District faces building upkeep hurdles
I was the Building Program Administrator for the School District of Pickens County from mid-2009 until early-2013. I was responsible for the construction of seven new schools like Liberty High School and Chastain Road Elementary. We also made additions and renovations to another 20 schools. I worked closely with the architects, engineers, multiple general contractors and local/ state governing authorities.
I interfaced daily with superintendents Dr. Stewart, Dr. Hunt and Dr. Pew in addition to district personnel, principals and school board trustees. The seven year building program is scheduled to end in June. Most of the principals, teachers, students and parents are happy with the finished products and I’m proud of what we accomplished. Now an even longer-term challenge awaits.
Over 30% more square feet was added, so the District now has almost 3 million square feet under roof. All of these new and renovated buildings must be economically heated/cooled, cleaned and maintained if the District is going to get the full return on its investment.
During the next two years alone, the District faces $9.8 million in costs for new roofing, HVAC replacements, repaving parking lots and painting of buildings. Like one’s budget at home, the pool of money our District has is LIMITED. The more that is spent on maintaining our buildings, the less money is available to educate our children.
Increasing and renovating the District’s facilities was one thing and how to run and maintain them effectively for the next 20 years will be another.
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