Schools spending millions on construction

RALEIGH, N.C. School systems in the United States are not only in the business of education, they are also in the construction business, according to the results of a new survey conducted by FMI Corp. in conjunction with the Council for Education Facilities Plan-ners International. According to the FMI K-12 School Construction Management Survey Report, the magnitude of school construction and renovation

RALEIGH, N.C. — School systems in the United States are not only in the business of education, they are also in the construction business, according to the results of a new survey conducted by FMI Corp. in conjunction with the Council for Education Facilities Plan-ners International.

According to the FMI K-12 School Construction Management Survey Report, the magnitude of school construction and renovation and modernization projects in the nation's largest school systems indicates that school systems need to think and act more like the largest owners in the nation.

Facing problems such as rapid growth in enrollment, overcrowded schools and poorly maintained, aging classroom buildings, school systems have been engaged in a rapid increase in construction that started in the mid-1990s and is projected to continue through the next decade. The median annual expenditure for the school systems represented by the survey is $14 million for new construction and $7 million for school modernization and renovation; 37% of the school systems surveyed, however, budget more than $20 million per year for new construction, and 24% report more than $20 million spent for renovation/modernization programs annually.

Despite the rapidly rising need for construction and modernization, school facility directors and managers responding to the survey say that only 34% of school systems have sufficient budgets for construction and renovation needs; 20% do not require a master plan for school construction needs, and only 23% say their planning process is excellent.

The survey concludes that school construction is an important factor in the primary mission of schools, which is to educate students, and the school construction program should be viewed as an important aspect in accomplishing that mission.

To receive the report, contact Phil Warner at pwarn[email protected] or 919/785-9357.