School Climate & Safety

Philadelphia May Need to Spend Nearly $5 Billion to Repair School Buildings: Report

By Denisa R. Superville — January 27, 2017 1 min read
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It could cost the Philadelphia school system more than $4.5 billion to make needed repairs to the district’s school buildings and facilities, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The paper cites an upcoming report on the state of the school system’s 308 district schools, athletic complexes, and district-owned buildings that are used by charter schools—the first such examination of the district’s facilities in 14 years.

About one-third of the district’s school buildings were said to be in such poor conditions that engineers recommend that the district close or replace some of them, the paper reported. And engineers think school officials will have to spend about $3 billion in the next decade to make “urgent” fixes.

It’s unclear how the Philadelphia school district will pay for the repairs, the paper said.

The average school building in Philadelphia is 70 years old, according to the Inquirer. But the district is hardly the only school system grappling with aging school buildings and figuring out how to pay to fix them.

A report last year by the 21st Century School Fund found that the nation’s investment in public school facilities fell short by $46 billion annually and that left many school children to be educated in buildings in dire need of repairs and upgrades.

Last month, the National Council on School Facilities passed a resolution at its annual meeting calling for any large-scale infrastructure program in the Trump administration to include schools.

On the campaign trail, President Trump said he planned to spend about $1 trillion on infrastructure, including on roads and bridges.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.