Updated 

Needed building projects surpass CCSD resources


About $301 million will be spent during the next five years on capital projects in the Clark County School District, including replacing one school, renovating aging campuses and adding portable classrooms to alleviate student crowding.

But that is only 9 percent of the capital projects that district officials say are needed, according to the five-year plan adopted by the Clark County School Board on Thursday. The report must be submitted annually to the state.

The waiting list has $3.5 billion in unfunded projects, which officials assert are needed to further relieve school crowding, diminish inequities in schools and replace major equipment, such as air conditioners. But the district doesn’t have the money.

Clark County schools also have $2.9 billion in debt dating back to its 10-year 1998 bond, which won’t be paid off until 2028.

About $115 million of the revenue from the 1998 bond remains and will be spent in the next two years. More than $29 million will be used to rebuild an elementary school that hasn’t yet been identified, according to district spokeswoman Melinda Malone. To pick the school, the district will look to its formula for assigning schools a rank for their facility needs.

The rebuild will likely take place at Bell or Lincoln elementary schools, which were slated for replacement in 2012 if voters passed the district’s property tax increase. However, voters rejected the ballot question 2-1.

The remaining $86 million in bond revenue will be used to renovate and modernize existing schools. The district didn’t identify those schools.

“We are currently in the process of finalizing the list of schools,” Malone said.

Another $143 million will be spent on school renovations in the 357-school district, with the money coming from the governmental services tax and the district’s fund for replacing capital items, such as school heating and cooling systems, roofs, electrical systems and plumbing.

The governmental services tax will also provide $37.5 million to buy more portable classrooms and relocate existing portables to the most crowded schools. About $10 million will be spent on buying 75 new portable classrooms for schools already using a total of 2,233 portables.

The district will be spending $27.5 million to relocate 137 portable classrooms per year to where they are needed most, Malone said. It costs about $40,000 each time a portable is transported and set up at a new location.

While all the projects of the next five years total $301 million, district officials would like to spend 11 times that — mainly on more school renovations and repairs — if they had the money. About $225 million would go toward building new elementary schools to relieve crowded campuses.

Based on current projections, population growth would call for nine new elementary schools, Malone said.

“The number could be much higher and is subject to change,” she said.

Contact Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @TrevonMilliard.

 

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