Williamstown Elementary Again Closed by Heating Issue, iberkshires

Massachusetts: November 30 2015 -- WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - For the second time this fall, Williamstown Elementary School is closed for the day due to an issue with the heating system.

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Monday morning, the district used its "robocall" notification system to inform families of the closure.

Superintendent Douglas Dias said later in the morning that a leak in the school's primary boiler caused it to shut down over the weekend.

"Fortunately, the damage was contained to the boiler room itself, but the heat was off and there was no hot water," Dias said. "Considering the fact that the building was cool and not conducive to learning, we decided to play it safe."

Dias said that the building's custodian checked in on the boiler on Friday of the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and found it to be operating normally.

When the custodian arrived on Monday at 5 a.m., he discovered the problem.

Dias said that a backup boiler - known to be problematic - did not automatically kick in when the primary unit failed. He did not yet know the reason why the backup did not engage.

"The one that was fully functional, which is all we need, that was the one that sprung a leak," Dias said.

Md. Senator Demanding Answers After Dire Conditions Found Inside City School, CBS Baltimore

Maryland: July 29 2015 -- Peeling paint, live wires and mold-all found inside a Baltimore City school. Now a state senator is demanding answers from the school system about what he calls an emergency situation.
Meghan McCorkell has the disturbing images from inside the building.
The senator says even though school doesn't start until August 31, someone has dropped the ball on giving students what was promised.
Live wires sticking out of a wall, mold growing on the ceiling, carpets filthy dirty inside classrooms.
"Parents are upset, community members are upset," said Senator Bill Ferguson, (D) Baltimore City.
Those are the dire conditions state senator Bill Ferguson, a former city school teacher, found when he went to check on New Era Academy in Cherry Hill last week.

High school staff says renovations needed, The News Virginian

Virginia: December 31 2014 -- Carpet tiles are peeling up from the floors. There are not enough electrical outlets for some classes to all use computers. Waynesboro High School is showing its age and some teachers, as well as administrators say they fully support needed renovations.
The original Waynesboro High School building opened for students in 1938, with renovations taking place in the 1950's, the 1970's and most recently in 2001. The school's library had work done in one of the most recent repairs, with new carpet tiles coming in, but even those are starting to show their age.
"They're coming up, they're horrible," said Karen Galenis, Waynesboro High Media Specialist. Galenis added that the new tiles were great for a year or two, but then started coming up again.

More than 100,000 LA school repairs backlogged; fire safety at risk in some schools, 89.3KPCC

California: September 18 2014 -- From burned out light bulbs and cracked concrete to compromised fire safety systems and exposed electrical wiring, Los Angeles Unified schools are waiting on 116,000 maintenance and safety problems reported since January, records show, and officials said they don't have the staff or money to fix them all. An analysis of 165,400 repair requests filed with the school district this year showed less than a third have been addressed."We are very short staffed," said Roger Finstad, head of maintenance and operations at L.A. Unified. "We're operating at less than half the funding we had just about six years ago." L.A. Unified set aside about $100 million for repairs this year, but Finstad said it would cost about $400 million every year to get all the work done.

Midland Public Schools facilities need up to $140 million in updates, Midland Daily News

Michigan: August 12 2014 -- Midland Public Schools needs an estimated $116.5 million to $140 million to bring its facilities up to date with current health, safety and educational standards, according to a facility assessment released on Monday. MPS Superintendant Michael Sharrow said the district's buildings are aging, with 88 percent of them more than 50 years old. The average age of MPS school buildings is 61 years old.

Many of the buildings are not energy efficient and they lack safety features found in current educational designs, Sharrow said. He said some facilities that closed in recent years are deteriorating.

Harford school officials concerned over lack of capital funding, Baltimore Sun

Connecticut: June 28 2014 -- Harford County Public Schools officials are working with their counterparts across the state to find "alternative" and "creative" methods to raise money for badly-needed capital repairs that, in some cases, could get local school systems in trouble with regulators if maintenance continues to be put off because of a lack of funding.
Prominently cited in the school officials' concerns is maintenance and repair of stormwater management systems at the county's 50-plus school sites.
"This deferred funding that we've had in the last several years is starting to catch up to us," Joe Licata, HCPS chief of administration, said.
Licata and Superintendent Barbara Canavan are part of a statewide task force, made up of representatives of various school districts, that is working to find ways to get more state and local dollars flowing to capital projects, which Licata called a "revenue problem."

