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

District needs school facilities to support increased student achievement goals
-- Chad Shealy, The Vicksburg Post

Mississippi: March 17, 2018 -- The Vicksburg Warren School District’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ask Warren Countians to decide whether or not to support a school facilities bond to improve our buildings. If passed, this bond issue will address a large backlog of infrastructure deficiencies. These critical improvements will make our buildings safer, address overcrowding at our schools and provide updated spaces that will support the necessary learning of today’s 21st century student.

Letter: Board failed in its planning process
-- Whitney Berry, Grand Forks Herald

North Dakota: March 17, 2018 -- One of the guiding principles of the Grand Forks Public Schools facilities master plan has been identified as providing students with school environments that support "21st century learning." At this point, the board and district have not adequately defined what "21st century learning" means in relation to facilities planning and have now advanced plans to convene a task force to address the topic. In its 2008 position statement, "Educating Students in a Changing World," the Association of Supervision, Curriculum and Development identifies six key 21st century competencies.

Report: Charter schools struggle to pay for inadequate facilities
-- Lola Duffort, Concord Monitor

New Hampshire: March 16, 2018 -- Unlike traditional schools, PACE Career Academy, a charter high school in Allenstown, doesn’t have a prep kitchen, a band room, or athletic fields. Instead, it rents space at the Suncook Business Park in Allenstown, and makes do with reworked office spaces. For charter schools in New Hampshire, that’s the norm. It’s getting “tougher and tougher” to pay for facilities, PACE Director Martin Castle said. The school doesn’t just have to pay rent, Castle said, it also has to contend with mandates from the state – like installing key-card readers – without extra help.

Northeastern school closing plan ‘emotional for everyone’
-- Parker Perry, Springfield News-Sun

Ohio: March 16, 2018 -- The Northeastern Local Schools board members have approved a contingency plan to consolidate the district’s two high schools and close Rolling Hills Elementary School if voters in May reject again a $79 million bond issue for new schools. The district is asking voters for money to build two new pre-k through 12th-grade schools in the district, one on the Kenton Ridge High School side and the other on the Northeastern High School side. The state has offered to pay about $40 million for the schools, making the total cost of the project about $119 million.

How Middletown’s newest school is progressing, and what it will offer students
-- Michael D. Clark, Journal-News

Ohio: March 15, 2018 -- The new school rising from construction dust on Middletown’s high school campus is striking for both architectural and educational reasons. The new Middletown Middle School, which is part of the massive $96 million transformation of the Middletown High School campus, is on schedule and budget, said school officials.

Md. Senate panel takes up school-construction funding
-- Tamela Baker, Herald Mail Media

Maryland: March 15, 2018 -- School construction and how to pay for it is the focus of various bills before the state Senate's budgeting committee this week as lawmakers try to plan for future needs. A bill from Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, aims to streamline the process for school construction, as does a bill sponsored by Sen. James DeGrange, D-Anne Arundel. Both senators serve on the 21st Century School Facilities Commission, appointed in 2016 to study financing and construction of school projects.

Green voters approve school infrastructure referendum
-- David Danzis, New Jersey Herald

New Jersey: March 14, 2018 -- Township residents approved a $1.65 million ballot referendum on Tuesday by voting in favor of two questions for infrastructure upgrades at the Green Hills School. The first ballot question passed by a vote of 224 to 135. The proposal was for critical facility repairs concerning roof replacement, including related work, equipment and incidental costs. The second question, which was dependent on the first being approved, passed by a vote of 208 to 151. The proposal was for classroom heating and air-conditioning units and updating bathrooms to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

School facilities tax to be on March 20 ballot
-- Cheryl Wolfe, The Pantagraph

Illinois: March 14, 2018 -- School districts throughout Woodford County would receive more money if voters approve the school facilities sales tax referendum on the March 20 ballot. The tax would add a 1 percent sales tax on goods sold in Woodford County. Excluded from the sales tax would be vehicles, farm equipment and parts, boats and RVs, unprepared food, drugs and services. The Regional Office of Education would distribute the money to school districts based on their enrollments.

School district takes over more ballfield maintenance
-- Maggie Stanwood, Press Publications

Minnesota: March 14, 2018 -- The White Bear Lake Area School District is going to get a little more money from White Bear Township. Of course, there will be more work to do, as well. The White Bear Town Board approved a contract during its regular meeting March 5 for the district to maintain ballfields one, three and four at Polar Lakes Park. The district currently maintains one and three.

Hampstead: Voters reject school project for fourth time
-- Allison DeAngelis, Eagle-Tribune

Massachusetts: March 14, 2018 -- Hampstead voters have spoken for a fourth time and rejected a multi-million dollar project to renovate Hampstead Central School and fix heating, ventilation and security issues. This is the fourth time the Hampstead Central School project has gone before voters. Officials previously asked for a $5 million addition and renovations, but went back to the drawing board after last year's failed vote. The $7.4 million project would have renovated and expanded the beleaguered school, but also added a space available for community use. The article received 708 of the 1380 votes cast, but needed 828 "yes" votes to move forward.

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