Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2013 Amended Budget

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Each year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) must invest in its physical assets (i.e. buildings and equipment) to ensure children have a safe and quality learning environment. With more than 600 buildings, 60 million square feet of space and an estimated $4.9 billion in unmet capital needs, annual capital need is significant.


The FY2013 Capital Budget addresses the most critical infrastructure needs, including areas of health and safety, as well as key capital priorities designed to support student achievement. While smaller in comparison to previous years' budgets, the FY2013 Capital Budget balances addressing the district's most pressing necessities with remaining fiscally prudent given the district's limited resources and current fiscal crisis.


Combined with $765 million in capital projects in the pipeline from prior years, there are nearly 200 projects planned or under way to address the needs of hundreds of schools throughout the district. The FY2013 Capital Budget totals $110 million and will be funded by a combination of CPS resources ($69 million), Chicago Infrastructure Trust funds ($40 million) and outside grants ($1 million).


The FY2013 capital budget was assembled as part of the district's Five-Year Capital Plan, Ten-Year Master Education Facility Plan, and Public Act 097-0474.The Five-Year Capital Plan, released on May 2, 2012, details specific projects the district plans on carrying out through 2017.The Five-Year Capital Plan, as well as project level detail for the FY2013 budget can be found at


Below is a summary of the major initiatives within the FY2013 Capital Budget.


Major Initiatives

Early College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Math, science and technology academies provide high quality educational options for students and establish a rigorous program of mathematics, science and technology courses that build a solid foundation for students to graduate prepared for success in college and career. Approximately $4.5 million in lab build-out and equipment is proposed to prepare Michele Clark, Corliss and Lakeview high schools for the specialized Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs they will offer to incoming freshman students beginning this fall.


Career and Technical Education
Made up of approximately 40 different programs of study, Career and Technical Education (CTE) is offered as a series of classes focused on preparing students for high-demand industries. Courses incorporate rigorous classroom instruction, hands-on training, real work experience and extra student supports into a college or career curriculum to prepare students for future success. The FY2013 Capital Budget expands CTE offerings at Roosevelt High School and Southside Occupational through a $1.15 million investment for lab build-outs.


Teach To One
The Teach To One program reimagines the role of educators, the use of time, the configuration of physical space and the use of data and technology so that students can learn in ways that are personalized to their particular academic needs and strengths. The capital projects include removing walls between classrooms, which will result in larger, more open classrooms –as well as technology upgrades for the new classrooms. CPS will invest $1.175 million in Gray Elementary and Spencer Academy to implement the new Teach To One model.


Recess is a key component of the new Full School Day, as it provides elementary students with the opportunity to release energy, re-boot and return to the classroom ready to learn. To ensure children have access to a safe place for recess, CPS has a five-year, $18 million plan to invest in playgrounds through 2017. The FY13 budget proposes spending the first $3.6 million installment to construct or replace 12-15 playgrounds at schools yet to be determined, in addition to 39 new or replacement playgrounds that are in the pipeline as part of the FY2012 capital budget.


Improvements and Repairs to Chimneys
The district is currently assessing the conditions of chimneys –many of them tall, aging smokestacks sat 225 schools. The order of repair will be determined based on life-safety considerations. A total of $5 million has been set aside in the FY2013 Capital Budget for stabilizing or replacing approximately 10 chimneys in a state of disrepair. This investment is the second of a multi-year plan to address all chimneys that may pose future safety issues, as the district also is repairing a number of chimneys under the FY2012 Capital Budget.


Building Envelope Renovations
Two neighborhood schools, Oriole Park and Higgins Academy, will receive major building renovations. These two schools were identified in the budget because they are in need of imminent repair after years of temporary fixes. At Oriole Park, $2.5 million is budgeted for roofing, masonry repair and window replacement. At Higgins, $2 million will pay for roofing work, landscaping, parking lot repairs, fencing and other site improvements.


Mechanical and Electrical
Camras Elementary will receive mechanical and electrical upgrades in FY2013 to replace components of a failing mechanical system and improve controllability for student comfort. CPS has budgeted $3 million to complete this project.