Aging Fayette schools challenge maintenance budget, The Register-Herald.com

West Virginia: May 24 2014 -- The abundant cracks and leaks in some of Fayette County's aging school facilities fell victim to spring's heavy rains this month, and Ron Cantley, Fayette Board of Education's operations director, said that patch jobs and short-term fixes aren't going to do the job in the long run.
Leaky roofs, old coal boilers, failing windows and old furnishings are among a few of the many issues plaguing several aging school facilities in Fayette County.With the average Fayette school age topping a half-century old, the list of large maintenance projects only continues to grow, and the budget just can't keep up, Cantley said. Most recently, Collins Middle School's gym flooded. The estimated cost to repair the roof is $870,000, which would eat up more than 70 percent of the county's entire yearly maintenance budget of $1.2 million, Cantley said.

Prince George's students, parents plead for improvements to school facilities, Washington Post

Maryland: April 30 2014 -- At Potomac High School, students said the track hasn't been resurfaced in decades, and parents are worried about sitting on wooden bleachers. At Forest Heights Elementary School, a parent complained about alleged asbestos and roaches crawling around the 61-year-old building. And at High Point High School, community members said little to no structural improvements have been made to the building since 1954. Parent after parent made those charges during a recent Prince George's County Board of Education meeting, arguing that it is time for improvements to be made to their schools."The football field is deplorable, atrocious and maybe even dangerous to play on," said one Potomac High student during the public remarks portion of the board meeting. "Why are we so far down the list to get the improvements we need?"

Students tell Guilford county officials of decaying classrooms, News and Record

North Carolina: April 4 2014 -- Crowder, 14, is the president of Guilford Middle School's Student Government Association - and she's living through her school's decay.
"We have ceilings leaking in my classrooms," Crowder told the commissioners. "It's bad."
At issue: About $79 million for school construction projects Guilford County Schools has designated as priority projects. The school board would like the commissioners to issue voter-approved bond money to begin the projects. But commissioners are reluctant to issue that much bond debt all at once and instead would like to portion it out.

With No Help From State, Newmarket And Other Towns Grapple With Going Solo On School Construction, New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire: March 10 2014 -- There's a problem with the HVAC system at the Junior and Senior high school in Newmarket, and it's making a high pitched squeal. This wing of the school was built in 1924, and Principal Christopher Andriski says the exposed pipes and vents make this screeching sound all the time. The noise, he says, is the system's way of alerting the custodian. "He's gotta manually push a button up there," Andriski explains. At town meeting day on Tuesday, voters in 10 school districts from Keene to Salem and beyond will be deciding whether to go ahead with costly school construction projects, despite an ongoing moratorium on school building aid from the state. Nowhere has paying for school building costs grown more divisive than in the town of Newmarket.

STATE'S URBAN SCHOOLS NEED EXTENSIVE REPAIRS AND EXPANSION, REPORT SAYS, NJSpotlight.com

New Jersey: December 17 2013 -- As many as one-third of education facilities in NJ are not in compliance or up to code. With questions mounting over the slow pace of the state's school repairs and construction, an internal report by the state Department of Education acknowledges the sorry condition of many of New Jersey's urban schools - with as many as one-third of them not up to building code or in compliance.

The July 2013 report - "Educational Facilities Needs Assessment" (EFNA) -- by the state agency's facilities office cites an "enormous need" for repairs and expansion of facilities in the 30 school districts covered by the Abbott v. Burke court rulings that ordered more than $8 billion in school upgrades more than a decade ago.

"The 2013 EFNA continues to show enormous need in the SDA districts to address overcrowding and educational adequacy," the report reads at one point.

Yes, Some New Jersey Students Have To Go To Schools That Look Like This, Huffington Post

New Jersey: October 31 2013 -- Students at New Jersey's most resource-starved public schools walk down hallways covered in mold, take tests in asbestos-filled classrooms and trod across floors peppered with rodent droppings. And when these students visit different districts for sports matches or debate club meets, the inequalities are thrown into sharp relief as the students come face-to-face with the basic cleanliness and safety offered by a majority of the state's educational institutions.
Last Wednesday, a powerful photo exhibit stationed in front of the New Jersey State House displayed the ugly truth hiding inside some of the state's most dilapidated schools, many of them located in urban areas.

Stoughton High School tours show building issues, Wicked Local Stoughton

Massachusetts: October 24 2013 -- Community members got an up close and personal look at the problems with Stoughton High School facilities during public tours held Oct. 8 and Oct. 10.
The tours, led by members of the school administration, walked visitors through the school's buildings to show damage to classrooms and the building's fašade - mostly caused by water - as well as the impacts of space constraints."The auditorium roof is known to leak," Miller said, adding that it already has been repaired several times. "The lights become like fishbowls of water."

Teachers implore state Board of Education to repair Trenton Central High School, nj.com

New Jersey: September 11 2013 -- "The violence in the streets is not going to kill us; it is the rot from the building that has the opportunity to kill us."

