With an estimated $4.1 billion in capital funding from the state legislature expected over the next 10 years, the Clark County (Nev.) School District says it will build 35 elementary schools and two high school campuses and add onto another 54 campuses to keep up with the demand for classroom space in the 320,000-student district.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Clark County school board has approved a 10-year facilities plan that calls for about $2 billion for new schools as well as additions at 54 existing campuses, and another $2.1 billion for renovations or replacements of some of the district's aging buildings.
In most contexts, $4.1 billion is a massive amount of money, but that doesn't cover even half of the projected facility needs in Clark County, the nation's fifth-largest public school system. Officials estimated that the district would need $8.3 billion to address all its facility needs in the next decade.
Before the unanimous board vote adopting the capital plan, district administrators stressed that they can and will revise it to keep up with changing enrollment patterns and tax revenues.
The last time Clark County, issued debt to pay for new construction, in 1998, the initial estimate of $3.1 billion rose to $4.9 billion and included several projects not part of the original proposal.
As of this week, the district reported an enrollment of 320,123 students, about 3,000 less than projected.
District officials recently made a two-year, $850 million commitment to state lawmakers to build 12 new elementary schools, add space at 43 existing campuses, and replace four aging schools.