Building Interior
The Building Interior category consists of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects, and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) purchases. ADA projects are completed as needed and include items such as accessible ramps, signage, modifying bathrooms to include accessible stalls and renovating individual classrooms/programs to become accessible. FF&E purchases in the Building Interior category support new programmatic teaching spaces. The FY2013 Capital Budget includes $3.3 million in ADA and FF&E projects.


Facility Site Improvements/IEPA Rainwater Grant
Friends of Goethe School and CPS were awarded a $950,000 IEPA Rainwater Grant to create a sustainable schoolyard for Goethe Elementary in Logan Square. The project addresses the impairment of waterways from urban runoff, the dangers of standing water in a children's sports field, combined sewage overflow events, and flooding in local homes and businesses.


Information Technology Upgrades
As schools increase utilization of online curriculum and web-based applications to complement more traditional teaching methods, the district's network infrastructure must be upgraded to provide the bandwidth required of the latest technological tools. The FY2013 Capital Budget includes more than $13 million of information technology investments or upgrades, including additional bandwidth for the wireless network at 100 schools and in-school network upgrades for 120 schools, along with the upgrade or replacement of failing network and data center equipment. This also includes the funds required to install the new Google Apps system that will help drive student performance. These investments will be supported by federal E-rate funds.


Energy Performance Program
Approximately $39.9 million, largely funded with grants and the City of Chicago's Infrastructure Trust, will be dedicated to a district-wide Energy Performance Program that supports the Mayor's "Retrofit Chicago" initiative. We estimate the cost will be recaptured in 3-5 years. The program's components include:

  • Installing energy dashboards that will provide real-time energy usage information available both to schools and the Central Office.
  • Retrofitting existing lighting at 320 schools with new high-efficiency lighting systems. After July 1, the T-12 bulbs used at many schools no longer will be available, making the transition to higher efficiency T-8 bulbs necessary as well as fiscally prudent.
  • Conducting energy audits of facilities to identify potential energy conservation and efficiency measures at the district's top 100 most inefficient facilities. All building mechanical systems and controls will be recommissioned to ensure systems are operating efficiency and effectively.


Projects Under Way

In addition to the FY2013 Capital Budget, CPS has $765 million in ongoing projects addressing the most pressing structural and programmatic needs at nearly 200 schools throughout the district. These projects were started at various times over the last several budget years and include major renovations, new facility construction, Building Interior projects, programmatic additions, information technology build-outs and early childhood expansion, just to name few. Details of the district's ongoing capital projects can be found at


Sources and Uses

The FY2013 Capital Budget totals $109,652,391 and will be funded by a combination of CPS resources, Chicago Infrastructure Trust funds and outside grants. Below is a summary of the Sources and Uses of the FY2013 Capital Budget by project type.


       Bond Proceeds
       Chicago Infrasturcture Tust
       IEPA Rainwater Grant
Total FY13 Capital Budget Sources
       Energy Performance Program
       Building Envelope Renovations
       IT, Educational Programming and Other Projects
       Early College Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Schools (ECSS)
       Facility Site Improvements
       Building Interior
       Mechanical & Electrical
       Teach To One
       Career and Technical Education
       Capital Project Support Services
       Legal/Regulatory Requirements
Total FY13 Capital Budget Uses


Impact of FY2013 Capital Projects on Operating Budget

All projects considered for inclusion in the annual capital budget are analyzed for projected impact on the district's operating budget. Due to fiscal constraints, CPS asks departments to reallocate operating funds in order to accommodate any additional operating need resulting from the award of a capital project. For projects with operating savings, such as energy efficiency improvements, CPS is able to capture the savings for the benefit of the district. The FY2013 Capital Budget is estimated to generate operating savings of $12.2 million for the district. Below are details of the operating impact by project type, with savings expressed as a negative number in parentheses, and additional operating costs expressed as a positive number.


