New Report : 16 Burbank Schools in Poor Shape

Times Staff Writer

The Burbank Board of Education is scheduled to review a report tonight that says all but one of 17 district schools are in poor physical condition and repairs would cost at least $19 million.

No building at the district’s 11 elementary schools, three junior high schools and three senior high schools has major structural problems, district officials said. But the buildings are in dire need of updated plumbing and electrical systems, as well as painting and re-roofing, they said.

District Supt. Arthur Pierce and Supt. of Business Services Richard Tighe, who co-wrote the report, said they will suggest that the board undertake long-range strategies to fund the repairs, since the district cannot immediately afford to finance them. Options include selling bonds or leasing school property, they said.

Tighe said the schools have their original roofs and plumbing. “The electrical systems have never been updated, and they need new wiring in order to accommodate air-conditioning,” he said.


No Maintenance Program

Because of a shortage of funds, the district has never had a regular maintenance program for its schools, Tighe said.

“All these years, we’ve been putting out fires or just tending to the emergency repairs that needed to be done immediately,” Tighe said.

The only school that the report said is in “average” condition is McKinley Elementary, which received a $48,000 federal Community Development Block Grant in 1985 and 1986 to repair electrical systems and windows.

Exterior painting and installation or repair of ceiling lights would be the most expensive districtwide renovations, the report said. The lighting would cost about $3.7 million, while the painting would cost $1.6 million.

The report said that Burbank High School, which graduated its first class in 1908, needs the most extensive repairs. The school needs $995,315 for ceiling-light repair and installation and $24,850 to add building trim, the report said.

The school needs $12,375 to eliminate asbestos from walls and ceilings and $17,250 to update fire alarms and room clocks, the report said.