That is how Nick Cirillo, a social studies teacher at Trenton Central High School, characterized conditions in the deteriorating building today, as he joined other teachers, legislators and community activists who testified before the state Board of Education, imploring the board to take action to repair the school.

"It is so bad, so foul and so vile that it would make any decent human being vomit," Cirillo said.

Those who testified described the crumbling walls and chipping plaster in the 81-year-old structure on Chambers Street; how the leaking roofs have resulted in mold throughout and caused floors to buckle. They told of mouse infestations, and rusty water that runs from the water fountains.

Arizona schools desperate for repairs, CBS5AZ.com

Arizona: August 13 2013 --
It's been more than 10 years since the state of Arizona spent $1.2 billion repairing the state's crumbling schools, and administrators across the state say they're nearing the breaking point again.
Leaking roofs, plumbing problems, bad air conditioners and outdated electrical systems are the most common complaints submitted to CBS 5 Investigates by school administrators from 130 Arizona public school districts.

"I would say in varying parts of the state we are in a crisis mode and in some places we are approaching it," said David Peterson, who is the superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Schools or slums? Union report shows hazardous disrepair in educational facilities, New York Daily News

New York: May 8 2013 -- Broken toilets, faulty elevators and leaky ceilings - some city public schools are practically slums, according to an analysis of building inspections the school cleaners union released Tuesday.Union Local 32BJ President Hector Figueroa said he was "surprised at the level of neglect and indifference" in many school buildings, as revealed by the city's own inspections.

"When you have doors that don't work, the presence of PCBs, windows that don't shut and toilets in disrepair, you risk the health of our children," Figueroa said. "You disrupt the daily routines that are necessary for learning."

Maintenance backlogs create school safety risks, fiscal bind , thenorthwestern.com

Wisconsin: April 6 2013 -- A boiler failure shut down Oakwood Elementary, a 60-year-old school in Oshkosh, and forced 100 kids to squeeze into another building for weeks in 2009. Gaping holes in the Pulaski Middle School roof are causing leaks in classrooms during rainstorms, risking damage to electrical components and the structure. The building is more than 50 years old. Numerous problems at the 100-year-old Washington Elementary School in Sheboygan prompted school leaders in March to recommend closing the doors because the building has deteriorated beyond repair. Such stories have become common across Wisconsin as the condition of schools deteriorates.

School repairs a must in Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia: March 18 2013 -- Hampton Roads has been crippled by choke points at bridge and tunnel crossings; residents will soon pay crushing tolls as a result of the legislature's decades-long inability to resolve funding issues. Norfolk finds itself in a similar situation with its schools. Two of its oldest elementary schools, Larchmont and Ocean View, were built in 1929 and 1939, respectively. At Ocean View, buckets placed in hallways substitute for a sound roof; during rainstorms water streams down the walls. Antiquated heating and cooling systems alternately freeze and bake students. Ancient wiring cannot support modern technology.

Wheatley Elementary teachers fear school's condition affecting students, WFTV

Florida: February 8 2013 -- Teachers at Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School in Apopka told Channel 9 the school building is falling apart so badly that it's keeping the students from learning.Photos from inside the school show crumbling baseboards, rusty pipes and what appears to be a bullet hole in a window. "I've seen rodents, insects, rat droppings, pipes coming out of the floors," one teacher told WFTV. "How can students really be expected to perform well?"

Parents Say School Building Conditions Make Children Sick, WREG

Mississippi: December 3 2012 -- Parents whose children attend Olive Branch Elementary School said their children are getting sick from the poor conditions of the classrooms. Moms involved with the Parent Teacher Organization shared photos with News Channel 3, showing carpet stains, rusted metal, poorly kept vents and bugs in light fixtures. They said one teacher has even told them of a squirrel falling through the ceiling during class. "It's not funny. I mean, they're dangerous, they carry a lot of diseases, you know there are feces all up there," said Heather Fox. Fox's daughter, who was in kindergarten last year, took naps with her class on those soiled carpets. After coming back to school for first grade, she's developed a lot of health problems and has to stay home.

Special Report: Rebuilding America's Schools, Parade Magazine

National: August 24 2012 -- The average public school in this country is more than 40 years old-and showing its age. Roofs leak, walls are ridden with termites and lead paint, and rooms are chronically overcrowded. PARADE looks at two communities that remade their schools-and the lessons they can teach all of us.

Houston School District to consider investment of rebuilding smaller high schools , Houston Chronicle

Texas: July 11 2012 -- The roof leaks. Electrical circuits spark. At times, sewage seeps into carpets at Yates High School. In classrooms, teachers use outdated chalkboards. They struggle to be heard over noisy air-conditioners that may be spewing warm rather than cold air into the 54-year-old facility.
Tyrone Davis, an assistant principal at Yates, said he has no doubt a new school - with proper temperature control, working computers and wireless internet, and classrooms large enough to accommodate teenagers and technology - would improve enrollment as well as academic performance.

