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Chapter 6
Operations

This chapter reviews the food service, transportation, facilities and security of operations Venus Independent School District (VISD) in the following sections:

  1. Food Service
  2. Transportation
  3. Facilities Use and Maintenance
  4. Safety and Security


C. FACILITIES USE AND MANAGEMENT

Facility planning and managing construction and renovation projects are significant activities for most districts. Planning for facilities based on student growth, program needs and legislative requirements are essential to provide for student needs without overcrowding, substandard facilities or costly portable alternatives. Active management of construction projects can provide cost control, ensure quality of workmanship and help ensure timely completion. Districts must maintain and clean their facilities on a routine basis to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students, teachers and staff.

Effective facilities planning involves a formal planning process and a formal facilities master plan that serves as a guide for the construction and renovation of facilities. An effective master plan builds on a school district’s strategic plan, incorporating projected demographic trends, facility repair and renovation needs and educational and operational space requirements. Community involvement and proper coordination with school administrators and other key personnel also are important. Finally, the plan should include timelines to complete facility construction.

In 2002, VISD developed a facilities master plan that addresses facility growth needs through 2007. The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) pupil projection system provided the demographic estimates through 2007. TASB expects VISD’s student enrollment to increase by 19.3 percent between 2002-03 and 2006-07. Exhibit 6-30 displays TASB’s growth projections.

Exhibit 6-30
VISD Enrollment Projections
2002-03 to 2006-07

School Year Actual*/Projected Peak Enrollment Percent of Increase over Prior Year Accumulated Percentage
2001-02 1,866* NA NA
2002-03 1,871* 0.4% 0.4%
2003-04 1,929 2.9% 3.4%
2004-05 2,026 5.0% 8.4%
2005-06 2,131 5.2% 13.6%
2006-07 2,252 5.7% 19.3%

Source: VISD, Long Range Facilities Plan, 2002; VISD Administration.
*Actual peak enrollment.

VISD anticipates that it will need new primary and middle schools to replace existing facilities, and an additional elementary school to accommodate the expected growth of the student population. The existing middle school will become a ninth grade center. The board is researching possible land acquisition for the future school site. With much of the land in the community being acquired by developers for residential use, the acquisition of potential school sites located in areas to serve future housing developments is a priority for VISD.

Development in VISD’s community is limited by the area’s limited capacity for water treatment. The Trinity River Authority (TRA) expects the Mountain Creek Regional Water Reclamation Plant, to eliminate this hurdle to development. The new treatment plant will serve the southern portion of Grand Prairie and all of Midlothian and Venus. The consequent prospect of rapid growth in enrollment poses challenges in planning to accommodate that growth. The VISD school board and staff have already developed a master facilities plan with five-year enrollment projections to prepare for the larger student population.

Exhibit 6-31 lists VISD’s current facilities by purpose.

Exhibit 6-31
Inventory of VISD’s Permanent Facilities
2002-03

Permanent Facilities by Purpose Year Added Appraised Building Value Square Footage
Instructional  
Venus High School 1994 $8,837,641 108,296
Venus Middle School 1985 $2,564,241 41,556
Sixth Grade Building 1992 $411,914 5,352
Vocational Building 1985 $614,509 8,722
Venus Elementary School 1998 $5,299,348 68,035
Venus Primary School 1984 $801,485 17,208
Cafeteria Building 1980 $481,030 8,760
Athletic  
High School Field House 2001 $858,518 8,722
Middle School Field House 1985 $105,194 4,131
Weight Room for Middle School and High School 1987 $32,729 3,007
Football and Track Stadium 1986 $488,000 NA
Baseball Field 1993 $154,929 NA
Softball Field 2003 $140,000 NA
Support  
Record Storage Building 1988 $73,666 1,800
Maintenance Building 1998 $131,101 5,000
Bus Maintenance Building 1985 $105,375 3,000
Storage Building 1980 $15,000 576
Housing  
Residential House 1990 $80,000 2,200
Residential House 1998 $75,000 1,800
Total   $21,269,680 288,165

Source: VISD, inventory of facilities and TASB, property appraisal.

The district has a number of portable classrooms and special-purpose facilities at three campuses, with the majority located at the primary and middle schools. VISD uses portable facilities for its administrative and business offices.

Exhibit 6-32 lists VISD’s portable facilities. The district’s Long-Range Facilities Plan was submitted to the board on January 16, 2003. The plan proposes designating funds to its fund balance with the purpose of accumulating $4 million to construct a permanent facility for the primary school, replacing the existing temporary buildings that make up that campus.

Exhibit 6-32
Inventory of VISD’s Portable Facilities
2002-03

Temporary Facilities by Purpose Year Added Appraised Building Value Square Footage
Instructional  
High School Portable Buildings  
In-house Suspension 1986 $30,000 768
Classroom 1986 $32,000 768
Middle School Portable Buildings:  
Special Education Building 1991 $42,000 1,920
Special Education Building 1992 $42,000 960
Special Education Building 1992 $42,000 768
In-house School Suspension 1992 $42,000 960
Band Hall 1996 $30,000 1,536
Special Education Classroom 1996 $42,000 768
Classroom 1986 $42,000 1,536
Classroom 1986 $42,000 1,536
Classroom 1990 $42,000 1,344
Primary School Portable Buildings  
Main Building 1991 $190,000 16,820
Library 1983 $57,000 1,280
Special Education Classroom 1982 $57,000 1,440
Classroom 1982 $57,000 1,440
Classroom 1982 $57,000 1,440
Classroom 1983 $57,000 1,280
Classroom 1983 $57,000 1,280
Classroom 1983 $57,000 1,280
Classroom 1992 $65,000 1,536
Support  
Administration Offices 1996 $57,000 2,274
Business Offices 1996 $57,000 1,872
Total   $1,196,000 44,806

Source: VISD, inventory of facilities and TASB, property appraisal.

