FACILITIES USE AND MANAGEMENT
This chapter examines the facilities use and management functions within the Kerrville Independent School District (KISD) in three sections:
- A. Facilities Planning and Construction Management
- B. Maintenance and Custodial Operations
- C. Energy Management
A. FACILITIES PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
A district's long-range facilities master plan should be the result of a number of planning efforts and become the district's policy statement for allocating resources and developing alternatives for facility improvement.A master plan incorporates the following elements:
Facility Capacity: A district establishes the capacity of each school facility by setting standards that determine student-to-teacher ratios and the amount of square feet of classroom space required for each student. The standards also include capacities of core facilities such as cafeterias and libraries. This is to ensure that schools do not overuse these core facilities or overuse portable classrooms resulting in situations in which children eat lunch at 10:45 a.m. or use the library only one day a week.
Facility Inventory: Facility master plans should include an accurate inventory of each classroom in a school to determine the capacity of each school. Modifications to schools should be noted in the inventory so that the overall capacity of schools is kept up-to-date.
Enrollment Projections: Effective planning requires accurate enrollment projections. These projections should be made for at least five years and updated annually. Many school districts work closely with county and city planners to track growth patterns, neighborhood demographics and new construction activity.
Attendance Zones:Effective facility planning requires adjustments to attendance zones as necessary. Attendance zones are the geographic areas assigned to a specific school. Students living in that zone attend that school. These adjustments are necessary if children are to have access to appropriate educational settings.
Capitol Improvement Master Plan: Schools are built to last 30 or more years. This requires districts to anticipate future needs and balance them against current and future resources. A capital master plan charts future improvements to school facilities and identifies funding sources for them.
The responsibility for facilities planning is shared by a number of KISD administrators: the superintendent, the assistant superintendent of Business and Finance and the director of Maintenance. KISD has hired a part-time construction manager who supervises the district construction sites, working closely with the contractor's project manager. The president of the school board who is a local developer donated the funds for this position to the district. KISD relies on outside specialists to help administrators develop planning documents as needed.
To control its costs and ensure that the district obtains the type of facilities desired, the district is using a relatively new construction delivery method called Construction Manager At Risk (CM at Risk). The CM at Risk serves as the general contractor assuming the construction risks for a guaranteed price; provides assistance in evaluating costs scheduling and alternative implications; contracts directly with the trades or subcontractors; serves as the single point of responsibility for the delivery of the project; provides a guaranteed maximum price to complete the project; serves as general contractor and is responsible for competitively bidding the subcontracts. This construction delivery method provides more flexibility in builder selection, provides design assistance, fixes a single point of responsibility for construction, may speed schedule delivery and increases change flexibility. It is best suited to larger construction projects that are subject to fixed completion dates such as the start of school or complex projects. It is also well suited to situations in which the district does not have in-house construction experience.
KISD uses a team approach in its facility construction process. On December 11, 1999, district voters approved bond funds to construct two new schools. As part of the design process, the district's architects held a three-day Charette/Planning workshop that included more than 70 participants for each of the two new schools. The Charette process uses small teams and a structured approach to analyze district issues and rapidly develop and prioritize recommendations to address those issues. In this case, the purpose of the process was to identify instructional needs that the new schools should address. In the Charette process for the new Tivy High School, 13 teachers, four students, eight parents and 17 community leaders participated in the process as well as district administrators and consultants.
The district also established a core team for each new school. Each team includes the superintendent, the principal of the new facility, an assistant superintendent and a board member as well as the construction project manager. The team meets every other week for two hours to address construction questions and solve problems. This type of oversight and support speeds the decision-making process and helps to keep the construction project on schedule. It also provides an opportunity for input from a variety of viewpoints and aids communications. For the new elementary school, administrative instructional staff participated in the development of the punch list, a list of items needing attention developed at the end of a construction project to ensure that the project has been totally completed.
KISD's inclusive approach to managing construction projects ensures community participation.