Report finds $2.45 billion in Baltimore school building upgrades needed, Baltimore Sun

Maryland: June 26 2012 -- Fifty Baltimore schools are so dilapidated or underused that they should be closed or rebuilt, according to a new report that also identified $2.45 billion in school infrastructure needs across the city. The findings, released Tuesday, were used by school officials to launch a 10-year campaign to bring the system's buildings up to 21st-century standards. The exhaustive, yearlong assessment of the system's 182 campuses rated the system's overall infrastructure - as well as 69 percent of the schools - as "very poor."

Amid budget politics, Arizona school buildings crumble, Green Valley News and Sun

Arizona: May 10 2012 -- Districts like Kyrene School District are facing the summer's scorching heat with coolers that could break down at any moment, which could send kids home to their parents so emergency repairs can be made. Higley's situation mirrors the larger problem of funding for school facilities in Arizona: not only are schools breaking down, but there's no way to fix the problem. After budget talks about overhauling school building maintenance flopped, the legislature has continued to cut off funding to regular school repairs in violation of the state Constitution and a previous court order.

Eugene schools repair bill skyrockets, Register Guard

Oregon: April 19 2012 -- The Eugene School Board got a sobering overview on Wednesday of the district's many aging and dilapidated schools, some dating to the 1920s and most needing millions of dollars' worth of repair and refurbishing in coming years at an estimated cost of $244 million. The news also could be sobering for taxpayers, if the district ultimately decides to seek a bond measure to pay for building improvements. Most of Eugene's schools were built before 1970. Willagillespie Elementary School is the oldest, constructed in 1925.

Deteriorating Building Conditions Persist in Harford County's Older Public Schools; Asbestos, Mold, Leaks Cited, The Dagger

Maryland: April 1 2012 -- Deteriorating building conditions in Harford County's older public schools were the subject of evocative comments by members of the public and a photo presentation by the president of the teacher's union at a March 12 meeting of the Harford County Board of Education. ...a lack of funding has put a planned replacement of both buildings on hold, along with other major school improvement projects county wide. Such projects are paid for by a combination of state and county funds. At Prospect Mill Elementary School in Bel Air, the winter temperature in one teacher's classroom averaged in the mid to low 50s, and mold in the building caused her to suffer from asthma and allergies resulting in missed time from work...

Harkin Bill Would Provide Billions to Hire Teachers, Fix Up Schools, Education Week

National: March 29 2012 -- As the U.S. House of Representatives gets ready to approve a Republican budget for 2013 that would cut taxes and federal spending, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is offering a countermeasure that would spend more money on things like education and workforce training, and eliminate some corporate tax breaks. First, his bill would provide $20 billion in formula grants to modernize, renovate, and repair early-learning facilities, K-12 schools, and community colleges.

Arizona school funding gap grows between 'have', 'have-not' districts, Tucson Citizen

Arizona: March 3 2012 -- The cracks in the school walls are still spreading. The fire alarms sound too often or don't sound at all. Mechanics struggle to keep old school buses running one more year. Budget managers try to figure out where the money will come from to fix leaky roofs, wheezing air-conditioners and broken vents.

Across Arizona, school districts struggle to find the funds to fix and maintain their buildings, in large part because state lawmakers over the past decade have countered laws and legal rulings meant to help all public-school facilities meet or exceed a basic standard.

Not Enough Funds for Repairs at Connecticut Schools, School Construction News

Connecticut: March 1 2012 -- Schools in the Manchester School District in Connecticut are facing some serious problems. Leaking roofs, failing mortar, paper-thin steam pipes and maxed-out electrical systems are all in need of attention by the district - but costs are high.

The cost to fix just the high priority items is about $10.4 million, according to district manager Richard E. Ziegler.

"Our schools are in rough shape," said Ziegler.

Ziegler presented photos to a school board meeting showing the damage at several schools including roofs at five buildings that needed replacement and steam piping at Nathan Hale Elementary School that could fail anytime, according to Ziegler.

New Bedford school system struggles to maintain aging buildings, South Coast Today

Massachusetts: February 29 2012 -- Between aging buildings and diminished resources, maintaining the school district's facilities has become an ever bigger challenge, with many buildings across the district in need of some work, said school officials."There are growing maintenance concerns throughout the school system: buildings that have leaky roofs, others with old boilers, and others still with various maintenance challenges," Mayor Jon Mitchell said Tuesday. He continued later: "We have old school stock, and try as we might, we're not going to be have brand new schools tomorrow, so we have to do a better job of maintenance." "Because of the cuts in the budget year after year, the most likely place to cut, cut, cut was in the maintenance department budget," said School Committee member John Fletcher.

