Facility Maintenance Decisions

Maintenance Department Renovates Classroom After Fire

Dorsey High School has an $18 million budget for its repairs and modernization. Many of the renovations at Dorsey, including those to plumbing and HVAC systems, are similar to projects at Belmont. But the district also renovated a culinary arts room and an auditorium inside the 202,000-square-foot facility.

The district had transformed a woodworking classroom into a culinary arts space, but the entire kitchen went up in flames. According to normal protocol after a fire, the maintenance department would have restored the space back to its original condition, Gamble says. But the classroom never functioned properly, so the department completely upgraded the space.

“That’s one of those where we really looked at the educational program and said, ‘Let’s not just repair it the way it was. Let’s take it a step further,’” Gamble says.

The culinary arts project and the auditorium renovation at Dorsey — two of 49 projects at the school — each cost more than $1 million.

“Overall, the things we’ve been doing are absolutely the right things to be doing,” Gamble says.

After more than a decade of large-scale projects — both new construction and existing building additions — the district plans to use money from the latest bond to finish smaller modernization and repair efforts within its existing facilities.

Voter support for the $7 billion bond passed last November was higher than any other measure for the district, Gamble says. That type of support did not exist just over 10 years ago, when new construction projects were stuck in neutral and conditions inside existing facilities were getting worse.

Says Mehula, “(Taxpayers are) seeing the results. They’re seeing things get done.”

Spotlight: Los Angeles Unified School District

• Almost 14,000 structures

6,300 permanent buildings

• More than 5,800 acres of grounds

878 schools

• Enrollment: 694,288

• More than 72 million square feet of space

• More than 58,000 HVAC units

6,200 employees for maintenance and operations functions

• More than 7,800 student restrooms

• More than 270,000 service calls a year


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  posted on 1/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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