The Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board will get a report Monday that claims all of its elementary and middle school buildings are in poor condition and need nearly $189 million in capital improvements.
The report estimates the current replacement value of the 17 district buildings at $461 million and says they need spending totaling just under $189 million in today’s dollars to eliminate building deficiencies.
The consultants say that adds up to a Facilities Cost Index, also referred to as a Facility Condition Index, of just under 41% district-wide.
The consultants say an index of less than 15% is “good,” between 15% and 30% is “fair” and anything over 30% is “poor.”
The International Facility Management Association says a Facility Condition Index of 0% to 5% is “good,” 5% to 10% is “fair,” 10% to 30% is “poor” and anything greater than 30% is “critical.”
At the same time, the board is hoping to build a new school in Evanston’s 5th Ward, a project the consultants estimate would cost $40 million, despite forecasts that it would decrease racial diversity.
The condition report shows decades of deferred maintenance by the school system, with buildings constructed about a century ago in roughly similar sorry shape to ones built in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, the district’s latest budget projections show it spending less than $1.6 million on capital improvements in each of the next five school years and facing budget deficits during that period totaling more than $26 million.
The projections also show the district’s reserves falling below the recommended level of 25% of annual operating expenses by the 2026-27 school year.