B O Bldg Wheeling 650df6da4d97c

inside: deferred maintenance

Oct. 11, 2023
From the September-October 2023 issue of American School & University magazine.

Indianapolis district proposes $95 million in deferred maintenance projects

The Indianapolis (Indiana) district has proposed spending up to $95 million to upgrade athletic facilities, air conditioning units, special education classrooms, and address other facility needs at over two dozen schools.

Chalkbeat Indiana reports that the projects are part of more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance needs that the district identified in a 2020 facilities review. The majority of the projects would be completed by fall 2024 or spring 2025.

Major high school investments envisioned:

  • Shortridge High School: Improvements to the school theater, exterior windows, main gym mezzanine, fire alarms, field and press box seats, and the artificial turf football field.
  • George Washington High School: Improvements to the theater room, track, artificial football turf, visitor’s stand and sidewalk, and a new sound system.
  • Arsenal Tech High School: Upgrading the walls in the east gym and Lone Hall and fire alarm upgrades.
  • Crispus Attucks High School: Improvements to exterior walls and foundation, fire alarm upgrades, new visitor and home bleachers, new press box, and the replacement of the west gym floor.

The former Francis W. Parker Montessori School 56 building, which closed this year, would also receive improvements to its foundation as part of a historic preservation project. The district is exploring how to renovate and repurpose the building.

Omaha Upkeep

The Omaha (Nebraska) School District projects that it will need $2.29 billion over the next 20 years to cover the maintenance and renovation needs in its facilities.

The 2023 facilities study assessed the conditions of the Omaha district's 65 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, nine high schools, and several support facilities to determine the expected life span of building components and evaluate which of those components will need to be replaced over the next two decades.

" This comprehensive study gives us the data to plan for maintenance and facilities needs through the next 20 years," the district says on its website. "Imagine a roadmap for your home’s maintenance: when you’ll need to replace your dishwasher, repair the roof or install new carpet."

The study's findings: Elementary schools will need $970 million in maintenance and renovations over the next wo years; high schools will need $621 million; middle schools will need $460 million; support facilities will need $122 million; alternative school facilities will need $79 million; and pre-K facilities will need $40 million.

The study projected that 29% of total maintenance and renovation costs would be allocated to site improvements--paving, landscaping, and drainage and sewer systems; 27% of the costs would be needed for the building interior; 23% of mechanical, plumbing and fire protection; 13% for electrical; and 8% for the building envelope.

$21.5 million earmarked for deferred maintenance at West Virginia's community and technical colleges

West Virginia's Community and Technical College Council has approved deferred maintenance projects totaling $21.5 million from nine campuses across the state at its Thursday meeting.

West Virginia MetroNews reports that the largest allocation, $3.9 million, will go to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College which is planning to partially replace the HVAC system at its main building on the Logan campus.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College and West Virginia Northern Community College have each submitted projects that top $3 million. BridgeValley wants to demolish two buildings at the college’s campus in Montgomery and replace the stair tower railing at Davis Hall, the main classroom building in Montgomery.

West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling will get $3.25 million to restore and renovate the B&O Building and its student union.

Funding for the deferred maintenance projects comes from a $282 million appropriation the state legislature approved earlier this year for deferred maintenance projects at colleges, universities and the corrections systems.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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