School needs are assessed

School officials have launched a new discussion over drafting a comprehensive plan to improve and maintain the district's facilities in the wake of the $110-million Measure S bond being passed.

Early this summer, the district plans to issue about $40 million in bond money to begin work on some of the most pressing needs, said Christine Statton, assistant superintendent of administrative services, during the school board meeting on Thursday.

Working with Craig Bell, the district's director of facilities, Statton recently culled old architect's records to identify the age of school buildings and the year playgrounds, phones and air conditioning units were installed.

They also compiled the number of light bulbs at each campus, and the square footage of asphalt and roofs at each school, among other lists.

"It doesn't look like a huge document," Statton said of the 11-page file. "But it was extensive work."

The findings show that 45% of the district's roofs are in fair condition and 24% of roofs need repairs. Another 4% require immediate replacement.

With some crucial needs identified, Statton said the next step is creating a long-term maintenance plan.

School board President Larry Applebaum suggested installing air conditioning at auditoriums and gyms that lack it, potentially over the winter break, if not this summer.

"This is about not only having the long-term vision but also delivering on some things that we said were going to do," he said.

Applebaum also referred to the poor condition of asphalt at schools, referring to cracks "the width of kids' feet."

"The biggest trip-and-fall hazards of this district are staff parking lots," he added.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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