News Briefs: Colorado Public Schools $18 billion renovation needs

Published April 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 4

Colorado Public Schools need close to $18 billion in renovations, maintenance repairs and energy upgrades according to statewide study released in March.

The Public School Capital Construction Assistance Board conducted a facility test of all 8,419 Colorado kindergarten though 12th-grade buildings.

Evaluators concluded that the buildings are in need of $9.4 billion for deferred maintenance work by 2013. Additionally, $13.9 billion is needed to renovate classrooms in order to meet 21st-century codes and for energy projects and repairs. The remaining $3.9 billion is estimated for further repairs between 2014 and 2018.

This was the first statewide evaluation of school building conditions, according to Capital Construction Assistance Division Director Ted Hughes.

The multi-billion-dollar evaluation coincides with the 8.7 percent budget cuts  to Colorado public schools. 

2008 Building Excellent Schools Today, a program that school districts have the option to apply to, required the study.

BEST assists districts in setting priorities and encouraging the use of local, matching grants for these projects. Top priorities include health and safety issues followed by overcrowding relief and technology projects.

Two Alamosa elementary schools, a high school in Sargent and schools in the Sangre de Cristo district received $87 million for projects last August. 

The next phase is expected to amount to $147 million for school construction needs.

-- Kimberly Gunning