Los Angeles schools are getting roofing repairs and stocking up on sandbags in anticipation of heavy El Niño rains this year.
The district, whose budget is $7.08 billion this school year, is spending $6.1 million on roofing replacement projects at 10 schools. They are supposed to be completed between April and May of next year.
The district chose these schools because their roofs had the worst combinations of old age and bad conditions, according to an ongoing facilities survey of LAUSD schools, said Roger Finstad, the district's director of maintenance and operations.
Toward the end of August, when news reports began surfacing that El Niño was almost certainly going to affect Southern California, the district began its preparations, Finstad said. For much of the summer, the district had been dealing with heat waves and complaints about air conditioning in schools.
Another concern: Power outages caused when rain downs power lines, a problem that affected some schools during a storm in September. The district owns 55 generators spread throughout the area that it can send to schools that need them, plus a contract to rent more generators if necessary. Thirteen of those generators are capable of powering at least one classroom building, while the other 42 are for smaller individual tools or equipment.