Burbank school officials tackle maintenance projects

The Burbank Unified school district plans to spend more than $5 million in deferred maintenance funds to paint walls, replace floors and tackle other projects during the 2014-15 fiscal year in a move to free-up bond funds for new facility upgrades.

As of last month, the district's deferred maintenance fund totaled $5.3 million, but the school board has already assigned $5.2 million to various improvement projects.

That leaves Burbank Unified with about $98,000 in its deferred maintenance fund.

The school district commits putting $112,500 in its deferred maintenance fund each year, according to a district report.

However, during the past few years, state officials quit matching school districts' contributions to the maintenance fund, said David Jaynes, assistant superintendent of administrative services.

"At some point, the state's going to recognize that school districts are not putting enough money aside for deferred maintenance," said school board member Larry Applebaum. "And there already is a huge backlog of deferred maintenance projects in this state."

He urged the board to examine how it will prioritize dollars for that fund in the future.

"We need to do something to make sure that is actually done," he said. "It's going to require some effort."

School board President Roberta Reynolds agreed with Applebaum.

"It's a little alarming to see us go down to $98,000, although all of these dollars are [going for] things that have waited too long anyway," she said. "We need to move forward, but we need to prepare."

During last week's school board meeting, the board approved spending $115,000 to replace the chiller at George Washington Elementary School, one of many maintenance projects the district will tackle through 2015.

The board also gave the green light to spend another $232,000 to paint the exteriors of Theodore Roosevelt, Bret Harte, Joaquin Miller and Ralph Waldo Emerson elementary schools.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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