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Is building starting to boom in education?

Plenty of school districts upgrading facilities
Three-quarters of respondents to a DA survey reported some degree of construction plans for the coming year. (Click to enlarge)
Three-quarters of respondents to a DA survey reported some degree of construction plans for the coming year. (Click to enlarge graphic)

The encouraging sounds of construction will be heard at many schools in 2015 as districts are finding the funding to build new facilities and to give facelifts to aging campuses, according to a DA survey of K12 leaders.

Three-quarters of respondents have construction plans for the coming year, with 40 percent expecting to launch building or renovation projects. About a third of the respondents, 34 percent, said they have plans to repair or replace infrastructure.

Sports also will get significant attention, as 32 percent of respondents said athletic fields and facilities would be improved in 2015. When it comes to funding major construction projects, just 19 percent of respondents reported plans to issue bonds in 2015. A quarter of the respondents reported no construction plans at all.

More districts will invest in technology—rather than personnel—in securing their schools in 2015. A full 63 percent reported investments in cameras, security kiosks, biometric entry systems and other technology, while only 11 percent said they would focus on school resource officers or security guards. And 35 percent said their districts will add physical security devices, like entry barriers.

More than half the respondents, or 53 percent, said their districts have plans to offer security training to their staff members.

Cutting costs through energy conservation remains top-of-mind for some district leaders, with 30 percent of respondents saying they expect to start or expand energy-savings initiatives in 2015.

The DA facilities outlook survey was part of a broader set of trend surveys deployed to readers in late 2014. A total of 537 district leaders participated in the surveys.

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