Danville Express

Newsfront - February 2, 2007

Trustees hear maintenance plans

Department receives 6,000 requests for repairs and upkeep each year

by Jordan M. Doronila

Administrators will evaluate and improve the maintenance program at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District this year, said school officials.

Craig Cesco, district maintenance supervisor, gave a presentation about the challenges, goals and overview of the maintenance department to the school board at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16.

He talked about the program's challenges, which include managing the gap between available funds and projected needs, opening and maintaining new schools, nurturing staff development, and improving communication between all the district's departments.

"I felt the board was listening," Cesco said. "I felt good at the end of the meeting."

However, trustees said they wanted a clearer graph of how much money the district matches with the state regarding deferred maintenance spending. Additionally, they want a report that compares past staffing and acres that have been maintained from about 10 years ago to now, Cesco said.

Deferred maintenance spending is special funding from the state separate from school money that is allocated on a yearly basis for larger projects, such as paving, painting schools and air-conditioning, Cesco said.

The maintenance budget for 2006-07 is $5.5 million. Its funding for deferred maintenance is $1.8 million. The district has spent approximately $976,000, with the state matching $887,000 for the district's deferred maintenance program this school year so far.

Currently, there are 32 staff members who maintain 3 million square feet of structures at 32 sites in 400 acres of land, Cesco said. There is an average of 6,000 requests made each year to the maintenance department.

The average time to complete a request is two weeks, with a significant volume increase in August and September, when the average time to complete a request is four weeks.

"The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is in good shape," Cesco said.

However, he added that the principals and teachers have a wish list his department may not be able to fulfill.

"You could only do so much," he said.

Cesco said his department will examine if it needs to expand staff and plans to train workers so they are continuously up to date in their fields. Moreover, he wants to continue working with other departments in the district.

"We want to continue working as a team to work toward the same goals," he said.

He will submit a revised maintenance plan, adding the board's feedback, as soon as he can, he said.

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