From The Chicago Tribune: The Chicago public school system pays about $380 million a year to operate and maintain its aging network of buildings. Correcting structural problems such as cracked brick facades or deteriorating foundations requires a much more significant investment. But the district doesn't have the money to make all of the needed repairs and improvements, forcing officials to make tough choices about what to spend and where. How deep is the building crisis runs in the nation's third-largest school district? The average school is 73 years old; 56 schools still are in use that had been built before 1900. Eight out of every 10 boilers is more than 50 years old. More than half the schools lack air conditioning in all or parts of their buildings.