States Dealing With Old, Rundown Schools

Connecticut repairing deteriorating facilities while California ranking building conditions

November 7, 2019

According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average school in the United States was built in 1959, CBS 13 reports. Facility managers in schools can expect a fair amount of maintenance problems after 60 years. Preventative maintenance is key in keeping conditions from getting too bad in older buildings.

Parents and teachers in Manchester, Connecticut, are speaking out against a lack of maintenance in the area’s public schools which has led to extreme disrepair, NBC Connecticut reports. Common problems include tiles falling off ceilings and bathrooms that don’t work. Many classrooms have water leaks, mold, and rodent droppings. Ventilation issues causing extreme classroom temperatures are making it hard for teachers and students to concentrate. School authorities have been recording daily classroom temperatures, with a temperature of 108.2 F the hottest reported to date.

A referendum passed by local voters in June approve US$47 million to modernize Manchester public schools. The school district is halfway through a campaign to renovate all the elementary schools as well as upgrade and properly maintain other school facilities.

School authorities across the state of California strive to keep its public-school buildings from falling into an advanced state of disrepair by implementing a comprehensive ranking program. An inspector designated by each school, usually a custodian, indicates if the school is clean, safe, and functional by evaluating a number of systems and areas including: HVAC systems, roofs, electrical systems, restrooms, pest/vermin infestations, interior surfaces, outdoor grounds conditions, hazardous materials, and fire safety. The inspector then ranks each school in one of four categories: exemplary, good, fair, or poor.

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