Skip to content
Quick Start for:
Chapter 5

This chapter reviews the facilities use and management functions within the North Forest Independent School District (NFISD) in the following sections:

A. Facilities Planning and Construction Management
B. Maintenance Operations
C. Custodial Operations
D. Energy Management

An effective facilities program coordinates all the building resources in the district, including facility planning, construction management, maintenance, housekeeping and energy management. The goal of this program is to provide a safe and clean environment where students can learn and to integrate facility planning with other aspects of school planning.


NFISD is an urban school district located in the city of Houston and covers 33 square miles. Student enrollment has declined steadily over the years. In 1993-94 the district had an enrollment of 13,132 students as compared to 11,699 students in 2001-02, a decline of almost 11 percent over nine years.

On June 8, 2001, flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison damaged a number of the district's buildings. The administration building, Forest Brook High School and Lakewood Elementary School were closed due to damage from the flood waters. Smiley High School, Smiley Technical Center, East Houston Elementary School and Elmore Middle School also suffered some damage from the flood. Northwood Middle School, a school that had been closed due to declining enrollment had minor damage due to a roof leak and a portable building at Rogers Elementary School suffered minor damage.

District administration, working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), determined that the administration building was a total loss. The administrative offices have been relocated to a former primary school facility. As of April 30, 2002, the board had not made a decision regarding any future plans for the administrative offices. Forest Brook High School and Lakewood Elementary School were closed this school year for flood-related repairs and are scheduled to open again in August 2002. The other flood-damaged schools were repaired in time for the delayed opening of school in September 2001, the day after Labor Day.

The district had private insurance for certain equipment and inventory lost in the flood and approximately $6 million will be received from equipment claims damages. FEMA is reimbursing the district for 75 percent of the remaining damage, less certain deductibles such as $500,000 for lack of flood insurance on the administration building and Smiley High School. The district did not have flood insurance on its buildings, even though some buildings were located in the100-year flood plain. The total amount of damage is still being determined as the district continues to repair damaged schools. The amount of flood damage identified by FEMA and the district to date is $21.2 million. The district makes repairs using general funds and bond funds and then seeks reimbursement from FEMA. As of April 30, 2002, the district had received a total of $4.4 million from FEMA. The district may not seek reimbursement on all damages due to the 25 percent matching requirement. For example, Northwood Middle School had been closed due to declining enrollment and suffered minor damage due to a roof leak. That school is now used for storage. The district has no plans to repair this facility.

The district has 16 school facilities including nine elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools and a career and technology center. The district has three support facilities including the closed administration building, central administrative offices currently housed in a former elementary school and a service center that houses the district's support functions such as transportation, maintenance, security and food services. Due to the flood damage the district has a number of portable classrooms supplied by FEMA to house students displaced by the flood, as well as a number of existing district portables. All district facilities, including classroom space, administrative offices and support functions total 1,949,940 square feet and are described in Exhibits 5-1 and 5-2.

Exhibit 5-1
NFISD Facilities
Facility Current
Smiley High School Open 1953 9-12
Forest Brook High School Closed due to flooding 1972 9-12
W. G. Smiley Career & Technology Center Open 1956 9-12
Kirby Middle School Open 1964 7-8
Northwood Middle School Closed due to declining enrollment /used for storage 1960 None
Oak Village Middle School Open 1967 7-8
Elmore Middle School Open/ used as high school 2000 7-8
East Houston Intermediate School Open 2000 5-6
Keahey Intermediate School Open 2000 5-6
Fonwood Elementary School Open 1964 K-4
Hilliard Elementary School Open 1963 K-4
Lakewood Elementary School Closed due to flooding 1962 K-4
Thurgood Marshall Primary School Open 1956 PK-2
Rogers Elementary School Open 1964 K-4
Shadydale Elementary School Open 2000 K-4
Tidwell Elementary School Open 1962 K-4
Langstead Central Office Open 1968 None
Administration Building Closed due to flooding 1964 None
Service Center Open 1956 None
Source: NFISD interim director of Maintenance, April 2002.
*W.G. Smiley Career & Technology Center is located at the Smiley high school campus.