Medford High School students complain over state of building, Wicked Local - Medford

Massachusetts: February 28 2012 -- School officials received an earful from Medford High School students regarding ongoing problems with the facility. Medford High School seniors and Advisory Council members Charlotte Kelly and Rochelle Lewis were elected by classmates to represent them at the School Committee meeting Feb. 27 to present officials with five areas they feel could be improved upon at the school, including water fountains, light fixtures, science labs, the fitness center and student restrooms."There's a total of 35 water fountains and only seven of them work," Kelly told the committee, adding no functional water fountains exist in the vocational building.

Community colleges have repair backlog, Albert Lea Tribune

Minnesota: February 16 2012 -- The Austin campus has three projects: an updated HVAC system in the West Building and two major roof replacements. These improvements will modernize the original equipment installed in 1971 and improve the building's energy efficiency. The $1.8 million requested is a small amount to reinvest into this important community asset, a building which is worth more than $97 million.

Similarly, the Albert Lea building has a value of more than $35 million. The requested $1.9 million HVAC and roof projects are critical to maintain this core campus.

Robbing public schools, Miami Herald

Florida: February 13 2012 -- As roofs sag in old school buildings, air conditioners break, electric panels blow and mold grows in classrooms where students are expected to learn, the maintenance costs keep adding up in this unwinnable game of catch-up for Florida public school districts facing billions of dollars in needed repairs.

So what does the Florida Legislature propose to do about it?

Nothing substantial. Forget about alleviating this mounting public need or fixing an antiquated funding mechanism that's shortchanging public schools. Yet public education is the state's "paramount duty," as voters made clear when they passed a constitutional amendment in 1998 seeking "adequate" funding for education.

United States: Education support professionals fight for school modernization, Education International

National: February 8 2012 -- According to the US Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of public school buildings in the United States is 42 years, with almost half being built between 1950 and 1969. Many of these buildings have fallen into a state of dilapidation, and teachers and pupils are faced with breaking water pipes, crumbling plaster or even gas leaks.

Last September, a bill containing the elements relevant to school renovation, called "Fix America's Schools Today Act" (FAST Act), was introduced to Congress. Since then, it was stalled there, even though passing it would put up to 400,000 educators back to work and modernise 35,000 aging public schools and community colleges.

State school building aid needed now, Seacoast Online

New Hampshire: January 17 2012 -- After a tour of the Newmarket Junior/Senior High School, there's no doubt in our minds the 88-year-old school is falling apart. The school district and local taxpayers may have to wait until a freeze on state school building aid is lifted. Plaster is falling from the walls and several of the school's 10-year-old computers are broken...classrooms don't have heat and rely on space heaters to keep students warm....without any heating or cooling system - some classrooms get as hot as 97 degrees. Chemistry teacher Jim Fabiano takes his class outside. While typical science experiments in middle school require the use of a Bunsen burner, students can't use them. The classroom is not equipped with gas. According to Superintendent Jim Hayes, before the 2015-16 school year all necessary repairs must be completed; otherwise, the school must be abandoned or reconstructed.

Conference tackles bringing aging schools into 21st Century, Hawaii News Now

Hawaii: January 15 2012 -- "We've got 255 existing schools, a majority of which were built more than 50 years ago, and they are no longer adequate in terms of basic things like electricity," said Randy Moore, assistant school superintendent for facilities and support services. That electricity is now used to power things like computers. Some classrooms in the past have had as few as four electrical outlets. Newer ones, like those at Kapolei High School or Ewa Makai Elementary, can have as many as 24 outlets."It's not simply running some wires around to put in the other 20, but you've got to get wires to the classroom. You get wires to the campus. And in some places you don't have enough electricity in the street to do it," said Moore."You've spent about $300 a student on capital outlay," said Mary Filardo of the group 21st Century School Fund. "Nationally over four years, the average was a thousand."

Many of Our Nations Schools Fall Short in Providing a Minimum Environment for Effective Teaching and Learning, Lilys Blackboard

National: January 9 2012 -- Thousands of schools across the country are in tremendous need of repair, remodeling, or replacement. CNN's Sanjay Gupta tours a Pennsylvania public school with Lily Eskelsen and learns firsthand how indoor air quality issues affect student success. Schools like this one fall woefully short in providing a minimum environment for effective teaching and learning. It represents the types of problems America's public school students face nationwide. Click to article to see video.

