Mar 13, 2023 - News

San Francisco school district lays out 10-year facilities plan

Photo: Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco Unified School District recently laid out a 10-year plan to repair and renovate its schools and facilities following an assessment that found many schools are in need of maintenance and modernization.

Why it matters: In 2022, an assessment of SFUSD's facilities revealed a need for $1.7 billion to fund repairs and improvements, according to the school district.

The big picture: The plan outlines the conditions of SFUSD's more than 140 buildings and makes recommendations on everything from upgrading classroom technology and redesigning outdoor learning spaces to ensuring schools have safe water supplies and security locks for classrooms.

The plan also seeks to increase the number of universal transitional kindergarten classes and to create affordable housing for educators.

The report cited a variety of issues, including ones with HVAC and electrical systems, roofs, windows, furnishings, plumbing and more.

  • Of note: The school district discovered lead in a handful of water faucets at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School in December. That came shortly after the district found "unacceptable levels" of lead and arsenic in the school's garden soil.

What they're saying: The goal with the facilities plan is "to provide comfortable and state-of-the-art learning spaces" for students in the district, SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne said in a press release.

  • He added that modernization with the goal of addressing student needs ensures "the whole child can come to school feeling supported, engaged and challenged."

Between the lines: There's a large clustering of school sites ranked as having poor facilities in the Mission/SoMa — areas with high levels of poverty.

  • In SoMa, 18.1% of households live below the poverty line, according to The San Francisco Standard's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In the Mission, 11.1% of households are below the poverty line.

What to watch: The district's facilities department presented the plan at a Board of Education meeting last week, and will continue to gather public feedback.

  • The final draft of the plan will be presented to the school board on April 25.
  • From there, San Francisco voters will need to approve a general obligation bond, likely in 2024, to fund a large chunk of the project.

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