Approved funding from bond elections represents billions for projects in 2024
Efforts are underway throughout the country to upgrade and expand America’s infrastructure. More often than not, the required funding is made available through local bond elections. When elected officials seek approval for funding that will become debt, the projects to be funded are outlined in detail for full transparency. Billions in funding are now represented in bond elections that have already passed and upcoming contracting opportunities will be abundant in 2024.
Sometimes, approved bond packages result in projects that launch almost immediately. In the case of Oklahoma City’s Mid-Del School District, a $492 million bond package passed just this month and a $64 million school project will launch in 2024. In other cases, however, bond funding is occasionally held for years. Voters in San Francisco’s Unified School District, for instance, approved $744 million in funding for school projects in 2016. Still, only now (seven years later) funding is scheduled to be used to construct a new $40 million elementary school.
Bond elections often represent billions in funding requests from local government leaders. Citizens in New York passed a $4.1 billion bond package at the state level last year for projects to fight climate change. Texas is another state known for passing large bond packages. Last year, local bond elections in Texas represented a total of $41 billion in approved funding for educational projects. In May of this year, Forth Worth’s Northwest Independent School District alone approved a $2 billion bond that calls for the construction of a dozen new schools, improvements to existing campuses and three new sports stadiums.
Citizens in the Mid-Del School District in Oklahoma City recently passed three bond propositions that provide $492,700,000 in funding for numerous projects. One initiative carries a $472.5 million price tag, and it covers construction projects at multiple campuses. It also includes equipment purchases and upgrades to athletic facilities. Another $64 million will support the construction of a new school building for Townsend Elementary School. The new facility will be designed to provide three classrooms for each grade, space for fine arts, physical education, and the district’s deaf education program. Construction is scheduled for the summer of 2024. The remaining funding will cover the cost of 10 new storm shelters, new fine arts additions at two high schools, and upgrades to all high school performing arts centers.
A $165 million General Obligation bond that voters approved a few years ago in Hollywood, Florida, will support projects yet to be launched. The largest project is the construction of a new $76 million police headquarters. The design phase is nearing completion, and a construction launch is scheduled for 2024. The new 100,000-square-foot facility will also have a secure parking lot for station personnel and a radio tower adjacent to the headquarters. A $72.5 million cost estimate has been established for the project. The bond funding also includes a $28 million tidal flood mitigation project and an initiative to expand the Hollywood Beach Golf Course’s clubhouse and community center for $19 million.
Voters in Bar Harbor, Maine approved a $58 million bond package that provides funding to replace Connors Elementary School. The project is in its design phase and solicitation documents are scheduled for release in the spring of 2024. The Mount Desert Island ISD’s new facility will provide space for a rapidly growing student body and faculty members. When completed, it will accommodate 400 students. The school’s administrative office and a nursing space will be constructed at the front of the building. A main corridor will run through the middle of the building and connect to a cafeteria, gymnasium, and library. There will also be a large courtyard in the middle of the campus to provide a safe and protected recreational space.
In California, the San Francisco Unified School District also has $744 million in funding from a previously approved bond election for projects that will be launched soon. One $40 million project will modernize the K-8 dual-language Spanish Immersion Community School in the Mission District. Classrooms will be updated, the Wellness Center will be expanded, and the library will be relocated to the 100-year-old Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 campus. Officials hope to seek approval from another bond election in 2024 for the following projects and that funding amount will range between $950 million and $1.2 billion. The Facilities Master Plan places the school district’s needed upgrades for $6 billion.
In August 2023, voters in Bonneville Joint School District, Idaho, approved a $34.5 million bond package that will fund the entire cost of constructing a new elementary school. With funding available and a conceptual design phase almost completed, there are plans to launch the initiative in the fall of 2024. Bonneville County officials hope to offset overcrowding in existing elementary schools by creating a new facility that will accommodate up to 700 students. The project will include construction that incorporates thermal and moisture protection.
In Eastpoint, Michigan, Voters approved funding for school improvement projects for nine buildings. The work will include the installation of new rooftop units, the replacement of domestic water heaters and pumps, and the upgrading of mechanical systems to add air conditioning. The bond funds will also enable the district to make enhancements to its Culinary Arts area, playgrounds and athletic fields. The addition of cameras will enhance security measures, and walkways and curbs will be upgraded. The district’s average age of school facilities is about 65 years old and enrollment rates are expected to double over the next five years, so upcoming renovations are scheduled for 2024.
Upcoming projects that will be launched with funding from bond elections are not only numerous, but they also represent thousands of diverse contracting needs. Construction and renovation are major components, but planning and design services, engineering, technology, security, land work, roadway upgrades, and furniture purchases also represent large, funded components of the initiatives. Planning documents provide a roadmap for all types of firms interested in local contracting efforts.