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Washington County schools need about $48 million in maintenance

October 09, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Public Schools continue to have about $48 million in needed maintenance projects despite a push in recent years to shorten the list.

The projects include new roofs, boilers, indoor construction and other items requested for the county's schools.

Boyd Michael, deputy superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, said that an average of $4.5 million in new projects are added each year, and unless the school system receives more than that amount to spend on deferred maintenance projects, the dollar amount will remain relatively unchanged.

It decreased from about $49 million last year, said Michael Peplinski, director of maintenance and operations.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said officials planned a campaign to whittle away at an original list, and have been successful. However, more projects were added over time.

"I think that one of the big accomplishments of the past five years ... is that we have, I think, significantly reduced the number of deferred maintenance projects," Morgan said Tuesday during a School Board meeting.

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During that meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve a comprehensive maintenance plan for fiscal year 2010. The plan will be submitted to the state Public School Construction Program for review.

In fiscal year 2008, there were 5,727 unscheduled work orders completed by employees, according to data shared with the school board.

Peplinski said that scheduled maintenance from the past several years has not been completed because of a lack of funds.

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