Washoe Schools Running Out of Time and Money For Capital Projects

RENO, NV - Washoe County School District officials say they are months away from being able to fund even basic repairs to its aging schools.

Circumstance and legislative history has left the district with only two of the six funding sources available to Nevada schools and they've been hit by the economic downturn.

The end resuit, says the district's capital projects manager, is that bonding capacity will expire in November and the district will have no ability to issue bonds until 2020.

"The solution," says Mark Stanton, "is a broad based source of revenue. And when I say broad based, it's touching everybody, not targeting a specific industry. So, that way it is somewhat reliable oesn't fluctuate with the economy."

Porjections are the district is facing a $560 million dollar shortfall in needed projects over the next decade.

"We need a minimum of $300 million dollars over the next 10 years and after November 5th we will have no revenue of any sort for capital projects," says Stanton.

The district is asking the legislature to open additional sources of revenue. Without additional money, projects like needed repairs to roofs, heating and air conditioning systems would have to be paid for out of the district's general fund.

The average age of the district's schools is 35 years. Thirty percent of them are more than a half century old.

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