Exhibit 5-2
NFISD Facilities Square Footage
Facility Permanent
Smiley High School 307,050 0 0 307,050
Forest Brook High School 226,773 0 15,360 242,133
W. G. Smiley Career & Technology Center 93,494 0 4,608 98,102
Kirby Middle School 116,676 0 0 116,676
Northwood Middle School* * 0 0 116,676
Oak Village Middle School 107,124 0 0 107,124
Elmore Middle School 124,808 27,648 0 152,456
East Houston Intermediate School 107,100 10,732 0 117,832
Keahey Intermediate School 107,100 0 0 107,100
Fonwood Elementary 75,870 0 9,408 85,278
Hilliard Elementary 45,496 10,732 9,408 65,636
Lakewood Elementary 72,918 0 12,096 85,014
Thurgood Marshall Primary 46,400 7,680 4,032 58,112
Rogers Elementary 46,273 0 4,416 50,689
Shadydale Elementary 102,400 6,144 0 108,544
Tidwell Elementary 48,900 0 15,168 64,068
Langstead Central Office 18,906 0 0 18,906
Administration Building * 0 0 12,000
Service Center 36,544 0 0 36,544
Total 1,683,832 62,936 74,496 1,949,940
Source: NFISD interim director of Maintenance, April 2002.
*Northwood Middle School (116,676 sq. ft.) and the Administration Building (12,000 sq. ft.) are closed.

Exhibit 5-3 describes the flood damage to each facility, actions taken by the district to address the damage, current status and estimated costs.Through April 30, 2002 the district had received $4,358,118 in reimbursement from FEMA.

Exhibit 5-3
2001 Flood Damage by Facility
Facility Description of Damage Action Taken by District Date Repairs Completed or Will Be Completed Estimated Cost of Damages
Administration Building Total loss Moved offices to Langstead Primary School No decision has been made as of April 30, 2002 $1,379,255
Forest Brook High School Major damage to classrooms, activity center, books, student records and computers. Moved students to Elmore Middle School Repairs anticipated to be completed by August 2002 $8,353,968
Lakewood Elementary School Major damage to classrooms books, student records and computers Moved students to several elementary schools Repairs anticipated to be completed by August 2002 $3,058,590
East Houston Intermediate School Major damage to books, student records and computers School was repaired in time to open school in September 2001 Repairs completed in August 2001 $3,692,892
Elmore Middle School Major damage to books, student records and computers School was repaired in time to open school in September 2001 Repairs completed in August 2001 $2,391,737
Smiley High School Significant damage to first floor offices, classrooms and auditorium School was repaired in time to open school in September 2001 Repairs completed in August 2001 $1,305,098
W.G. Smiley Career and Technology Center Significant damage to classrooms, furniture and equipment School was repaired in time to open school in September 2001 Repairs completed in August 2001 $1,059,257
Rogers Elementary School Minor damage to a portable building None No repairs  
Northwood Middle School Minor damage due to roof leak None No repairs  
Total       $21,240,797
Source: NFISD special assistant to the Superintendent, April 2002.

Exhibit 5-4 lists each school in the district, its current capacity and estimated classroom use rate. For the purpose of analysis, the classroom capacity includes the two closed schools that are scheduled to reopen in fall 2002, Forest Brook High School and Lakewood Elementary School. The analysis did not include the FEMA portables that will either be purchased by the district to replace existing older district portables or will be removed from the district by FEMA. The total classroom use rate for some schools appears above 100 percent because the schools are currently housing students in the FEMA portables that will be reassigned to the schools rescheduled for reopening in fall 2002.

