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Texas School Performance Review
Spring Independent School District
Chapter 5
Facility Maintenance and Operations



CURRENT SITUATION

SISD's maintenance and operations functions are the responsibility of the director of Maintenance and the director of Operations. The director of Maintenance oversees a staff of 48 including the supervisor of Construction and Energy. This department is responsible for the maintenance of all SISD buildings, grounds, and equipment. A scheduled preventive maintenance program for all district buildings is monitored by this department. Maintenance also is responsible for minor Construction and Renovation projects such as carpet replacement and the upgrading of equipment such as chillers and boilers. The director of Operations is responsible for the district's custodial functions and oversees a staff of 145.

FINDING

SISD's preventive maintenance program is detailed in Exhibit 5-13. This program is designed to extend the life of the facilities and ensure that they operate at optimum efficiency and that costly repairs to facilities and equipment are identified early. The schedule of preventive measures includes air conditioning system cleaning and testing, cleaning of plumbing systems and roof drainage, inspection of interior and exterior lighting, bleacher maintenance, interior finish inspection and cleaning, and exterior lighting and finish assessment.

Exhibit 5-13
Preventive Maintenance Program Schedule

Preventive Maintenance Activity Activity Frequency
Clean A/C unit filters bi-monthly
Change A/C unit filters 3 to 12 week intervals
Clean chiller condenser coils bi-annually
Clean fan coil and air handler evaporator coils annually
Clean ice machine condenser coils every 4 months
Inspect and capacity test chillers annually
Change chiller compressor oil and cores every 2 years
Check chemical levels in closed loop chilled and hot water piping monthly
Clean grease traps every 3 months
Inspect and test boilers annually
Check roofs, downspouts, and gutters monthly, repair as needed - 20 year roof replacement
Inspect exterior lighting semi-annually
Inspect elementary play gym lighting annually
Inspect and clean gym gas heaters annually
Inspect playground equipment monthly, repair as needed
Clean fire alarm system smoke detectors semi-annually
Inspect all interior and exterior bleachers annually, repair as needed
Clean, tighten, and lubricate roll out bleachers annually
Check exterior building and concrete caulking annually - 8 year replacement
Stripe exterior parking lots annually
Check condition of asphalt parking lots annually - 12 year replacement
Check carpet 15 year replacement
Check vinyl composition tile floors 20 year replacement
Spray wash exterior soffits and building every 2 years or as needed
Replace glass and Plexiglas as needed
Paint interior of facilities every 5 years
Paint exterior of facilities every 8 years
Perform general facility inspections annually

Source: SISD Preventive maintenance program.

COMMENDATION

SISD has a comprehensive preventive maintenance program.

Regular review of the facilities ensures that potential problems are identified early, before they become expensive emergencies.

FINDING

The Operations Department is responsible for district custodial services. The department includes 145 positions including the director, building mechanics and coordinators, a project repairman, pest control technician, custodians, and clerical support. The number of custodial positions is based on a staffing ratio of one custodian for every 20,000 net square feet of facility space. This exceeds custodial ratios found in other TSPR reviews, which typically range from 17,000 to 19,500 square feet per custodian. A 30-hour training program for new staff members includes asbestos and chemical training, equipment care, and basic and advanced cleaning techniques. Employees are evaluated during classroom training and during the first 180 days of employment.

COMMENDATION

The Operations Department provides a comprehensive training program and staffing ratios exceed standards.

FINDING

The percentage of SISD's general operating funds budgeted for facility management, maintenance, and operations has fallen steadily since 1991-1992 (Exhibit 5-14). This drop from 6.86 percent to 5.63 percent for 1996-1997 has resulted in a growing list of deferred maintenance needs. Comments received from the community regarding the 1996 bond election expressed concern over the amount of bond money designated for maintenance items. The district does not have a scheduled long-range capital maintenance program for major equipment and facilities and does not typically include capital maintenance needs in the operating budget. Therefore a reliance on bond funds for maintenance, replacement of major equipment, and facility upgrades related to changing codes and design requirements, has created an irregular schedule for this work and consequently greater chances of unbudgeted, emergency expenditures.

