Top of Page

Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2017

Update 5/1/2017: The Draft FY18 Capital Plan will continue the multi-year capital plan announced in the FY17 Original and Supplemental Plans. These plans included $938 million of projects funded primarily by bond proceeds backed by the Capital Improvement Tax (CIT), a property tax levy dedicated to school construction passed by the City Council in 2015. This source of additional funding allows CPS to address overcrowding, facility renovation needs, IT improvements, and targeted site improvements. CIT funds cannot be used for operating expenses.

The timeline for the CIT-funded projects extends through multiple fiscal years. If and when additional funding sources are identified, CPS will prioritize and address remaining capital needs across the city through a supplemental capital plan.

Update 12/1/2016: Chicago Public Schools is proposing an FY17 Supplemental Capital Plan that includes $600 million of investments in deferred maintenance, overcrowding relief, facility improvements, and educational programming.

CPS anticipates the added capital projects will be funded primarily with proceeds from the Capital Improvement Tax, which was approved by the Chicago City Council in 2015 and which can be used only to fund capital projects.

The FY17 budget for Chicago Public Schools includes a capital plan totaling $338 million for school repair, improvement, modernization, and overcrowding relief.

The fiscal uncertainty CPS faced in the spring precluded the District from releasing a comprehensive capital plan. Since then, however, support from Springfield has given CPS the ability to balance its operating budget and put forth a capital plan that addresses many of the District’s needs.

This year’s capital budget includes $266 million of funding provided by CPS through bond financing, and $72 million from the City of Chicago and Federal E-Rate funding. The $266 million of CPS funding represents a significant increase from the $90 million proposed for FY17 in last year’s 5-year plan. This increase is due primarily to the new Capital Improvement Tax levy approved by the Board and passed by the City Council in 2015.

The Capital Improvement Tax (CIT) levy is an annual property tax levy dedicated exclusively to school construction projects. In order to provide much needed overcrowding relief, major facility repairs and improvements, and upgrades to the District’s IT infrastructure, CPS plans to issue bonds to fund capital projects, using the annual CIT levy to fund debt service and principal payback on the bonds.

As of the FY17 budget release, CPS is working to determine the total amount of bond proceeds that can be raised against the CIT levy. As such, this capital budget includes only $233 million in CIT-bond funded projects. (An additional $33 million from CPS’ July bond issuance will be used to fund FY17 capital projects.) CPS expects to issue a supplemental capital budget in the fall to account for the remainder of the proceeds. This will give CPS additional time to receive community input and further prioritize the projects funded by bond proceeds.

CPS’ 5-year capital plan will include investments in overcrowding, deferred maintenance, targeted site improvements and emergency projects. Given the uncertainty of funding going forward, however, a comprehensive plan is not available at this time. A summary of the FY17 capital plan is outlined below.

Addressing Classroom Overcrowding

Last year’s capital plan included only $10 million in investments to relieve classroom overcrowding. As such, CPS is dedicating $119 million in bond funds – plus $54 million in TIF funds – toward this effort. The FY17 capital budget includes investments at some of the District’s most overcrowded schools. Annexes at Byrne (135% utilization rate), Skinner West (120%), and Zapata (140%) and modular classrooms at Dawes (138%) and Bridge (231%) will provide necessary additional space for each school.

Additionally, the FY17 capital budget includes investments in new buildings to relieve overcrowding at Dore (170% utilization rate) and South Loop Elementary School (126%). The South Loop Elementary School expansion will be funded entirely by TIF proceeds.

Prioritize Building Needs

The current FY17 capital plan proposes $32 million in investments to address our most urgent facility needs. As CPS works to prioritize the needs across the District, the FY17 capital budget provides $20 million of funding for emergency facility repairs and $6 million for minor maintenance repairs across the District. These funds are essential in managing the emergency work that arises throughout the year.

The FY17 budget also includes nearly $6 million in funding for Emergency Plumbing Repairs, for any schools in which lead abatement projects are necessary. $0.5 million for student ADA accommodations is also included.

