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Policy Center

CIVIC BUILDINGS

Schools, libraries, community centers and others do not just provide essential services to their communities; they are places where community members meet and engage one another. They are places where citizens engage in the democratic process on Election Day, and where families find shelter when disasters strike.

 

Due to budget pressures at the local level, our nation’s community buildings are in need of improvement. Outdated equipment means higher energy costs for local governments, and neglect leaves many buildings unprotected from natural hazards.

 

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives our nation's schools a D+ in their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.

 

Investing in improving these buildings assets not only fosters better learning and community engagement: it creates jobs, especially in areas where the pandemic and economic trends have created high unemployment.

Policy Ideas

Energy Efficient Public Buildings Act (H.R.1993)

Directs the Secretary of Energy to provide grants for energy improvements to certain public buildings, and for other purposes.

Reopen and Rebuild America's Schools Act (S.96)

A bill to provide for the long-term improvement of public school facilities, and for other purposes.

Build America's Libraries Act (S. 127)

A bill to support library infrastructure.

Open Back Better Act of 2021 (H.R.1485)

A bill to provide additional funds for Federal and State facility energy resiliency programs.

 

Renew America’s Schools Act of 2021 (​S.694)

Requires the Secretary of Energy to provide grants for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities, and for other purposes.

POLICY

Reed Offers $5 Billion Plan to Build 21st Century Public Libraries

Noting that public libraries provide essential services and are trusted pillars of our democracy, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is seeking to invest $5 billion nationwide to build and modernize public libraries to better serve communities, boost economic development, and connect more Americans to opportunities for advancement.