Educators make the case for modernization , Education Votes NEA

National: January 7 2012 -- "There are exciting new advances in science and technology every day," says chemistry instructor Erin Almlie-but unfortunately, you wouldn't know it to see her classroom and laboratory at Northland Community College in the northwestern corner of Minnesota. Even worse, neither would her students.
And that's because, unfortunately, Northland's educators, like so many others at two-year community and technical colleges across the nation, are handicapped by their out-of-date facilities. How can you prepare students for tomorrow's careers in yesterday's classrooms?

Feds could fund Connecticut school renovations, Congressman says, My Record Journal

Connecticut: January 6 2012 -- In its 40-plus years of existence, Casimir Pulaski School has never received an upgrade. The windows, flooring and even thin, sliding walls in some rooms are all original. The school, like many others in the city school district, is in need of renovation. The need across the state and nation for updates combined with a lack of funds, however, has made some of the buildings even more outdated.
"Unfortunately, this is not a unique school," U.S. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn. said. "There are thousands of schools around this country and state where teachers are making do, where educational miracles are happening on a daily basis, but where school improvements are long, long overdue."

Montgomery County Public Schools asks MD state for more construction funding, Washington Examiner

Maryland: December 31 2011 -- Montgomery County Public Schools are asking the state to reconsider the $24 million its willing to pay for construction projects because it's $160.5 million short of what the cash-strapped school system says it should have gotten."They have to make a decision as to whether there are other sources of funding, or [project] reductions are going to have to be made," said Larry Bowers, chief operating officer of the school system.
MCPS requested $184.5 million from the state for 71 construction projects, ranging from roof repairs and renovations to classroom additions and new schools. The county has already committed to funding most of these projects, and the majority are underway.

Yonkers prepares to start $1.7B work on aging school facilities, lohud.com

New York: December 22 2011 -- Work is expected to begin next year on the city school district's $1.7 billion plan to rehabilitate nearly all of its aging buildings. The Board of Education unanimously approved the 15-year plan last week. The plan comes as the city grapples with crowding in schools that are dark, poorly ventilated and too small, district officials said. 36 of the district's 38 buildings are rated "unsatisfactory" under state-mandated guidelines. Many fail to meet disability-accessibility standards. Others have inadequate heating, ventilation and plumbing systems. The first phase alone is expected to create more than 13,560 jobs, according to Russell Davidson of KG&D Architects, which helped the district develop the facilities plan.

School district finding it harder to put off desperately needed repairs, Las Vegas Sun

Nevada: December 19 2011 -- Amid the worst recession in more than 50 years, the Clark County School District estimates it will need $5.1 billion (with a "b") to repair and modernize its school buildings over the next 10 years - work that was put off because there wasn't money to do it.

More than $3 billion is needed to fix dilapidated schools. Nine new elementary schools need to be built to alleviate overcrowded classrooms. And the district wants to invest nearly $1 billion in technology and equipment to prepare children for their digital future.

Study Tallies a District's Return on Investment, Education Week

Virginia: December 6 2011 -- For capital spending, the report estimates that every dollar the district spends results in $1.55 in total regional spending. Every $1 million of capital spending, such as for school modernization or construction, is associated with about 13 jobs, by Mr. Walden's calculations. Not content with making an argument that good schools have an economic value that is unmeasurable, the district asked a university economist to calculate just what it brings both to the city and the Hampton Roads region in southeastern Virginia.

As the city and the school district head into budget season, Mr. Merrill said he wanted to make an argument for school funding based on business principles."I'm growing weary of that public sentiment that we're a drainer of public resources," Mr. Merrill said. "Yes, we use public resources, but look at what we get in return. You really need to couch funding for schools in terms of investment and return."

Community Colleges Need Help F.A.S.T., National Education Association

National: December 5 2011 -- The future nurses, respiratory therapists, X-ray technicians, and other allied health employees at Oregon's Rogue Community College get an excellent science education in their old 1970s-style building. The problem is - it can't fit them all. Tiny laboratories limit the number of students who can take biology lab or other required, hands-on courses, which forces Jim Van Brunt, the chair of the science department, to reluctantly turn them away from classes.

The answer? A Senate bill known as the F.A.S.T. Act (Fix America's Schools Today) would offer $30 billion for school modernizations, including $5 billion specifically for community colleges, and could go a long way toward improving opportunities for students across the country.

Kentucky's School Facility Assessment Scores Released, Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky: November 29 2011 -- The results of the 2011 Kentucky Facilities Inventory and Classification System (KFICS) project are now available on the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) website.

The reports show the list of schools with Kentucky School Scores and the individual School Reports with details of the assessment, such as general school information, deficiencies identified, educational suitability and technology readiness criteria evaluated.

