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

School Facilities releases priorities for 2017 budget
-- Kristine Galloway, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Wyoming: August 22, 2016 -- CHEYENNE – A new building for Cheyenne’s Carey Junior High is on a state board’s list of prioritized projects – but it’s not high up on that list. The School Facilities Division on Wednesday submitted a prioritized list of 58 projects to the School Facilities Commission for approval, and the commission did approve it. That list will be submitted to the Legislature’s Select Committee on School Facilities at its Aug. 31 meeting. The committee is expected to reference the list as it plans what to do with $80 million reserved for school facilities during this year’s legislative session. Enrolled Act 12 set aside those funds from the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account, better known as the rainy-day fund. While Carey Junior High is on the commission’s finalized list, it is the 36th project on the list – not even in the top half. It’s also the first project on the list that doesn’t fall within the $80 million allocated. Tony Hughes, public information officer for the School Facilities Division, said, “We haven’t made a recommendation for the $80 million. What we’ve done is we’ve prioritized the list based on criteria that we presented to the Select Committee. Now we’ve given the Select Committee the big picture, like they wanted, and now we will leave it in the hands of the Legislature.”

Back to School: Local school gardens help kid
-- Stephanie Buffamonte, WSAW-TV

Wisconsin: August 22, 2016 -- There are several school gardens in the Marathon County area and it could be helping your kids more than you think. The National Gardening Association found that school gardens will help students eat more fruits and vegetables and improve their social skills by working with others. The Hatley Elementary School and Community Garden has expanded over past couple of years and more recently the school received a grant to purchase a green house helping kids like Caleb Breyton even more. "I like to pull weeds and I like to pick the plants," said Caleb Breyton in the garden. The fifth grader works hard as he gets his knees and hands dirty while picking green beans and other veggies. Caleb not only likes to garden, but enjoys eating the growing plants too. Since being in the garden he says he has eaten more veggies and found a new produce he loves, which is kale. The 4th graders start by growing seeds in the green house and then in June students will move what they've grown into the garden. All grades K-5 will work with the produce. It's something Fischer says helps them learn even more than staying in the classroom.

Can a revamped Roosevelt High serve everyone in its gentrifying neighborhood?
-- Perry Stein, Washington Post

District of Columbia: August 21, 2016 -- When students arrive for their first day at Theodore Roosevelt High School on Monday, they will walk up a grand staircase surrounded by large, colonial columns and into the results of a $127 million renovation that includes an Olympic-size swimming pool. The restored 1932 building has a capacity of about 1,100 students; just 460 are enrolled at the long-struggling school in the District’s Petworth neighborhood. But Monday — the first day of class for most D.C. schools — marks a renewed city effort to transform Roosevelt into a high-achieving neighborhood school that parents from all demographics in the gentrifying area want to choose for their children. And it’s going to be a challenge: In 2012, there were 1,906 high school students living within Roosevelt’s boundaries, and just 301 of them attended the school, according to data from the 21st Century School Fund. In the 2014-2015 school year, no Roosevelt students met or exceeded expectations on math and English standardized tests linked to the Common Core state standards. Just 9 percent of students approached expectations, making it one of the lowest-performing high schools in the city.

Residential building boom pressures county schools
-- Cindy Huang, Capital Gazette

Maryland: August 20, 2016 -- When 81,000 county public school students set out for their classrooms this week, some will have to navigate more crowded hallways to get there. The system's student population is expected to grow 10 percent in the next decade, school officials said, as more families move to homes in the area and more students shift from private to public schools. The Arundel, Glen Burnie, Meade and Northeast feeder systems will see enrollment booms from residential construction, they said. The county code bars land development for new homes in areas where local schools are projected to reach 100 percent of capacity in three years. But the homes can be built if land has been previously approved for development. About 33 county schools will be over capacity by around 2018, said Alex Szachnowicz, the school system's chief operating officer.

Underestimated project costs force Missouri district to put school groundbreaking on hold
-- Mike Kennedy, American School & University

Missouri: August 19, 2016 -- The Chillicothe (Mo.) R-2 School District has delayed construction of a new school after discovering that the cost estimates of the project were $2 million to $3 million too low. The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune reports that the district had hoped to break ground by Sept. 1 on a facility to house students from preschool through first grade. But because the site selected for the school has changed—the district has chosen an area north of the high school instead of a location near the middle school—site preparation costs are significantly higher. The increase was not included in the plans developed by the district’s architect, Hollis + Miller. “We used the number they provided us when we went out to the voters,” says Superintendent Roger Barnes.