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News items come from the U.S. Department of Educations's National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF).

Urbana schools puts finances online as its builds $65M new schools
-- Parker Perry, Springfield News-Sun

Ohio: March 3, 2018 -- Urbana City School leaders will put the district’s finances on Ohio’s online checkbook as its new $65 million buildings are getting closer to opening. The move is to create a more accessible district, Superintendent Charles Thiel said. “It an avenue of transparency with the community,” he said. The Ohio Online Checkbook is a website run by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office that allows users to search public agencies’ financial records, according to the website. The Urbana City School information is currently available at

School Board Hears Facilities Updaten Roof Repairs Needed Districtwide
-- E Missourian

Missouri: March 3, 2018 -- The Washington School Board listened to a facilities update at its meeting Wednesday. The district’s facilities committee, which includes board members, maintenance and grounds staff, and administrators, had met earlier to discuss the report. The update included promised bond issue projects that have been completed, and other planned, but minor capital repairs and equipment that were completed as part of the annual capital projects budget for this fiscal year.

Permits issued for new Linwood Elementary School
-- Nicholas Deshais, The Spokesman-Review

Washington: March 3, 2018 -- The $24 million replacement of Linwood Elementary School just north of Spokane city limits was issued its first commercial building permits by the county. The construction of the new 76,000-square-foot building at, 906 W. Weile Road is financed by a 2014 bond measure that was supported by nearly 70 percent of voters. Linwood opened in 1957 and currently serves about 500 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The new structure will increase capacity to 625 and will be built while the existing facility remains in operation. Work is expected to be completed by August 2019.

Tri-Valley seeking $15 million to remodel high school
-- Patrick Baron, WJBC

Illinois: March 3, 2018 -- Tri-Valley is looking to remodel its high school in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project. The project would remodel the high school’s classrooms, redesign the entry way, remodel the kitchen, and add an auditorium and a multi-purpose gym. If approved later this month, the remodeling would occur during summer breaks, with the goal of being completed by the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Superintendent David Mouser explained the project has been in the works for some time.

Berkshire Hills School Committee backs slashing about $277,000 from budget
-- Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

Massachusetts: March 2, 2018 -- A proposal to slash about $277,000 from the Berkshire Hills Regional School District budget won support from the district's School Committee on Thursday. This will reduce Great Barrington's share of school costs by about $174,000 from what was previously proposed, and might halt a precarious approach toward the town's levy limit, the maximum amount a town is allowed to levy from property taxes. The proposed cuts will also reduce school costs for West Stockbridge, and further reduce Stockbridge's share.

After ‘Yes’ vote Westport begins taking next steps toward new school
-- Jeffrey D. Wagner, The Herald News

Massachusetts: March 2, 2018 -- The town drew a record number of people to the polls on Tuesday to approve a debt exclusion Proposition 2 ½ tax override to help finance a new 5 through 12 school building on Old County Road. Now, two questions loom — when will property taxes rise and what are the next steps? School Building Committee Chairwoman Dianne Baron said that a meeting will be set up soon with the town treasurer and Unibank to discuss the borrowing to cover the town’s $58.8 million share of the project. The state School Building Authority is expected to cover $38 million, of the total $96.8 million project.

Md. governor: Safe schools shouldn’t feel like scary places
-- Kate Ryan, WTOP

Maryland: March 2, 2018 -- In the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school last month, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he wants each and every school in the state to be a safe place for kids. Hogan said he wants to give schools $125 million to improve security, but he doesn’t want schools to feel like bunkers. Related Stories Md. Gov. Hogan is against arming teachers, aims to improve school safety MARYLAND NEWS Md. governor calls on Prince George’s Co. executive to fire schools CEO PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD NEWS “I don’t like the term ‘hardening’ the schools because that seems like a military term,” Hogan said. Hogan said the $125 million he would funnel toward securing school facilities would go for things, such as electronic access and more secure entry points.

House committee approves Richmond school facilities bill
-- Justin Mattingly, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia: March 2, 2018 -- The Richmond ballot measure that voters passed overwhelmingly in November in hopes of improving school facilities has made it out of committee. The Virginia House of Delegates Counties, Cities and Towns Committee unanimously voted Friday to report Senate Bill 750 from Sen. Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond, to the full chamber. The bill would require Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to present a fully funded school facilities modernization plan to City Council by Jan. 1, 2019 or say it can’t be done.

School district plans $5.87 million renovation, energy efficiency project
-- Ben Hanstein, Daily Bulldog

Maine: March 2, 2018 -- A renovation project that would target local schools was discussed at Thursday's board meeting in Regional School Unit 73, with the board proposing to utilize energy savings to reduce annual debt payments. The $5,874,764 project would impact the Spruce Mountain elementary, middle and high schools on the Jay campus, the Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore and the district's central office and bus garage. The project would replace boilers, retrofit lighting systems, repair roofs and generally improve the buildings' envelopes to improve energy efficiency. A key improvement would include replacing the existing SMES boiler - equipment the board says may not pass inspection this year - and ensuring that each school had two boilers to supply heat.

What’s next: Following the Spokane-area school bonds victories
-- Samantha Peone, Spokane Journal

Washington: March 1, 2018 -- Following the Feb. 13 voter approval of separate construction bond measures totaling nearly $245 million, the Central Valley School District and the Mead School district are planning collectively to build four new schools, expand one school, and update a number of other schools. Mead’s construction plans also include a new football stadium and transportation and maintenance facilities.

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