35th Annual Official Education Construction Report

35th Annual Official Education Construction Report

Spending on construction by the nation's education institutions increased in 2008.

Spending on construction by the nation's education institutions increased in 2008, reversing four years of declines in total annual expenditures, according to American School & University's 35th annual Official Education Construction Report.

One of the reasons for the increase in spending was the fact that the majority of the construction projects were started prior to the escalation of the economic crisis and were locked in to higher prices for materials and labor, among other things. Total spending on new, addition and modernization construction by school districts and higher-education institutions increased to $43.3 billion in 2008 from $32.9 billion the year before.

Spending by school districts increased to $25.5 billion in 2008 from $20.3 billion in 2007. New construction spending by K-12 institutions grew 18 percent and addition/modernization spending jumped 46 percent. Colleges and universities spent $17.8 billion on construction in 2008, up from $12.7 billion the year before. Expenditures grew 35 percent for new construction and 48 percent for additions and modernizations.

The following pages contain the authoritative source for education construction data, detailing spending by type of institution; projected spending through 2011; per-square-foot and per-student costs; and much more. In addition, data on the impact of green and security on education construction is included, providing you with insight as you plan future construction projects.

The Trusted Source

As the bellwether report documenting education construction activity for the past 35 years, American School & University's Official Education Construction Report is regularly referenced by local, state and federal agencies, as well as the nation's leading news organizations. AS&U actually started compiling data on school and university construction in 1950 for the 1949 year. After a decade or so of yearly surveys, data began being compiled sporadically until industry demand prompted AS&U to start collecting data annually again. The annual reports resurfaced in 1975 with information on education construction completed in 1974, and data has been collected and published every year since. American School & University is the only authorized source of this education construction information.

Methodology: Arriving at the results

Results for the 35th annual Official Education Construction Report were compiled via a detailed questionnaire sent to chief business officials at the nation's school districts and colleges, asking about construction completed during the past year and construction planned to be completed in the next three years.

Administrators that completed or planned construction during this timeframe were then asked to provide a variety of details on the amount being spent, the type of construction being done (new, addition or modernization), and the expected completion date. All respondents involved with new and retrofit construction were asked to provide additional information on each project. Follow-up correspondence was made to clarify some data. Responses were separated by institution type, region of the country and institution size, and projected across the education universe.

Education construction completed in 2008

The National Picture ($000s)

School Districts
$17,327,270 New
$8,185,048 Adds/Mods
$25,512,318 Total
Colleges
$9,829,779 New
$7,955,333 Adds/Mods
$17,785,112 Total
All Education
$27,157,049 New
$16,140,381 Adds/Mods
$43,297,430 Total

 

  • Education construction projected to be completed in 2009--2011

The National Picture ($000s)

School Districts
$43,750,822 New
$19,605,268 Adds/Mods
$63,356,090 Total
Colleges
$29,483,012 New
$20,972,965 Adds/Mods
$50,455,977 Total
All Education
$73,233,834 New
$40,578,233 Adds/Mods
$113,812,067 Total

 

New school costs (median)

  Elementary Middle High
Cost/Square Foot $154 $167 $154
Cost/Student $18,833 $24,143 $23,125
Square Feet/Student 123 145 150
Number of Pupils 600 700 1,600
Size (sq. ft.) 73,590 101,328 240,695
Total Cost ($000) $11,300 $16,900 $37,000

 

New college building data (median)

 

School construction trends--10 years of activity

Construction spending by school districts increased in 2008 from a decade's low in 2007. Results over the past 10 years ($ billions):

 

School Data

4,235
Mean number of students at responding school districts.

29
Percentage of school districts completing some form of construction project in 2008.

46
Percentage of school districts planning a construction project to be completed by 2011.

$17.8
Amount, in millions, the median new school district construction project completed by 2011 is expected to cost.

$38
Amount, in millions, the mean new school district construction project completed by 2011 is expected to cost.

