The D.C. Board of Education voted last night to ask the D.C. City Council to spend an additional $23.8 million for school capital improvement projects during fiscal year 1987.
The board requested $34.6 million for capital improvements late last year as part of its annual budget request, but decided to ask for more money after several city officials told the board that the city had as much as $30 million "to address the deplorable condition of school buildings," said Wanda Washburn, who represents Ward 2.
The additional request brings the total 1987 capital improvement request to $58.4 million.
"The city government recently started using municipal bonds to support capital expenditures," Washburn said. "City officials have told us that they have an unexpended amount of funds generated by the selling of the bonds. That means that they have a pot of money sitting around that isn't being used. They have told us to make a request and so that's what we're doing."
The capital improvement budget for District schools is separate from the operating budget request, which the board submitted to the council last month.
Additional improvement funds would be used to replace broken windows and doors, continue the removal of asbestos and buy new boilers, among other projects, Washburn said.
In an interview after the meeting, school board President R. David Hall also said that D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has promised to have the Department of Public Works repair 58 leaking roofs on schools across the city. The estimated cost of the repairs is $6.3 million, according to Hall, and will come from the District's capital improvement budget. Barry's pledge came in an informal meeting Monday with Hall and other members of the board.