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Even as the nation’s K-12 schools grapple with the potential impact of the nationwide outbreak of the delta coronavirus variant, there is some good news for maintenance and engineering managers who have long struggled to address deferred maintenance in their buildings.
First, districts are making plans for spending federal funds coming their way under the federal CARES Act. In Milwaukee, for example, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a historic $506 million federal stimulus installment is projected for Milwaukee Public Schools. District administrators presented plans for one of the installments of about $156 million. Proposals to address facilities and maintenance include: $48 million for air-temperature controls; $14 million for carpet replacement; $8.5 million to replace lockers; $7 million to build outdoor classrooms; $6 million for windows and doors; and $5.5 million to replace drinking fountains.
The U.S. House of Representatives also is considering the Green New Deal for Public Schools, a plan to invest $1.43 trillion over 10 years in sustainable upgrades to school buildings, among other provisions, according to Grist. Schools would be able to use the funding to electrify facilities and improve their energy efficiency, plant gardens and trees, build out broadband infrastructure, and install electric vehicle charging stations. If enacted, the legislation would fund 1.3 million jobs per year and eliminate up to 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually
Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.