After the Olympics: Will taxpayers foot the bill for $1.2B repai - News, Weather & Sports

After the Olympics: Will taxpayers foot the bill for $1.2B repairs to JCPS buildings

(Source: Raycom News Network) (Source: Raycom News Network)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dozens of Jefferson County Public Schools have aging walls, leaking roofs and rotting pipes. 

School leaders are concerned that the state's largest school district is now at a billion dollar breaking point. They're trying to figure out how to come up with the money to fix a problem that's been growing for years.

Indian Trail Elementary is one of several JCPS schools that have fallen into disrepair according to the district's own Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment. It's a school with stained walls and a failing HVAC system.

At Indian Trail, even Old Glory looks old. The American flag hanging outside is tattered and torn.

According to calculations done by WAVE 3 News using the JCPS Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment, 56% of JCPS schools are more than 50 years old. Forty-four percent of elementary schools are listed in poor condition with "end of life systems that require frequent critical repairs." And, 12 elementary schools are listed as more cost-effective to replace than renovate. 

+ REPORT: JCPS Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment

Mike Mulheirn was JCPS Facilities Director for 16 years before retiring this summer. He now works as a school facility consultant. "This stuff is all worn out," Mulheirn said. "You know we're living on borrowed time."

JCPS Chief Operating Officer Mike Raisor said it will take $1.2 billion to repair and replace everything the district needs. Raisor is exploring cost-saving options like combining schools, using naming rights to fund high school sports facilities and even sharing space, like the new Norton Commons Elementary is doing with the YMCA. But, Raisor said the district will never be able to afford a long-term fix without the one word no one wants to hear.

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When asked if there was any way for JCPS to pay for a long-term fix without a tax increase, Raisor replied simply, "No."

See the problems for yourself in a special report Tuesday after the Olympics on WAVE 3 News. 

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