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Magazine article Techniques

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School Construction Hits an All-Time High

School construction expenses hit a record $15 billion last year, up $3 billion from 1997--a trend that is likely to continue for several more years, according to an annual report of construction industry trends.

About half the money went toward new schools while the rest funded renovations and additions to existing buildings, according to School Planning and Management magazine, which published the survey in February. The magazine and School Construction Alert, a reporting service with the Dun & Bradstreet firm, conducted the study.

School district leaders surveyed say they plan to complete more than $16 bib lion in construction projects and start more than $17 billion's worth in 1999. The survey, which involved all U.S. school districts, cited a number of reasons for the boom, including the country's healthy economy, increasing enrollments, expanding voter interest in education and a growing emphasis on the need for improvements in school facilities.

High schools received the most money last year with elementary schools closely following. Jane Lieberth, editor of School Planning and Management, says high schools are building more to accommodate baby boomers' children, many of whom are now teens. …

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