Forward Thinking

Based on various data, 2007 is poised to be another strong year for education construction spending. Schools and universities are having success at securing funding for new facilities, as well as for growing repair and retrofit needs.

Both K-12 and higher-education enrollment will continue to climb over the decade — requiring new and improved space to house incoming students. In addition, a review of recent bond data shows bright prospects for education construction and the public's willingness to support capital expenditures.

For example, 2006 was a record-breaking year in terms of the number of school-construction bond issues proposed (920) and passed (603). It also set a record for the largest total-dollar-amount proposed ($51.2 billion) and passed (almost $40 billion).

Among individual school districts, the 10 largest school bond issues passed in 2006 ($ millions):

  1. Wake County, N.C. ($970)
  2. Frisco, Texas ($798)
  3. Sweetwater, Calif. ($644)
  4. Harlandale, Texas ($452.8)
  5. Oswego, Ill. ($450)
    San Francisco, Calif. ($450)
  6. Lake Washington, Wash. ($436)
  7. Oakland, Calif. ($435)
  8. Albuquerque, N.M. ($351)
  9. San Mateo, Calif. ($298)

Looking ahead, the focus on facilities construction and improvement shows no sign of slowing. For example, New York's recently passed budget targets $2.6 billion for new school construction, including $1.8 billion for the city's public schools. It also allows the city to borrow an additional $9.4 billion for school construction.

As schools and universities prepare to address facilities and business operations needs, American School & University offers this special issue — “Outlook 2007” — to help in the process. In it you will find valuable information to assist in your future planning.

In addition, visit the enhanced SchoolDesigns.com, especially if you are planning any type of construction. The site offers unparalleled access to descriptions, data, photos, product specs and more on 3,000 school and university projects.

SCORECARD

920

Number of school construction bond referenda, totaling $51.2 billion, proposed in 2006.

603

Number of school construction bond referenda, totaling $39.97 billion, approved by voters in 2006.

78.1

Percentage of the dollar-total submitted that voters approved in 2006 bond referenda.

65.5

Percentage of the total school construction bond issues approved by voters in 2006.

$10.4

Amount (in billions) of the largest education construction bond issue approved in 2006 (state of California, for K-12 and higher-education facilities).

Source: The Bond Buyer

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