildings.

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Ohio lawmakers introduce legislation to lower school construction costs

Two state lawmakers from Boardman and Austintown introduced legislation to reduce school building costs for local school districts and taxpayers. The legislation would require the state to pay set percentages of school construction costs while decreasing the cost of local school improvement levies.

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Construction worker shortage worsens

Construction demand is up dramatically in Texas, partially because of the large number of school construction bond issues approved this year. Meanwhile, many construction workers are finding better jobs elsewhere. But the shortage has been decades in the making. Middle and high schools started dropping vocational courses four decades ago in favor of curriculums focusing on preparing students for college.

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Montgomery County leader asks for over $200 million for construction

The Maryland public school district's superintendent is recommending that $220.8 million be added to the district’s current six-year school construction plan in order to address significant space needs in the school system. The majority would restore the timeline of projects that were delayed last year.

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Bill to curb construction noise near New York City schools gains support

A bill to protect children from harmful noise during construction next to school buildings is gaining momentum in the City Council. The proposed Intro 420 bill would require that construction noise next to city schools not reach above 45 decibels and would task the Department of Environmental Protection with providing regular enforcement.

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Native American schools are struggling

Federally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty and a lack of construction dollars. More than 60 school buildings are listed in poor condition. An estimated $1.3 billion is needed to replace or refurbish these schools.

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