Office of the Superintendent of Schools MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Rockville, Maryland. November 20, 2006

Office of the Superintendent of Schools MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Rockville, Maryland November 20, 2006 MEMORANDUM To: Members of the Board o...
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Office of the Superintendent of Schools MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Rockville, Maryland November 20, 2006

MEMORANDUM To:

Members of the Board of Education

From:

Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent of Schools

Subject:

Follow-up from November 15, 2006, Public Hearing on the FY 2008 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2007–2012 Capital Improvements Program

11-15-06-01 Mrs. O’Neill requested information on the number of schools that have not been assessed for modernization with the Facilities Assessment and Criteria Testing (FACT ) tool, and the cost and logistics of conducting FACT assessments for these schools. Response: There are 151 schools that do not have Facility Assessment with Criteria and Testing (FACT) assessments. Eighty-six of these schools were built or modernized after 1990. The 65 facilities built or modernized before 1990 that have not been assessed include four high schools, eight middle schools, and 53 elementary schools. FACT assessments have two components—a physical condition assessment and an evaluation of the existing educational spaces to determine what instructional supports are available. A contract engineering firm has been hired in the past to complete the physical condition assessment by collecting and compiling data on the age and condition of various buildings and site components. The educational component is completed by the Division of Long-range Planning staff through an analysis of the educational space available at the facility. The last FACT assessments were performed in 2000. The approximate cost for assessments based on previous contracts is $7,500 per elementary school, $10,000 per middle school, and $15,000 per high school. These costs are preliminary estimates based on historical data and would have to be verified for more accuracy through bid proposals from firms that perform this type of work. The length of time required to perform the remaining assessments would have to be verified through bid proposals.

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

11-15-06-02 Mrs. Cox requested information on the backlog of maintenance projects. Response: In 2005, the County Council convened a county infrastructure task force to determine the long -term maintenance needs for all agencies. The task force estimated the amount of funding needed to provide a reasonable annual level of maintenance for county facilities and compared that with the typical historical annual expenditures for capital maintenance funding. Based on this analysis, most county agencies have not kept up with reasonable funding levels for annual capital maintenance. This shortfall has produced a backlog of capital maintenance work for all county agencies, including the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The task force recommended several approaches to support adequate levels of infrastructure maintenance for all agencies. However, it was difficult to determine the exact amount of the shortfall because of the lack of systematic data on the condition of critical infrastructure components. One measure that the task force recommended and the County Council adopted was to provide funding to help agencies organize capital asset data so that accurate estimates of annual maintenance needs could be developed. MCPS received a supplemental appropriation in FY 2006 to develop an asset management database system for critical building components. This database will enable Department of Facilities Management staff to predict more accurately what annual maintenance needs are for future fiscal year budget requests. The information provided to Dr. Jane de Winter, president, Montgomery County PTAs, Inc., on the amount of the maintenance project backlog was an estimate based on the historical shortfall in annual maintenance funding. The accuracy of this information cannot be verified until the asset management database work is finalized. The sense of the MCPS staff who participated on the task force is that the issue of adequate infrastructure maintenance funding will be examined in more detail as part of the FY 2009-2014 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) once more accurate data are available. 11-15-06-03 Mrs. O’Neill requested information on how decisions are made by schools undergoing modernization in terms of outfitting items such as furniture and equipment. Response: Staff in the Department of Materials Management maintain a database on the basic items that are required to equip new and modernized buildings. This information, along with cost, is provided to school principals with options on how to select and procure furniture and equipment. Principals are expected to procure the basic items. However, the furniture and equipment budgets for capital projects contain discretionary funds that principals can use to buy items beyond the basic

