Through the one-penny education sales tax, ESPLOST, which has been the primary funding mechanism for previous capital plan improvements, Fulton County Schools’ most urgent facility-related needs are being met.
Previous five-year capital planning cycles have responded to the district’s most urgent needs, such as new school construction, renovations and building additions when the Fulton County housing market showed explosive growth. Safety and emergency preparedness also has been continuously prioritized with upgraded high-tech video camera systems in schools and school buses, visitor ID management, safety planning and communication tools, and patrol vehicles/specialized equipment for FCS police officers. Adding to the district’s overall safety strategy, Fulton County Schools now replaces its aging diesel school buses with propane-powered models that have student seat belts. The result is a safer bus fleet that is more cost-effective to operate and friendlier to the environment.
And as up-to-date technology continues to be a significant need, capital plans have focused on improving wireless networks, procuring software and applications, and refreshing outdated equipment. Educational tech platforms and mobile learning devices, such as tablets and laptops, have helped foster more engaging instruction and collaboration between school and home. Those investments positioned Fulton County Schools to successfully navigate a global pandemic, especially as other school systems locally and nationally struggled with a lacking technology infrastructure and limited student hardware.
More Information? Visit the ESPLOST: Capital Plan 2022 website.
New schools were constructed to provide classroom space based upon existing or projected overcrowding and/or overall physical condition. In addition, new STEM-focused high school campuses create options for students seeking a non-traditional and rigorous high school experience in engineering, healthcare and information technology.
- Global Impact Academy and FCS Innovation Academy (STEM-focused high schools)
- New Crabapple Middle School
- Riverwood International Charter School replacement (to be completed in 2022)
* Replacement buildings for Conley Hills Elementary School and McClarin High School are still under discussion due to changing enrollment needs.
During Capital Plan 2022, renovation projects occurred at 88 schools. Learning environments were improved through new roofing, flooring, plumbing, wiring, painting, replacement of windows and doors, ceilings, mechanical system equipment, water piping, HVAC, ADA renovations, infrastructure improvements, repaving, fire alarms and sprinklers, correction of drainage issues and other site improvements, sports equity, physical education facilities, classroom additions, and program-driven modifications. In addition:
- Middle school media centers renovated similar to high schools
- New fire alarms at 16 schools
- Roof replacements at 18 schools
- Playground upgrades at 6 elementary schools
- Turf/track replacements at 13 high schools
- Freezer/cooler replacements at 3 schools and the FCS Warehouse
- Desktop computers, laptops and tablets (collectively called “devices”) purchased for students, staff and school computer labs
- Nearly 76,000 learning devices purchased; individual devices provided for every middle and high school student while elementary students share a classroom set
- 1,200+ CTAE lab devices
- 600+ Fine Arts lab devices
- 2,600+ devices for new teachers; 6,500+ refreshed devices for existing teachers
- 6,700+ interactive classroom projectors
- District-wide applications upgraded to improve business operations and efficiency
- New office technology hardware
- New platform for district-level and school websites
- 3,000+ wireless access points refreshed
- Secondary data center created
- Increased bandwidth to 60GB
- New device management tools
- Ongoing network refresh for schools and district data center
- Technology provisioned for new schools, support buildings and ongoing renovations
Thanks to ESPLOST, the final installments of a general obligation bond secured in 1998 have been paid off. Capital Plan 2022 earmarked funds
to pay off debt so that Fulton County property owners did not face an additional burden through their school taxes.
Safety & Security
- New digital video surveillance systems replaced older analog cameras in 77 schools
- Visitor and volunteer management allows front office to crosscheck visitors’ IDs against sex offender databases
- Front entrance systems at schools that allows front office staff to verify visitors before granting access
- 19 new or replacement emergency response vehicles added to school police fleet
Transportation, Furniture and Equipment
- Nearly 500 new propane-powered school buses with three-point student seat belts replaced aging diesel models
- More than 100 replacement support vehicles purchased
- New bus surveillance cameras
- Replaced, purchased, upgraded or supplemented capital equipment including, but not limited to, desks, chairs, tables, books, laboratory equipment, etc.