CPS anticipates including additional building condition projects in a future supplemental budget this fall once our funding capacity is determined and projects are prioritized according to our latest building assessments.

Technology, Programmatic and Other Investments

The FY17 capital budget includes $108 million for additional investments in technology, programmatic, and air conditioning upgrades to CPS buildings.

Continuing to improve school internet access for enhanced learning. With the assistance of $18 million from the federal E-Rate program, CPS is investing nearly $51 million to upgrade internet access in classrooms to support 21st century learning opportunities. This initiative will ensure that every elementary school will have a minimum Internet bandwidth of 100mb and each high school 1GB, further enabling online learning and moving the district towards its goal of supporting one to one device connectivity at every school.

In addition to the upgrades to school internet access, CPS is investing nearly $6 million in IT infrastructure and systems upgrades and $0.9 million in new security cameras and metal detectors to help ensure student safety.

Investments in educational programming. The FY17 capital budget includes investments in new educational programming at three schools: Dyett HS, Dunbar HS, and William H. Brown ES.

Dyett HS will re-open for the 2016-17 school year as an open enrollment neighborhood school with a focus on the arts. CPS is investing over $14 million dollars to renovate Dyett and establish a preeminent arts program within the school.

Dunbar HS will begin the 2016-17 school year with Chicago’s first comprehensive trade program, Chicago Builds, focusing on employment in the construction and building trades. An investment of $4.4 million will provide new labs and equipment to train a citywide cohort of students in skills to pursue careers in these fields.

William Brown ES will add Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming in the 2016-17 school year, as CPS invests $4.7 million in classroom and lab space to accommodate the new programming.

Air conditioning in classrooms. The FY17 capital budget includes $27 million to install air conditioning at 61 schools, completing the Mayor’s initiative of installing air conditioning in every classroom. Since announcing in 2013 a 5-year plan to install air conditioning in every classroom, the plan has been completed substantially ahead of time and under budget. The schools and campuses receiving air conditioning investments in FY17 are outlined in the table below.

Table 1: FY17 Air Conditioning Investments

  • Amundsen HS

  • Bennett

  • Bogan HS

  • Bouchet

  • Chicago Tech Academy

  • Clark, G

  • Cook

  • Crown

  • Cooper

  • Darwin

  • Dunbar HS

  • DuSable Campus

  • Epic Charter HS

  • Field

  • Foreman HS

  • Gage Park HS

  • Gale

  • Graham

  • Harlan HS

  • Hirsch HS

  • Kelly HS

  • Kilmer

  • King ES

  • Lake View HS

  • LaSalle II

  • Lincoln Park HS

  • Lovett

  • Lowell

  • Madison

  • Manley HS

  • Mann

  • Marshall HS

  • Mason

  • North Lawndale Charter - Christiana

  • Parkside

  • Peace & Education HS

  • Perez

  • Perspectives Charter - IIT

  • Perspectives Charter - Leadership Academy

  • Phillips HS

  • Phoenix Military HS

  • Piccolo

  • Richards HS

  • Roosevelt HS

  • Ruggles

  • Shoop

  • Stagg

  • Suder

  • Sullivan HS

  • Sumner

  • Tanner

  • Tilden HS

  • Till

  • University of Chicago Chtr - Donoghue

  • University of Chicago Chtr - Woodlawn

  • University of Chicago Chtr - Woodson

  • Urban Prep Chtr - West

  • Warren

  • Wells HS

  • Whistler

  • Yates


The District’s FY17 Capital Plan is available on the interactive capital website, providing community members with easy access to detailed information on all capital projects that are planned and underway. The site allows users to quickly select projects by school, geographic area, type, and year. It also allows users to scroll over an interactive map to gather details by area. The site has been designed to encourage public engagement and comment.

Over the next few months, CPS will engage communities as we develop a supplemental capital plan to address overcrowding relief, deferred maintenance, and targeted school improvements with the proceeds of bonds issued against the Capital Improvement Tax levy.