Building Envelope Renovations

Energy Savings

The Oriole Park and Higgins Academy projects are expected to have a positive impact on the operating budget as old structural issues are fixed and result in increased energy efficiency, although it is difficult to estimate or measure savings. In addition, once completed, building envelope renovations generally free up engineers and other CPS resources to focus on other buildings in need of attention.
Mechanical and Electrical

Energy Savings

The Camras Mechanical and Electrical project will reduce energy costs as inefficient or out-of-service machines are replaced or upgraded with more efficient equipment. This frees up CPS resources for other mechanical systems in need of attention, and reduces operating expenses due to the improved energy efficiency of the new/repaired system (although energy savings are difficult to quantify).
Building Interior

No Impact

The Building Interior category consists of ADA and furniture projects. ADA improvements and furniture purchases require virtually no maintenance and do not impact the operating budget.
Energy Performance Program

($5.4 Million)

Energy efficiency projects result in savings related to the district's utility expenses. While the FY2013 Energy Efficiency projects should generate approximately $5.4 million in savings, these savings will go toward debt repayment for the next several years, fully offsetting any operating savings.
Early College Science Technology Engineering and Math

No Impact

The FY2013 STEM projects are being completed to support programs being funded with operating funds. The completion of these projects does not trigger any additional operating expenses related to the STEM program. For more details on the STEM program, please visit
Career and Technical Education

No Impact

The FY2013 CTE capital projects are being completed to support programs being funded with operating funds. The completion of these projects does not trigger any additional operating expenses related to the CTE program. For more details on the CTE program, please visit
Teach To One

No Impact

The FY13 Teach To One capital projects are being completed to support programs being funded with operating funds. The completion of these projects does not trigger any additional operating expenses related to the Teach To One program.
Facility Site Improvements/Playgrounds

No Impact

New playground construction requires some maintenance and cleaning to prolong the life of the playground. While this maintenance requires an engineer or custodian –thus taking time from the individual's other job duties –there is no impact on the operating budget, as maintenance is absorbed by current school personnel. The benefits of the playgrounds in conjunction with the district's recess initiative easily outweigh the small personnel commitment.
Capital Project Support Services

($7.4 Million)

Capital Support Services are paid out of capital funds because of their sole focus on capital-funded projects. Due to this funding classification, the district's operating budget is able to spread the cost of the Support Services over the life of the project, saving nearly $7.4 million in operating expenses in FY2013.
Information Technology, Educational Programming and Other Projects


Many of the Information Technology (IT) and Educational Programming projects consist of infrastructure, hardware or software implementation that do not trigger any additional operating costs. However, the projects listed below require ongoing support totaling $603,000.The sponsoring department, in conjunction with the IT department, will absorb any ongoing operating cost increases with current available staff, resulting in no increase to the district's operating budget. The Enterprise Email Solution will result in operating savings of approximately $200,000 annually compared with the district's current email solution.
Local Area Network System Improvement
Opteman Network Upgrades
Enterprise Email, Collaboration and Archiving
Capital Project Assessment
Talent Acquisition Mgmt and Employee Onboarding
Distribution Server Upgrade



Capital Projects Funds

The Summary of Capital Projects Funds table shows FY2013 capital revenues and capital outlays (expenses) to be incurred in FY2013 regardless of the year the project was appropriated. The Fund Balance (unspent revenues received in prior years) accounts for the difference in expected FY2013 capital outlay versus revenues. For example, the district raised approximately $400 million in bond proceeds during FY2012, but will only expense roughly $305 million in the same time period. The remaining $95 million is carried in the Fund Balance for use during FY2013.


FY2011 - FY13 Summary of Capital Projects Funds (In Millions)


FY2011 Actual
FY2012 Estimate
FY13 Budget
Beginning-Year Fund Balance
      Local Revenue
      State Revenue
      Federal Revenue
              Total Revenue
              Capital Outlay



Bond Issuance
End-of-Year Fund Balance


Local revenue of $39.9 million is expected from Chicago Infrastructure Trust receipts related to the district's Energy Efficiency Program.


The state revenue total is comprised of $59.9 million in anticipated Capital Development Board grants, and a $1 million Illinois EPA grant for a stormwater management program at Goethe School.



Capital Spending by Year FY2009 – FY2013


Spending by Year (Cash Paid Out)
Prior Year/Other Expenditures
FY2009 Capital Budget
FY2010 Capital Budget
FY2011 Capital Budget
FY2012 Capital Budget
FY2013 Capital Budget
Modern Schools Across Chicago*
Total Spend by Year
$    648.3
$    691.8
$    563.4
$    533.3
$    672.3
$    371.2




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