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Big Plans

Big Plans

For many of us, 2008 was a year we were glad to see end.

For many of us, 2008 was a year we were glad to see end. As 2009 begins, the country finds itself embroiled in an economic crisis not seen in generations; and welcomes a new president who, among other things, is asking for a massive stimulus plan to help boost the sinking economy.

A part of the planned economic stimulus is an infusion of federal money to fund education construction and expand broadband access in schools. This is welcomed by education institutions, which have not been immune to the economic woes facing the nation, and the possibility of additional capital for facilities will help in addressing a backlog of needs.

Whether the proposed stimulus plan will help solve the country's economic crisis is yet to be determined. But by targeting school construction, repair and technology as part of the plan, money will go toward improvements that not only will add jobs and provide much-needed new space, but also will help make the environments where children learn more healthful and conducive to learning.

Not to be left out of the equation, colleges and universities also have asked for part of the proposed stimulus funds. A coalition of higher-education leaders last month asked Congress to commit 5 percent of any economic stimulus program to the nation's colleges and universities to help fund construction and renovation projects. According to the coalition, the “investment” would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and be used to build classroom and research buildings that meet green standards.

Going green also is part of the stimulus plan proposal for schools, as the benefits of green/sustainable design and construction not only contribute to improving the environment, but also lead to long-term operational savings — providing significant payback over the life of the investment.

Mark your calendar for the GREEN School & University Virtual Conference & Expo on June 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Join us for this groundbreaking, FREE event that will help you stay at the forefront of the green/sustainability movement.

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