The district successfully used the CM at Risk construction delivery process during the building of the new Tally Elementary School, resulting in a project that was delivered on time at a savings of approximately $130,000 out of the approximate $6.7 million guaranteed price. KISD competitively selected a CM at Risk from a field of six bidders. The CM at Risk formally bid each discipline of work, based upon the architect and engineering firms' specifications. More than 250 bids were considered in approximately 60 separate categories. Attorneys with specialized construction experience drew up the contracts. Construction began in December 2000 and was completed in March 2002, with the exception of punch items--the list of items not yet completed at the end of the project. The district accepted responsibility for the facility in April 2002. The project was completed on time and under budget.
The architect, construction project manager, owner's agent and assistant superintendent of Business and Finance extensively review the change orders. The board authorizes each stage of construction. Project budgets are meticulously documented. Extensive information is provided to the board on a monthly basis that ties each expenditure and change order to the original contract.
The district controlled construction costs and saved time and money using the construction manager at risk construction method.
KISD developed a comprehensive Long-Range Facility Plan in October 1998, but has not updated the plan. District administration and a 70-member citizen advisory committee developed the plan based upon an extensive study of existing and future facilities. Exhibit 4-5 includes the plan elements.
Exhibit 4-5Source: KISD Long-Range Facilities Plan, 1998.
KISD Long-Range Facilities Plan
Plan Element Description Description of each facility and its use Describes each facility, grades covered (if school) and special programs History of KISD enrollment 1987-88 to 1998-99 shows average of 2.14 percent annual growth Enrollment projections through 2003-04 Projects student enrollment of 5,049 for 2001-02 (actual enrollment for year is 4,689) Student demographics Ethnicity by school and year Facility Inventory Inventory of classrooms, libraries, gyms, cafeterias and acreage at each school Space Availability Classrooms at each school and school capacity Infrastructure Information Historical information and costs for each facility Facility Study Results 1993 Evaluation of each school by North Texas State University 1997-98 Known Problems Identification of repairs needed at each school ADA Compliance Information Compliance information regarding American With Disabilities Act Program Plans For Elementary School Upgrade Planned repairs with related costs at each elementary school, cost basis not provided Middle School Program Space Needs List of desired changes to middle school, no costs High School Specifications Draft One page program design for new high school, no costs KISD Program Needs District level estimate of classroom needs in 2006-07 Utility Costs Analysis of Present Campuses Self explanatory Schedule of Existing KISD Debt Self explanatory KISD Internal Efforts In-house construction projects Bond Election History in Kerrville School Self explanatory Considerations and Observations for the Future Superintendent narrative discussion of issues to consider Long-range Objectives Two page diagram recommending an additional elementary school and an additional middle school
While the facility plan developed provides historical and factual information, it does not: consider facility alternatives, provide cost information at a sufficiently detailed level or provide the basis for facility decision-making. There are no concrete recommendations or proposed timelines for implementation. Without planning recommendations, timelines and documented costs, the plan is just a technical resource rather than a guide for action.
The plan is based on five-year-old demographic and nine-year-old facility condition information. The decline in enrollment in the district since 1998 is not addressed in the plan. The age of the plan limits its usefulness to the district.
There is an additional issue of deferred maintenance in the district. The director of Maintenance acknowledged that necessary facility repairs have not been made because of budget constraints. The director of Maintenance follows an informal plan prioritized by greatest need and greatest payback. The district has occasionally made funds available for needed major repairs as it did in 2001-02 for roof repairs. However, generally requests to address deferred maintenance needs are not made until funds become available. There is no formal plan, no estimate of the total amount of deferred maintenance in the district, no cost estimates covering the actions required to address these needs, no schedule or timeline to address these needs or identification of the costs associated with the deferral of needed maintenance.
Without a current facility plan, the district misses an opportunity to inform the community of continuing facility needs. An updated facility plan serves as an excellent tool to create a dialog with parents and the community regarding the opportunities and challenges the district faces in providing an appropriate educational setting for its children.
