Market Watch

FACILITIES:

Engineers give schools D-minus

The condition of school facilities in the United States is improving, yet still inadequate, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

In its “2001 Report Card for America's Infrastructure,” the group gave schools a D-minus for the condition of their facilities. The barely passing grade was the lowest of any of the 12 infrastructure categories in the report, yet it represented an improvement from the F that schools received from the engineers group in its 1998 report card.

“While local governments have increased spending on school construction and maintenance, problems continue to linger as enrollment outpaces construction in many communities,” the ASCE report says. “With three-quarters of all school buildings failing to provide an effective environment for learning, due to either outdated facilities or overcrowding, the situation could worsen before things improve significantly.”

Overall, the nation's infrastructure received a D-plus from the group.

The 2001 report card is online at www.asce.org/reportcard.

Missing the mark: Infrastructure grades:
ROADS: D+
BRIDGES: C
TRANSIT: C-
AVIATION: D
SCHOOLS: D-
DRINKING WATER: D
WASTEWATER: D
DAMS: D
SOLID WASTE: C+
HAZARDOUS WASTE: D+
NAVIGABLE WATERWAYS: D+
ENERGY: D+
Source: American Society of Civil Engineers

CONSTRUCTION: New headquarters to be constructed

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has selected Olathe, Kan., as the new home of its national office.

The association will relocate from Tulsa, Okla., to a temporary site in Olathe later this year while it constructs a new headquarters — a 12,000-square-foot office and a 20,000-square-foot Character Center, which will be utilized for sportsmanship and character conferences. The NAIA hopes to break ground as early as May and complete construction within 18 months.

The NAIA, an association of 330 mostly smaller colleges, has been based in Tulsa since 1993, when it moved south from Kansas City, Mo. Olathe is a city of nearly 100,000 about 25 miles southwest of Kansas City.

More information on the move is online at www.naia.org.

FUNDING:

Texas districts approve $1 billion in bonds

Three Texas school districts have approved bond issues that will result in more than $1 billion in improvements.

  • The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio won approval of a $495 million plan that will build nine schools, renovate 18 others and pay for new athletic facilities. The district has about 64,000 students and is adding about 1,300 a year.

  • Voters in the Richardson Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area approved a $371 million bond package — $125 million for upgrading facilities, $120 million for new schools, $106.7 million for instruction and technology needs, and $18.8 million to refinance debt. The district has about 34,000 students.

  • The Northwest Independent School District, northwest of Dallas-Fort Worth, won approval of a $182 million package for land purchases, additions, renovations, security improvements, technology upgrades and construction of a stadium. The district has 5,300 students and anticipates adding 3,000 students in the next five years.

For DAILY updates on news, issues and developments in education facilities, construction and business, visit the revamped www.asumag.com.

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