K-12 Deferred Maintenance: Challenges at Every Turn
August 11, 2016
Two recent developments in large U.S. school districts demonstrate the challenges facing maintenance and engineering managers responsible for finding the resources to keep their facilities safe and operable in the face of mounting concerns over deferred maintenance.
Consider, Portland Public Schools, which is at a critical point. It just postponed a $750 million bond proposal to focus on hiring a superintendent. But its buildings and efforts to hold them together are strained. Oregon’s largest district faces two big gaps: money to upgrade the school buildings and managers to keep them in shape.
But those goals may be harder to reach than they sound. Recent investigations have found the way Oregon’s largest district maintains its buildings is basically with a constant emergency response. The lack of preventive maintenance has created a repair backlog of more than $1.5 billion dollars.
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In Denver, managers have managed to secure funding for much-needed facility upgrades but now must work quickly to complete the projects. While students are off for the summer, construction and maintenance crews are swarming the grounds of just about every school and charter school in School District 27J to work on dozens of expansion and upgrade projects funded by the passing of a $248 million bond last fall.
“Our goal is to ensure that all schools in the district benefit from the bond monies through building upgrades, maintenance projects, and at some schools renovations and expansions,” says Tonja Castaneda, bond specialist with School District 27J. “Currently, since it’s summer and school buildings are empty, we have many school improvement projects going on throughout the district.”
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This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, firstname.lastname@example.org. Read about deferred maintenance challenges and strategies at https://www.facilitiesnet.com/16058FMD.