2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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INCREASE SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND SCHOOLS AS CENTERS OF COMMUNITY

     WHEREAS, a majority of school buildings in this nation are more than 50 years old which is the intended life span of these facilities, and many buildings in cities are significantly older than 50 years; and

     WHEREAS, nationally school enrollment has increased 19 percent since the fall of 1988, and is expected to continue to increase at a rate of 5 percent between 2001 and 2013; and

     WHEREAS, in 2003 more than $48 billion was expended on new school construction, additions and modernization, and it is anticipated that more will be spent over the next several years to address the increases in enrollment; and

     WHEREAS, currently most school facilities do not meet current education programmatic demands and the needs of the changing student population; and

     WHEREAS, most school buildings today do not adequately address environmental issues such energy efficiency, adequate ventilation, acoustics, and humidity control; and

     WHEREAS, schools are often not designed with the intent to be used by the whole community or strategically as a community resource open to use by the public; and

     WHEREAS, new school buildings need to be developed and designed with community involvement, and for joint use to include whenever possible additional services related to education, especially those administered by the city; and

     WHEREAS, school construction and education are key engines to the economic development of our cities and revitalization of inner city neighborhoods; and

     WHEREAS, the demand for school construction is not only in the high growth states in the southwest and west but also in the east and mid-west where many schools need to be modernized or renovated; and

     WHEREAS, the cost of school construction is a significant capital outlay for most cities during very tight budgetary times; and

     WHEREAS, currently there is only one federal program that provides financial assistance for school repair, renovation and modernization, not new construction,

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to introduce and pass legislation that would assist in school construction in cities and school systems by financing the interest on the school construction bonds; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to extend and improve the authorization of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds which are used to assist in financing school renovation and repair; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages mayors and school systems in our cities to use the community engagement process when developing designs and placement for new schools, and plans for school renovation and modernization, and be aware of the need to make schools a community resource that provide services to the whole community and are a critical part of the revitalization of neighborhoods, therefore, making our schools centers of community accessible to all citizens for a variety of needs and services.