In the K-12 school market, there are few that can top the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). With 65 million square feet of space in existing school facilities, the district has plans to open 120 new schools during the next 8- to 10-year period; the dollar volume of capital spending devoted to facilities is estimated at $14 billion, with 12 new schools and 10,000 modernization projects completed so far. Approximately 5,000 professionals are involved full-time in some area of facilities responsibility. In the mid-1990s, the LAUSD began this extensive effort to address critical repair and modernization needs at existing school facilities through the Proposition BB Bond – the largest overall educational construction program developed and undertaken by a school district in the state of California.
[Editors’ Note: The LAUSD modernization program is one of the largest – and most impressive – of its type in the country. With the aim of providing the best possible environments for critical student learning and development needs throughout the district, the repair and upgrade projects – rightfully so – not only address deteriorated classroom conditions (resulting from continuing deferred maintenance), but also the changing instruction needs in grades K-12. Particularly impressive is the program’s vision: “To build and maintain schools that promote the full development of the child, are educationally and environmentally sound, enhance their neighborhoods through design and programming as centers of community, and reflect the wise and efficient use of limited land and public resources.” Combine that with the organization’s principle to “maximize capabilities through centrally coordinated and locally executed design and construction management efforts,” and the result is a win-win for every child and the community.]