Editor's Note (The View From Here)
School Construction Continues to Increase
- By Jerry Enderle
- January 1st, 2019
In this issue, we present our annual Facilities & Construction Brief. A lot of the information contained in the brief comes from a survey that is completed by some of our readers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey this year. I am encouraged that we received responses from 123 districts from 44 states. Having responses from all regions of the country adds to the reliability of our numbers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total dollar value of education construction work done in the U.S. (including all 50 states and the District of Columbia) is estimated to have exceeded $98.9 billion in 2018. That is a nine-percent increase from the actual amount spent on education construction in 2017. Our survey respondents indicated that most of that construction was in the form of major renovations and modernizations, while new/replacement buildings and construction of additions were within a percent of each other.
Fifty-five percent of those districts that responded said they expect to complete some form of construction in 2019, and 61 percent said they planned to begin at least one construction project this year. Again, the bulk of those projects are major renovations and modernizations. That is not surprising considering that The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card had graded the nation’s school as D+ with 24 percent rated as fair to poor condition.
Nearly all of the respondents reported that their major concern is funding. We can only hope that the president and Congress make investing in public infrastructure a priority this year, and earmark a significant amount to our education facilities.
On May 1, School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management will host our premiere summit, entitled Designing Next-Generation Learning Spaces. The event will take place in Dallas, and be a compact, one-day event for education facility professionals. For more information, go to spaces4learning.com/dallassummit.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of School Planning & Management.