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

requirements. The use of these discretionary funds is determined by principals based on what items they feel are needed to support school programs. 11-15-06-04 Mrs. Cox asked whether language labs are still included in educational specifications for high schools. Response: Listening laboratories were incorporated in the high school educational specification requirements in spring 2005 for all future school designs including the Walter Johnson and Paint Branch high school modernization projects that are currently in the design phase. For these and all future high schools, one teaching station designated for the foreign language department will be designed to accommodate the equipment for a listening laboratory. 11-15-06-05 Mrs. Cox requested a response to testimony from the Richard Montgomery Cluster concerning the need for site coordinators to oversee major projects, and asked if there have been delays in construction due to a lack of site coordinators. Response: The MCPS Division of Construction staff includes inspection personnel and a project manager assigned to each capital project. This team provides the necessary owner representation to ensure projects are adequately monitored. In addition to the Division of Construction staff, relocation coordinators are assigned to certain projects. Relocation coordinators are provided routinely for new and modernized high school projects through allocations split between the furniture/equipment and construction budgets. Middle school projects also are given this option; however, in most cases middle school principals do not chose to employ relocation coordinators. The relocation coordinator is a temporary employee who works periodically during the project to act as the principal’s liaison to the Division of Construction staff for the project. This practice was established to relieve high school principals of the need to order furniture and equipment and perform other coordination activities between the school and construction activities. Relocation coordinators are limited to secondary school projects because the volume of these activities does not justify this support for elementary school projects. These positions have no role in supervising or administering the construction work and a lack of relocation coordinators has not contributed to any project delays.

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

11-15-06-06 Mrs. Cox requested information on the gym floor at Beall Elementary School and the unavailability of a solvent to clean it. Response: The gymnasium floor at Beall Elementary School is a resilient composite floor that was routinely used in the late 1980s and 1990s for new and modernized elementary school gymnasiums. Use of this product was largely discontinued in the late 1990s and new and modernized elementary school gymnasiums are now constructed with wood floors. The Division of Maintenance, Bethesda depot, staff evaluated the condition of the Beall Elementary School gymnasium floor on October 17, 2006. The composite floor surface was in good condition; however, the “court lines” were faded in some areas. Repainting of the faded lines will be placed in the annual maintenance program for gymnasium floor reconditioning and scheduled based on availability of funding. Staff is not aware of any shortage of cleaning materials for composite gymnasium floors. The Division of School Plant Operations supervisory staff will review this with staff at schools that have composite gymnasium floors. 11-15-06-07 Mrs. Cox requested information on the HVAC system at Maryvale Elementary School and reports of mold growing in classrooms. Response: Over the past three years, the majority of the mechanical systems at Maryvale Elementary School have been replaced. The replacement of the remaining equipment will be scheduled through the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning program in the capital budget based on funding availability and other systemwide school priorities. This past summer, the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) staff investigated reports of mold growth and temperature control problems in the "100 wing" classrooms of the school and musty odors in the carpets in rooms 606 and 607. Some mold growth was discovered. As part of the mitigation process, the mechanical equipment serving those areas was checked and building service staff cleaned the visible mold, Energy Management staff recalibrated the temperature control sensors for the unit ventilators, and some pipe insulation was replaced in room 101. The carpets in rooms 606 and 607 have been scheduled for replacement with tile during the winter break. IAQ staff feels these measures will address the mold issue that developed this past summer. 11-15-06-08

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

Mrs. O’Neill requested information on artificial turf, including its cost, the cycle of replacement and equipment needed to maintain it. Response: Based on information from the Montgomery County Parks Department, which is installing an artificial turf field at one of their regional parks, the initial cost is approximately $750,000. This includes all installation costs, including subsurface drainage and the equipment needed for periodic maintenance. This cost is for a retrofit of an existing field. The cost may be slightly lower for a turf field constructed as part of a new school; however, the Montgomery County Parks Department staff had no cost data readily available to make that determination. The fields have a projected 10-year life cycle. At the end of the life cycle, the fields have to be renewed at an estimated cost of $200,000. 11-15-06-09 Mrs. O’Neill requested information concerning safety and drainage of fields at James Hubert Blake High School. Response: Staff is evaluating the stadium field at James Hubert Blake High School and will provide a report at a later date. 11-15-06-10 Mrs. O’Neill requested information concerning traffic and access issues affecting William H. Farquhar Middle School. Testimony from the Sherwood Cluster indicated, that with the opening of Good Counsel High School, Old Vic Boulevard is scheduled to be extended to provide access to the new school and the extension will open directly in front of William H. Farquhar Middle School’s main bus entrance. Response: The Olney/Sandy Spring master plan includes a connection of Old Vic Boulevard to Batchelors Forest Road, adjacent to William H. Farquhar Middle School. However, the connection to Batchelors Forest Road is not being constructed to accommodate the new Good Counsel High School site. Old Vic Boulevard will dead end at the south property line of the Good Counsel High School site and the only access to the school initially will be from Maryland Route 108. There is a subdivision plan being reviewed by the Planning Board for a residential development that, if approved, will include the extension of Old Vic Boulevard to Batchelors Forest Road. There are no details on the connection to Batchelors Forest Road, since it is in the preliminary planning stage. However, master-planned connections to existing roads normally include stipulations as part of the final design approvals requiring the developer to make improvements to enhance traffic safety. Department of Facilities Management staff is aware of the school concerns regarding the master-

