Our buildings range in age from a 122-year-old elementary school (the oldest continuously operated public school in Colorado) to a pair of four-year-old K-8 schools with state-of-the-art systems. The HVAC systems range from one-pipe steam systems to VAV systems with ice storage and indirect evaporative precooling of the outside air. Less than half of the buildings are air conditioned, and each year sees the increased use of technology in the classrooms. We have also seen changes in the school calendar; we begin school in late August and finish the school year in the second week of June. These factors combine to have school staff demanding that we provide air conditioning where it was never anticipated.
In Colorado, state law requires that a portion of our state per-pupil allocation be directed to the capital reserve fund and insurance reserve fund. This allocation for the 2004-2005 fiscal year is $268/pupil. Currently 52% of this $268 goes to the capital reserve fund, and the balance goes to the insurance reserve. Even in a medium-sized district like ours, the capital reserve fund is limited and does not go far in maintaining our buildings.