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McDonnell orders inventory of existing Virginia school facilities

After SchoolGov. Bob McDonnell has directed Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash to put together a comprehensive inventory of all existing Virginia public school buildings, including those not currently being used for instruction.

The governor has asked for the report in order to gain a more accurate picture of the current state of the Commonwealth’s educational infrastructure, and to demonstrate how a change to the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, to allow for its use in the renovation of older school buildings for continued service as public educational facilities, could benefit the Commonwealth specifically, and the nation in general.

In the letter the governor writes, “Earlier this week, I met with Mr. Goldman and his team to discuss this matter in greater detail.  We agreed that the elimination of the “prior use” rule to allow private investors to utilize the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit in the process of renovating aging school buildings for future use in the same capacity, would have a positive impact on Virginia’s students, teachers and parents in communities all across the state. We also agreed that we must continue to work to press federal lawmakers to make this change. In that effort, specific, concrete facts about the true impact of such a change would be extremely beneficial to our federal representatives as they lead this effort.

“Therefore, today I am asking you to lead the Department of Education in a review of all existing school buildings, including buildings not currently being utilized, and create a detailed inventory of all building facilities owned or operated for public elementary and secondary education.  The report should include the age, location and current use of each facility and be compiled and submitted to me no later than November 1, 2013.”

The full letter is available here. Results of the review will be made public immediately upon completion.

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