Exhibit 5-4
NFISD Schools - Capacity and Use Rates
2001-02 Enrollment
Schools Permanent
Use Rate
Smiley HS 125 0 0 125 3,125 1,631 52.2%
Forest Brook HS 90 20 0 110 2,750 1,206 44.0%
HS Capacity       235 5,875 2,837 48.3%
Kirby MS 51 0 2 49 1,225 938 76.6%
Oak Village MS 39 0 0 39 975 695 71.3%
B.C. Elmore MS 28 0 0 28 700 0 0.0%
MS Capacity       116 2,900 1,633 56.3%
East Houston Int. 45 0 5 40 880 1,069 121.5%
Keahey Int. 45 0 5 40 880 838 95.2%
Fonwood Elem. 51 13 5 59 1,298 912 70.3%
Hilliard Elem. 26 13 0 39 858 823 95.9%
Lakewood Elem. 50 0 0 50 1,100 0 0.0%
Marshall Pri. 33 5 5 33 726 1,161 159.9%
Rogers Elem. 31 5 0 36 792 585 73.9%
Shadydale Elem. 36 0 0 36 792 1,037 130.9%
Tidwell Elem. 30 22 0 52 1,144 767 67.0%
Elem. Capacity       385 8,470 7,192 84.9%
Total       736 17,245 11,662 67.6%
Source: NFISD floor plans and Texas Education Agency (TEA), Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), 2001-02.
Note: NFISD has 37 students in alternative settings that are not included in school enrollments. A formula of 25 students per classroom is used to calculate middle and high school classroom capacity and a formula of 22 students per classroom is used to calculate elementary school classroom capacity.

NFISD selected four Texas school districts to serve as "peer districts" for comparative purposes: Eagle Pass, Edgewood, Port Arthur and South San Antonio. Exhibit 5-5 compares NFISD 2001-02 budgeted maintenance expenditures to the same budgeted expenditures in peer districts. NFISD spends more than any of the other districts on a per student basis except for Port Arthur.

Exhibit 5-5
Comparison of Budgeted Maintenance Expenditures
NFISD and Peers
Edgewood Port
San Antonio
Payroll $4,398,393 $3,585,231 $4,771,789 $4,948,968 $3,588,937
Other Services $4,111,016 $2,776,180 $3,660,265 $2,945,669 $1,853,456
Supplies $377,609 $520,726 $1,254,762 $739,078 $208,897
Other Expenses $562,955 $270,489 $327,009 $677,528 $231,326
Capital Outlay $77,600 $47,100 $15,400 $65,500 $0
Total $9,527,573 $7,199,726 $10,029,225 $9,376,743 $5,882,616
Enrollment 11,699 12,778 13,435 10,823 9,970
Total Cost Per Student $814 $563 $747 $866 $590
Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2001-02.

Exhibit 5-6 compares 2001-02 budgeted Maintenance Department expenditures for NFISD to regional averages for public schools. These averages are the results of an annual American School and University (ASU) survey of public school districts with 600 or more students. NFISD spends more per student and more per square foot than the average in the five-state region that includes Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The comparison shows that for maintenance department expenditures, NFISD spends 56 percent more per square foot, or $5.41 per square foot as compared to the average of $3.46 per square foot for the region. The comparison also shows that the district spends 35 percent more per student than the average in the region, $814 in NFISD as compared to $602 for the regional average.

Exhibit 5-6
NFISD Maintenance Department
Budgeted Expenditures 2001-02
Maintenance and Operations Expenditures
NFISD cost per square foot* $5.42
ASU average cost per square foot $3.46
Difference $1.96
NFISD cost per student $814
ASU average cost per student $602
Difference $212
Source: American School and University (ASU) 30th annual Maintenance and Operations Cost Study, 2001; and TEA, PEIMS, 2001-02.
*1,758,328 square feet used for comparison purposes, which excludes buildings scheduled to be closed in 2002-03 and the FEMA portables that should be moved or sold by June 30, 2002.