Exhibit 5-14
SISD Facility Management, Maintenance, and Operations Department Budgets

Budget Year Total Operating Budget Facility Management Maintenance Department Operations Department Percentage of Operating Budget
1990-91 $71,234,208 $462,425 $4,259,643 See Note 1 6.62%
1991-92 $76,394,276 $244,992 $5,003,015 See Note 1 6.86%
1992-93 $79,779,391 $229,648 $5,088,511 See Note 1 6.66%
1993-94 $79,069,046 $341,950 $2,770,523 $2,094,406 6.58%
1994-95 $82,413,321 $325,834 $2,814,564 $2,278,321 6.57%
1995-96 $89,559,675 $397,227 $2,563,791 $2,499,196 6.09%
1996-97 $99,007,357 $266,394 $2,624,957 $2,686,517 5.63%

Note 1: The Maintenance and Operations departments were combined. Source: SISD approve general operating budgets.

Recommendation 48:

Develop a long-range maintenance program.

The district should develop a long-range maintenance plan that will identify scheduled maintenance tasks to be performed on major equipment and building components (e.g. roofs) over a five to ten year period as well as planned maintenance schedules for major equipment such as air conditioner, or chillers.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE

1. The executive director of Facility Management and Security prepares a long-range maintenance plan and schedule based on prioritized maintenance items and assessed district facility needs. October 1997
2. The executive director of Facility Management and Security presents the long-range maintenance plan and schedule to the board committee on Construction and Renovation and district administration for comment and possible revision. December 1997
3. The executive director of Facility Management and Security presents the revised long-range maintenance plan and schedule to the board. January 1998
4. The board approves, after any necessary changes, the long-range maintenance plan and schedule. February 1998
5. The executive director of Facility Management and Security incorporates the long-range maintenance plan and schedule into the district's formal facilities master plan. March 1998

FISCAL IMPACT

Establishing a long-range maintenance plan and schedule should have no fiscal impact since it can be accomplished internally.

FINDING

The Food Service Department employs a person to repair food service equipment in the school kitchens. This person occasionally requires support from the Maintenance Department when electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work is required, and when replacement and new equipment is installed. The Maintenance Department has not charged the Food Service Department for providing this support. The support that the Maintenance Department is providing is reimbursable by the Food Service Department with proper documentation of service provided.

Recommendation 49:

Implement a method for recovering the costs of Maintenance Department materials and labor used to repair and maintain Food Service Department equipment.

This process would allow the district to better identify its total costs for maintaining kitchen equipment and allow the Maintenance Department to budget costs more effectively.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE

1. The director of Maintenance develops a work order policy to track material and labor costs of maintenance activities for Food Service. October 1997
2. The director of Maintenance implements a work-order system. November 1997

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation would increase revenues available in the general fund since this would reduce the district's Maintenance Department annual general fund expense by about $20,000 in time and materials and would be paid for Food Service funds that are not part of general fund.

Recommendation 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02
Implement a cost recovery program with Food Services. $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000

FINDING

The Maintenance Department has established a training program for new building mechanics that includes orientation in hazardous materials, material safety data sheets (MSDS), fire safety, basic first aid, and asbestos awareness training. Each new operator completes 24 hours of hands-on training at another school and eight hours at their assigned school with an experienced building operator, for a total of 32 training hours. Trainees also must complete a 180-day probationary period.

In spite of this training, however, several school principals told the review team that SISD needs more training in each assigned school to familiarize the trainee with the school and its individual systems.

Recommendation 50:

Adjust the amount of training for new building mechanics at their assigned schools to 24 hours (three days), with eight hours at another school.

This would give new mechanics more opportunity to identify and evaluate normal occurrences at their assigned schools. It also would provide a greater opportunity for supervision under varying conditions experienced during a span of days.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE

1. The director of Maintenance revises requirements of training program. October 1997

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation would have no fiscal impact.


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