RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- 73 million dollars - that's how much rollover bond money the school district has left from 2002.
"We need to utilize this money or it would expire," said Washoe County School District Chief Operations Officer Pete Etchart.
After more than a year of discussion and planning, the school board unanimously approved 73 million dollars in projects.
Etchart said they have until October of 2017 to spend the funds.
"Our schools need it," he said. "We need to make these improvements. We have about a billion and a half dollars in community assets out there. We need to maintain them."
Here's how they're spending it:
About $33 million will go to capital renewal projects.
About $15 million will be used for revitalization projects, which will upgrade the seven remaining district schools that were built in the 1950's and 60's and are in need of repair. Roy Gomm, Lena Juniper, Pleasant Valley and Mamie Towles elementary schools will get $2.5 million each. Natchez and Verdi will get $1.75 million and Marvin Piccolo will get $1.6 million.
$12 million will bring wireless internet to every school in the district.
More than $4 million will go to safety and security. That's including about $850 thousand to install door handles that allow teachers to lock their doors without having to leave the classroom in case of a threat.
About $8.5 million will go to improving the district's signature academies. Each high school in Washoe County has a hands-on career focused track. Hug, North Valleys, Reed, Sparks and Wooster high schools will each be getting funding to improve their programs.
Etchart said all of these projects echo what the voters supported when they said yes to the 2002 rollover bonds.
"The board of trustees really wanted to be consistent with what was given to the voters back in 2002, and this recommendation from the oversight panel is consistent with what the bond measure in 2002," he said.
A long-term source of capital funds is still a looming challenge for the school district. They're discussing the possibility of creating a measure that would put the funding future in the hands of the voters.