On June 30, Milwaukee Public Schools published the first phase of its Master Facilities Plan as an initial step in moving forward with a plan not only for currently empty buildings but for dealing with maintenance in coming years.
Here are some interesting tidbits from the 27-page report:
MPS owns and maintains 220 facilities with more than 18.1 million square feet of building area on 1,457 acres of land. There are about 140 instructional facilities with 14.9 million square feet for about 80,000 students.
There are 17 high schools, five middle schools, 61 K-8 schools, 44 elementary schools, two pre-K centers and nine middle school/high school campuses with alternative grade configurations.
Just over 41 percent of building space was constructed before 1930, 53 percent was built from 1930 to 1980 and 6 percent dates to within the last 30 years. The average age, weighted by building size, is 66 years.
About half of MPS schools have no air conditioning. Only 15 percent are entirely air conditioned. The remaining 35 percent have air conditioning in some parts of the building.
A score of 65 percent or above on a Facilities Condition Index, an indicator that rates building condition on a relative scale, makes a building a “replacement candidate.” No currently active school building comes close to that rating.
The only facilities that do exceed that rating are non-school buildings, like playfields and operations buildings. Even shuttered schoolhouses like Garfield (34.8) and Lee (27.9) and Phillipp (35.7) have ratings considerably lower than 65.
The national median square footage per student is 125 for elementary schools, 142 for middle schools and 156 for high schools. In MPS those numbers are 163, 277 and 322.