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

planned road connection and will work with Planning Board staff to ensure any impacts to the William H. Farquhar Middle School site are mitigated as part of the subdivision plan approval. This will include an analysis of the William H. Farquhar entrances and the bus/car traffic on our site. 11-15-06-11 Mrs. Navarro indicated she would be submitting questions at a later date. 11-15-06-12 Mrs. Cox requested information about repairs to the handicap accessible doors at Briggs Chaney Middle School. Response: The Division of Maintenance (Randolph depot) does not have any outstanding work orders for the three handicap accessible doors at Briggs Chaney Middle School. In the last two years, minor repairs and adjustments have been made to the front door twice, the cafeteria automatic door once, and the gym hall automatic door once. Depot staff will inspect the doors to ensure they are working properly. 11-15-06-13 Mrs. Cox requested information on security cameras, including the criteria for their installation and the status of their installation. Response: Currently, all high schools have security camera systems. Two pilot programs are under way to evaluate camera installations and main entrance surveillance for middle and elementary schools. The initial criteria for installing cameras at high schools were based on facility size and the number of areas that require surveillance, as well as the need to evaluate the camera systems and equipment. When the camera program was initiated, plans were included to determine the applicability and value of adding cameras to the middle schools as well as exploring other applications. One of the current pilot programs is being evaluated to determine the applicability, configuration, and implementation proposal for adding cameras to middle schools. The other pilot program is evaluating the use of cameras for remote monitoring and controlled access to main entrances at schools where those entrances are not easily supervised by the main office staff. It is anticipated that sufficient data will be available from these pilots to make recommendations on funding for expanded use of security cameras as part of the FY 2009–2014 CIP. 11-15-06-14 Mrs. O’Neill requested information on field drainage issues at Northwest High School.

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

Response: Staff is evaluating the drainage issue in the stadium field at Northwest High School and will provide a report at a later date. 11-15-06-15 Mrs. Cox requested information on HVAC and PLAR projects that have been completed, and are planned in the future, for Seneca Valley High School. Response: Between FY 2000 and FY 2006, 36 Planned Life-cycle Asset Replacement (PLAR), HVAC, IAQ, and space modification projects were completed at Seneca Valley High School. The total cost of these projects was approximately $4.3 million. This work included replacement of the mechanical system ductwork, a substantial portion of the main heating and cooling equipment, and temperature control systems. Additional projects included in the FY 2007-2012 CIP are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Kitchen equipment replacement Flooring replacement Bathroom renovation Exterior stair restoration Door replacement Fencing replacement Lighting/ceiling replacement Roof replacement Total

$ 110,000 35,000 300,000 25,000 20,000 45,000 159,000 1,428,000 $2,122,000

11-15-06-16 Mrs. Cox requested a response to testimony from Mr. Craig Brown concerning fire code issues associated with the lunchroom at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School.

Members of the Board of Education

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November 20, 2006

Response: Staff will ask the principal to review this with the fire marshal to ensure the occupancy rating is correct and inform his staff that the number of students using the cafeteria during lunch cannot exceed the rated capacity. JDW:lt Copy to: Mr. Bowers Dr. Lacey Mr. J. Porter Mr. Kress Mr. B. Porter Mr. Crispell Mr. Hawes

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