The study indicates Kentucky K12 public schools need $3.7 billion to bring their schools into good repair and make them educationally adequate and technologically ready.

This project assessed the physical condition, educational suitability and technology readiness of the schools relative to Kentucky's regulations and standards.

Democrats Pushing Hard for $30 Billion School Building Bill, CQ Roll Call

National: November 29 2011 -- Senate Democratic leaders have begun reaching out to centrists in both parties in a long-shot effort to pass a bill that would provide $30 billion for public school and community college construction projects.

Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leaders would like to advance what may be the final piece of President Obama's job-creation proposal before Congress recesses for the holidays. But Republicans appear united in opposition to the bill, and are particularly resistant to the Democrats' plan to offset its cost by imposing a tax increase on couples or individuals with annual incomes above $1 million.

Oshkosh (WI) district's 5 year maintenance plan - a small dent in district's $43.1 million in overall maintenance needs, The NorthWestern

Wisconsin: November 21 2011 -- School roof repairs, building exterior improvements and boiler replacements dominate a new five-year capital improvements plan for the Oshkosh Area School District. This is the district's first multi-year plan for addressing a mountain of deferred maintenance needs since a fizzled 10-year facilities plan crafted by school board members in 2007.

The new plan calls for spending between $1.5 million and $1.7 annually for a total of $7.9 million in school building repairs by 2017. An additional $2.6 million will be spent over the next two years on projects approved by a referendum in 2009. That spending will make only a small dent in the district's $43.1 million in overall maintenance needs.

Video: Teachers Across the Nation Describe their School Facilities, National Education Association

National: November 16 2011 -- Far too many students are learning in schools with leaky roofs and peeling paint in overcrowded classrooms with out-of-date or no technology. Senator Brown (D-OH) and Representative DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced the Fix America's Schools Today Act (S. 1597/H.R. 2948), which would provide needed funds to ensure students the learning environments so essential to their success.

Education Support Professionals are on the front lines in the fight for school modernization. Many times they are the first or only school staff to recognize health and safety issues that can dramatically effect students and their ability to learn. ESPs fight tirelessly for school modernization and the well being of their students and fellow staff.

'Too big to fix' points to need for government school rebuilding program, LOHUD.com

National: November 15 2011 -- A major state or federal funding program is needed to rebuild the nation's schools, a national education group said Monday following a Journal News special report on the declining state of school buildings.

Mary Filardo, executive director of the 21st Century School Fund, said that taxpayers are beginning to understand the need to fix schools. "My prediction is that as people are made aware of the conditions and the costs of repairs and the cost of not making the repairs, there will be pressure for states to do more," Filardo said. "This isn't just a problem for the schools. It's a problem for our communities."

Mississippi schools need millions for renovations, Clarion Ledger

Mississippi: October 31 2011 -- Leaky roofs, aging buildings and ancient portable classrooms aren't just aesthetic issues. School buildings in poor condition can impair students' learning, some educators and advocates say.

If everything else is equal, students in a building that's in better condition and has a better design perform better, said Mary Filardo, executive director of the 21st Century School Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that aims to improve facilities in urban public schools. Students in better facilities tend to score between 3 percent and 5 percent higher on standardized tests, she said.

"It doesn't seem like a lot," she said, but district officials spend lots of money on teacher training, tutors and other things that are not as reliable as ensuring buildings are adequate, she said.

Aging Academy: School building doesn't meet needs, studies show, Sea Coast Online

New Hampshire: October 28 2011 -- Parents who took a tour of Hampton Academy on Tuesday said it was apparent why school officials are taking a hard look at either renovating the existing building for $26 million or constructing a new middle school on land it owns off Towle Farm Road at an estimated cost of $28 million.

The current middle school, which was constructed in 1939, has serious ventilation problems, doesn't meet fire code and doesn't meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to studies done on the building by an architecture and engineering firm.

A small gym inside the school doesn't meet regulations for competitive sports, causing students to have to go to Marston School to play games, and there is no place big enough in the building to hold a school-wide assembly.

Murphy said no proposal will go before voters for at least two years because there is currently a moratorium on school building aid from the state.

Beloit School District(IL) Facilities problems outlined, Beloit Daily News

Illinois: October 26 2011 -- Beloit School District Manager of Buildings and Grounds Jeff Jacobson gave a facilities update at Tuesday evening's board meeting, detailing the district's most pressing needs.

There are 1,166,918-square-feet of educational facilities in the district located on 156.6 acres. Issues of grave concern are roofing systems, boilers, windows and doors, the necessity for asbestos removal, kitchen renovations, parking lots, Americans with Disability Act requirements and much-needed classroom light retrofits.
There are six elementary buildings with one aging boiler: Converse (1953); Hackett (1989), McLenegan (1999); Merrill (1966); Robinson (1955); and Royce (1958). There are two buildings with insufficient heating - Morgan Elementary School and Kolak Education Center.

