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School Begins with Construction Underway

The 2023-2024 school year begins with construction underway on hundreds of campuses…but more will launch during 2024

By Mary Scott Nabers

School doors have opened for the start of the 2023-24 school year, with many campuses under construction. Hundreds of planned construction and renovation projects will launch during this school year. In fact, billions of dollars have already been approved for projects that will get underway over the next two years. Examples of what can be found throughout the country follow.

A $221.7 million construction project for a school district is currently in the design phase in Sterling, Virginia. Students attending Park View High School will soon benefit from a new 295,000-square-foot education facility. Interestingly enough, the new school building will be located where the athletic field and stadium currently reside. That’s because school officials have announced that a new stadium and athletic fields will be constructed as well. The new school will have a capacity of 1,800 students and project components include all the standard elements: classrooms, cafeteria, auditorium, a media center, gymnasium, an auxiliary gym, outdoor physical education fields, and other associated spaces to support the high school program. A planned timeline is for demolition of current facilities to begin in 2024 with construction following within the same year.

A school renovation in Greenwich, Connecticut, is going through the design phase which will conclude this year. The project currently carries a projected cost of $42 million. To bring the Greenwich school building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the city of Greenwich will renovate the facility but preserve the building’s historic appeal. The anticipated design is to remove the stairs in front of the building and replace them with accessible ramps around an open courtyard. Also included is the installation of an elevator and additional classrooms.

The Board of Supervisors for Fauquier County, Virginia, has approved an $80 million renovation project for Taylor Middle School. The renovations will increase the school’s capacity by 300 students. The project will include constructing a larger gym, expanded parking and changes to the parent pickup loop. A main entrance vestibule will strengthen the building’s security. Currently, in the design phase, construction is slated for March 2024.

City officials in Laurel, Montana received voter support for a $57 million bond package initiative to replace the aging Graff Elementary School with a new building for third through fifth-grade students. The former Graff Elementary School building will then be demolished and replaced with new softball and soccer fields, a track, and a parking lot. The project is currently in the design phase, with construction likely to happen in 2024 and be completed by the 2025 school year.

A $31 million school renovation project in Reston, Virginia, is currently in the design phase. Construction is slated for 2024. The renovation project will expand the facility by 126,000 square feet and improve numerous amenities on campus. A new administration wing with a main entrance vestibule will be added along with a new library, classroom space, and three outdoor play areas. The parking lot will be expanded to add 36 additional spaces. 

School officials in Winchester, Virginia, will oversee a $72 million renovation project on the James Wood High School campus. While still in the planning stage, the project will be responsible for redesigning the school’s appearance, increasing natural light and modernizing the facility. More space will be added to accommodate student growth and offices for faculty. Twelve new classrooms, a school clinic, a cafeteria, and kitchen will be constructed. Solicitation documents for construction could be issued as soon as late 2023, with construction slated for 2024.

The design phase is underway for a $52 million renovation project at Carroll High School in Allen County, Indiana. An expansion of 70,000 square feet will be the foundation for the project, but renovations will also be extensive. A new central media center will be added along with a new weight room that provides 50 percent more capacity, an expanded cafeteria space, 27 additional classrooms, support staff spaces, and a hallway to connect the fine arts area and the freshman center. Construction is slated for early 2024.

Similar construction, renovation, renewable energy, sports expansions, and modernized technology initiatives are being launched throughout the US Funding is available, and the number of contracting opportunities for all types of companies is historic. America’s schools will continue to need upgrades for the next several years.

Mary Scott Nabers is CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.(www.spartnerships.com) and the author of Inside the Infrastructure Revolution – A Roadmap for Rebuilding America.