Forward Thinking

Jan. 1, 2007
Based on various data, 2007 is poised to be another strong year for education construction spending.

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, 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.



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


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


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


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


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

About the Author

Joe Agron | Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher

Joe Agron is the editor-in-chief/associate publisher of American School & University magazine. Joe has overseen AS&U's editorial direction for more than 25 years, and has helped influence and shape national school infrastructure issues. He has been sought out for comments by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News and CNN, and assisted with the introduction of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.

Joe also authors a number of industry-exclusive reports. His "Facilities Impact on Learning" series of special reports won national acclaim and helped bring the poor condition of the nation's schools to the attention of many in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

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