"Efficiencies are running at a percentage of what they are designed to do," he said.

There are also concerns of proper ventilation and air conditioning to protect computer labs.

Roofing systems were evaluated in 2007 by Facility Engineering Inc. with recommendations for $4.1 million in work through 2012.

"We are at the end of the life on many of these roofing systems," he said.

Districtwide average roofing age is 18 years. Roofing upgrades have been identified at Cunningham Elementary, Royce Elementary, Wright Elementary, Kolak Education Center and Aldrich Middle School.

Elementary inspections in 2008 recommended tuck pointing repairs at all locations. Brick fractures and mortar joint failures are occurring because of building settlement and thermal expansions and contractions. Problems have been identified at Converse, Hackett, Merrill, Morgan, Todd and Aldrich schools.

There is also a need for exit door replacements. Many doors have worn hinges, defective locks and compromised security. A number of windows also need replacement in order to prevent moisture damage, and to keep out insects. Most severe needs have been identified at Beloit Memorial High School and Hackett.

Howard County School Construction Budget is Tight, Elkridge Patch

Maryland: October 20 2011 -- The director of facilities for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) told the County Council this week that a capital budget plan for 2013 is going to be a "stretch" and hard decisions are ahead.

"There will be some things in this budget that won't be funded," Ken Roey said in presenting the 2013 proposals along with the 2014-2018 capital improvement plan to the County Council. "We'll be facing some tough decisions."

The $98.7 million budget for capital projects in 2013 lists seven major endeavors:
-New elementary school for northeast
-New middle school for northeast
-Atholton High School renovations
-Phelps Luck Elementary renovations
-Longfellow Elementary renovations
-Gorman Crossing addition
-Running Brook Elementary addition

In addition to those projects, which total $64 million, there is approximately $35 million in the budget dedicated to systemic renovations, roofing, portable classrooms, playground equipment, technology and other expenditures

Bipartisan Support for Fixing Our Schools!, Jared Bernstein Blog

National: October 14 2011 -- On October 12, Senators Webb and Warner introduced a bill to rehabilitate the nation's historic schools. According to their press release, this proposal is also supported by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

My FAST! colleagues and I were very happy to see this bipartisan support for fixing up our public school buildings. Like they say, the first step towards fixing a problem is recognizing the problem and taking responsibility for it. We worry, however, that their plan is too limited in scope. This limits the impact both in terms of jobs and school modernization.

Fix America's Schools Today (FAST!) -introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (S. 1597) and Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro (H.B. 2948) like the President's plan, would provide grants for repair and modernization directly to state education agencies and local school districts by formula, accounting for need. The resources would get out the door quickly, and repair projects would ramp up right away. With FAST thousands of schools can be repaired and modernized and nearly 250,000 jobs can be created.

Pentagon lacks funding to fix public schools on military bases, Huffington Post

National: September 21 2011 -- A top Pentagon official has acknowledged that the Defense Department is more than $1 billion short of what's needed to repair decrepit public schools on military bases that were the subject of a recent iWatch News investigation.

A recent Pentagon report , however, found that about 62 of the 160 civilian-run schools are in "poor" or "failing" condition.

An investigation by iWatchNews in June found that many of the schools attended by children of military personnel are in poor shape. Where military children go to school depends on circumstances often beyond families' control. More than 500,000 children, the largest proportion, live off base, attending local schools in urban or suburban communities that often have significantly more resources.

Rooney's sober assessment deals with those base schools operated by local districts, which are attended by about 150,000 students . Funding fixes for these schools is especially complex. For one thing, the Pentagon can't use its own funds for civilian schools on military bases and must obtain a special congressional appropriation. These schools are also required to cover 20 percent of the repair bill themselves. But school districts also frequently have trouble raising money for construction work on base schools through new local taxes or bonds because military families often don't vote or pay taxes in their communities.

PSD parents seek solution to school heat issue, Coloradoan

Colorado: September 20 2011 -- As temperatures cool down and fall approaches, Poudre School District parents are still seeking a solution for increasing temperatures at the start of the school year.

Nearly 70 percent of school facilities in the district- including school gymnasiums- lack air conditioning due to the elevated cost of providing air conditioning throughout the entire district, according to Pete Hall, director of facilities. In 2006, it was estimated that such an effort would cost $45 million to $50 million.

Palm Beach County superintendent hopes for nearly $100M from jobs bill for school construction, Palm Beach Post

Florida: September 14 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 proposes to allot $25 billion for K-12 school infrastructure, including $1.28 billion in Florida schools. 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.