The Killeen ISD Technology Services Department projects student enrollment for five years by using a statistical technique called a "cohort survival model," which is one of the methods used in the 1998 demographic study developed for KISD by an outside consultant. The Killeen technique also gauges factors such as demographic and construction trends in the Killeen area.
Update and expand the long-range facilities plan.
The district should update the 1998 plan to include an evaluation of existing facility conditions and needs with respect to the present decline in enrollment. The plan should also be expanded to include specific recommendations regarding each facility; identification of deferred maintenance; documented cost estimates; and a timeline to address these recommendations. Working with the director of Maintenance, the district's part-time owner agent could evaluate the condition of each facility. The district should use a team of six to eight members to develop the actual draft plan update. Community representatives should be included in the team developing the update. Given the condition and age of many of the KISD facilities, the plan should be updated annually.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent instructs the assistant superintendent of Business and Finance to create a team to update the long-range facilities plan. November 2002 2. The assistant superintendent of Business and Finance creates a team of six to eight members to update and expand the plan. December 2002 3. The team develops the updated plan. March 2003 4. The superintendent reviews and approves the plan and submits it to the board for approval. April 2003 5. The board approves the plan. April 2003 6. The assistant superintendent of Business and Finance includes the items identified for 2003-04 in the draft budget for consideration. May 2003 7. The superintendent initiates the annual update process. October 2003 and Ongoing
There would be a one-time cost to evaluate facility conditions and document necessary costs to address needs. This recommendation assumes that the district would employ the part-time owner agent to complete this portion of the plan at a cost of $3,000 based upon the owner agent's current hourly rate of $25 for 120 hours ($25 X 120 hours=$3,000).
Recommendation 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2004-06 2006-07 Update and expand the long-range facilities plan. ($3,000) $0 $0 $0 $0
The director of Maintenance does not participate in districtwide teams and committees that are the backbone of the district's management process. The director of Maintenance does attend weekly director meetings held by the assistant superintendent of Business and Finance but does not participate in the weekly administrative meeting that includes principals and other administrators. Instead he relies on the assistant superintendent of Business and Finance to relate maintenance needs discussed during the meeting. The director of Maintenance is also not a member of the two core teams overseeing the construction of the two schools. These committees meet every other week for approximately two hours to discuss daily construction decisions. The director of Maintenance informally inspects the sites as time permits and reports observed problems to the superintendent or the assistant superintendent of Business and Finance.
By not participating in district management committees, the director of Maintenance misses the opportunity to better understand the issues facing school administrators and communicate maintenance issues and concerns. The director of Maintenance and principals jointly supervise custodial staff. Attendance by the director of Maintenance at the weekly meetings could improve the quality of the custodial staff supervision. For example, if the director of Maintenance was aware of a major upcoming event at the school, he could add staff to support that event or schedule preventive maintenance such as painting before the event.
Today's new school facilities contain a number of complex systems such as automated HVAC programs and security systems. The Maintenance Department will be responsible for keeping these systems operating and optimizing their capabilities to save costs and extend the life of the systems. By not having the director of Maintenance attend core team meetings, the district loses the input of an experienced maintenance professional.
Successful construction projects in school districts often require a team approach that includes financial, school and board membership as well as participation by the architect, builder, engineering firm and other consultants.
Include the director of Maintenance on district management teams.
The Maintenance Department should be an important element of a team that participates in documentation/plan review in areas of expertise, provides input on product selection, plays an active part in the acceptance of each facility and is accountable for all warranty correction work.
The superintendent should appoint the director of Maintenance to the core teams overseeing the construction of the two new schools and include this position in the weekly administrative team meetings on at least a monthly basis.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent includes the director of Maintenance in the weekly administrative team meetings. September 2002 2. The superintendent appoints the director of Maintenance to the core teams overseeing the construction of the new schools. September 2002
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.