 

College Data

7,087
Mean number of FTE students at responding colleges and universities.

57
Percentage of colleges and universities completing some form of construction project in 2008.

70
Percentage of colleges and universities planning a construction project to be completed by 2011.

$18
Amount, in millions, the median new college and university construction project completed by 2011 is expected to cost.

$37.1
Amount, in millions, the mean new college and university construction project completed by 2011 is expected to cost.

 

Total education construction activity--10 years of activity

Total spending on construction by all education institutions over the past 10 years (in $ billions):

 

College construction trends--10 years of activity

Construction spending by colleges and universities continued to climb in 2008, with new construction making up more than half the expenditures. Results over the decade ($ billions):

 

Construction Insight: School Districts

School construction projects are embracing green principles and security considerations. As part of AS&U's Official Education Construction Report, those SCHOOL DISTRICTS that completed new projects or were planning to complete construction by 2011 were asked a number of questions regarding the importance of green and security issues in their programs.

Here are the results:

How important is the incorporation of security equipment (cameras, locks/access control, etc.) in your construction project?

National: 59.3% very important.

South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) ranked the highest (71.4% very important).

East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked the lowest (23.8% very important).


Are green/sustainable concepts important in determining the types of materials/products used in your construction project?

National: 70.7% yes.

Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) ranked the highest (85.0% yes).

West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) ranked the lowest (44.8% yes).


If yes, what areas incorporate green decisions?

LIGHTING/CONTROLS 86.0% (National)

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked highest (100%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (64.7%).

HVAC 77.3% (National)

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked highest (100%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (64.7%).

DAYLIGHTING/CONTROLS 70.7% (National)

  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (81.3%).

  • West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD) ranked lowest (58.1%).

BUILDING MATERIALS 61.6% (National)

  • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) ranked highest (85.3%).

  • South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) ranked lowest (46.7%).

WASHROOMS 57.6% (National)

  • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) ranked highest (70.6%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (29.4%).

ROOFING 56.3% (National)

  • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) ranked highest (84.6%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (35.3%).

FLOORING/CARPETING 54.1% (National)

  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (72.7%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (35.3%).

FURNITURE/FURNISHINGS 29.3% (National)

  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (45.5%).

  • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) ranked lowest (22.9%).

 

Construction Insight: Colleges

As part of AS&U's Official Education Construction Report, COLLEGES that completed new projects or were planning to complete construction by 2011 were asked a number of questions regarding the importance of green and security issues in their programs.

Here are the results:

How important is the incorporation of security equipment (cameras, locks/access control, etc.) in your construction project?

National 62.2% (very important).

West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) and

Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) ranked the highest (66.7% very important).

New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked the lowest (41.7% very important).


Are green/sustainable concepts important in determining the types of materials/products used in your construction project?

National: 88.3% yes.

New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) and Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) ranked the highest (100% yes).

West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) ranked the lowest (70.8% yes).


If yes, what areas incorporate green decisions?

LIGHTING/CONTROLS 86.2% (National)

  • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) ranked highest (95.3%).

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked lowest (66.7%).

HVAC 84.2% (National)

  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) ranked highest (100%).

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked lowest (66.7%).

BUILDING MATERIALS 79.3% (National)

  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) ranked highest (94.4%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (64.3%).

DAYLIGHTING/WINDOWS 77.8% (National)

  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) ranked highest (94.4%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (64.3%).

FLOORING/CARPETING 67% (National)

  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) and Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (77.8%).

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked lowest (41.7%).

WASHROOMS 66% (National)

  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) ranked highest (75%).

  • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) ranked lowest (35.3%).

ROOFING 65% (National)

  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (83.3%).

  • South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) ranked lowest (54.8%).

FURNITURE/FURNISHINGS 47.8% (National)

  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) ranked highest (61.1%).

  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) ranked lowest (28.6%).

Agron is editor-in-chief of AS&U.

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