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MUSD: $92.6M maintenance backlog

District tackling $800,000 worth of work this summer

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MUSD: $92.6M maintenance backlog

Families walk on carpet that is in disrepair during this month’s Brock Elliott School open house.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED May 25, 2017 1:49 a.m.

School’s almost out for the summer.
That means it is time for Manteca Unified School District to continue chipping away at a backlog of $92.6 million in major and deferred maintenance.
That is in addition to more than $500 million in modernization needs such as being partially addressed by Measure G and the $159 million it is providing to upgrade campuses and enhance school safety.
The $92.6 million may seem staggering but consider this — the replacement value of all district facilities that includes 20 elementary schools and five comprehensive high schools is in excess of $1 billion. And that is on top of new school construction needed to accommodate growth that is expected to more than double the district’s enrollment to 50,000 plus students over the next 20 plus years creating a need for at least another $1 billion in facilities.
The school district is spending $800,000 this year to address deferred maintenance issues. They face the same needs that a homeowner does: Carpet wears out, roofs need to be replaced, cracks and holes develop in pavement, air conditioning units go out and such.
“Things wear out,” noted Superintendent Jason Messer.
With $92.6 million in deferred maintenance on $1 billion work of facilities it would be the same as owning a home valued at $300,000 and having a backlog $27,600 worth of work you need to address such as replacing aging roofs, water heater replacement, and such.
The $800,000 deferred maintenance – most of which will be done during summer — will include flooring replacement and repairs for between 20 and 40 classrooms at various school sites. That is less than a half a percent of all 900 plus classrooms and other rooms in the district. Given that much flooring such as carpet has a life span of 20 to 30 years it illustrates what Manteca Unified and other school districts are up against.
“We (do) look at other ways to get more life out of flooring,” Aaron Bowers, Director of Operations and Facilities said.
The modernization at Lincoln School, as an example, replaced linoleum in older classrooms with a finished polished concrete floor that is far more durable plus has the added convenient of looking cutting edge in design and easier to clean.
Given the district’s limited resources and pressing ongoing maintenance needs, Bowers and his staff are constantly exploring products and new ways to extend the life of taxpayer investments.
An example is a new, more durable carpet. Maintenance crews at some campuses such as Golden West School have even deployed novel things such as placing sliced open tennis balls on the legs of chairs so when students slide them back and forth to get up and down they don’t wear the carpet out and ultimately rip it. At the same time, the tennis balls reduce the risk of the chairs tipping over.
Other deferred maintenance that is being addressed includes playground replacement at Joshua Cowell and August Knodt schools, Brock Elliott School asphalt repair, East Union attendance office roofing repairs, Sierra High roofing work, high school gym floor refurbishing at various sites, as we as portable demolition at Sierra and East Union high schools.
In addition this summer district maintenance and ground crews will be focusing on door hardware replacement at various schools, restroom repairs at various campuses, concrete repairs at August Knodt, heating air system serving in and repairs at various schools, dry rot repairs at a number of schools, completing on-going work orders, playground medication and repairs for preschool uses at Sequoia and Lathrop schools, playground fiber replacement, tree care including pruning and removal throughout the district as well as ongoing field maintenance,
Playground repairs will also be made at French Camp, the McParland Annex, New Haven Great Valley and Lathrop schools. Field repairs are targeted for Lincoln, Shasta, Golden West, Lathrop, and Sequoia schools.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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