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation handles the management of facilities in VISD. The maintenance staff includes the director’s secretary and five maintenance workers who all report to the director. The Faulk Company (FC), a contract school custodial service firm, performs custodial functions.

Exhibit 6-33 compares VISD’s 2001-02 budget for facilities maintenance and operation to its peer districts. VISD allocates roughly the same portion of its budget to maintenance and operations as do three of its peer districts. The state average for the facilities maintenance and operations budget in 2001-02, as a percentage of total operating budget, was 11.8 percent. VISD’s budgeted expenditure per student for facilities maintenance and operations was almost the same as the statewide average cost per student and at the midrange for its peer districts.

Exhibit 6-33
Maintenance and Operations Budget
VISD, Peer Districts and State Average
2001-02

District Maintenance and Operations Expenditures Total Operating Expenditures* Percent of Total Cost Per Student
Venus $1,284,985 $10,372,011 12.4% $694
Godley $1,030,543 $8,334,401 12.4% $760
Grandview $687,493 $6,792,235 10.1% $641
Rio Vista $819,223 $5,422,235 15.1% $974
Dublin $926,603 $7,348,587 12.6% $723
State Totals $2,882,045,984 $24,477,549,474 11.8% $695

Source: TEA, AEIS, 2001-02.
*Excludes capital outlay.

VISD’s total budgeted expenditures for facilities maintenance and operations are at midrange of the peer group and nearly within a percentage point of the state average.

An efficient and effective maintenance operation for a school district requires well-defined procedures and processes, which include:

  • adequate information to plan and manage daily maintenance operations;
  • a good work order system that enables maintenance staff to respond to repair requests;
  • a preventive maintenance system that ensures maintenance staff regularly services equipment to minimize down time; and
  • a process to monitor maintenance service levels and to obtain periodic feedback on maintenance operations that need improvement.

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation supervises five maintenance workers and is the district’s liaison with the custodial contractor. The maintenance workers respond to requests for minor maintenance; the district only uses contractors for major maintenance repairs when the district staff does not have expertise to complete the job. VISD maintains a very small inventory of maintenance parts and relies on suppliers for most repair parts. The worker responding to a work-order request determines what parts the repair will need. If the district does not have the supplies in inventory, it orders them or picks them up at a supply outlet.

The custodial staffing provided by the Faulk Company is primarily based on a formula that assumes one full-time equivalent (FTE) custodian per 20,000 square feet. FC makes adjustments to its formula to account for factors such as the number of temporary facilities, cafeteria areas to be cleaned, architectural structure and floor composition. According to the contractor, it normally schedules 14.5 FTE custodians for the VISD custodial operation. These custodians care for the district’s 288,165 square feet of permanent instructional and athletic facilities and 44,806 square feet of temporary instructional facilities. Dividing the VISD instructional and athletic square footage by reported FTEs results in a ratio of one custodial FTE to 22,964 square feet. On the date the contractor discussed the custodial staffing formula for VISD, the director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation provided a list of custodial staffing by campus indicating 132 custodial hours scheduled that day, or 16.5 FTEs, which calculates to one custodial FTE to 20,180 square feet.


FINDING

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation developed an online combined maintenance request/work order system to improve and speed the flow of maintenance requests from campuses and departments to the director, and to more efficiently assign work orders to maintenance personnel. School and departmental staff generate requests in an email format that indicate the location and nature of the work being requested and the priority of the service needed. The director prints the emailed form and assigns the task to the appropriate maintenance worker. After the work assignment is completed, the maintenance worker returns the printed copy of the work order to the director for his file. The director stated that the procedure is still a work-in-progress; he envisions developing a means of tracking labor and material costs associated with each completed work order.


COMMENDATION


A combined maintenance request/work order online format improves and speeds the flow of information between campuses and the maintenance department and enables the director to more efficiently assign maintenance workers to respond to the requests.


FINDING

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation has more responsibilities than he can adequately manage and supervise (Exhibit 6-34). In addition to the director’s responsibility for managing the district’s facilities, he manages the district’s transportation operations without the benefit of any supervisory or lead person’s assistance. The director is also the textbook coordinator, Alternative Education Program/Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program liaison, risk manager and attendance officer.

Exhibit 6-34
VISD Facilities Organization
2002-03

Source: VISD, director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation.

Consequently, VISD is not adequately addressing maintenance needs of a well-managed maintenance department. The director has no operating plan to identify and assign priorities to the district’s maintenance needs and to establish an implementation schedule to ensure critical maintenance issues are addressed. The district does not have operational processes to ensure that quality work is performed by staff or contracted services; that buildings are maintained at a comfortable temperature for students and staff; and that an adequate inventory of small parts regularly used by maintenance staff is available to complete jobs quickly. The director has not developed a plan to help direct and monitor ongoing Maintenance Department operations. As a result, VISD’s Maintenance Department lacks the following characteristics of a proactive maintenance operation:

  • administrative policy and operating procedures manual;
  • written job descriptions for maintenance staff;
  • a preventive maintenance program;
  • a work plan for efficient deployment of maintenance staff;
  • a process to monitor maintenance work performance and quality;
  • a system for tracking and monitoring energy usage; and
  • management oversight and evaluation of contracted custodial operations.

An effective maintenance department is characterized by:

  • a skilled and dedicated staff;
  • an operating plan to provide structure and direction for maintenance operations;
  • maintenance work teams that are well supervised throughout the duration of projects;
  • a quality control inspection process that randomly selects completed work orders for inspection; and
  • a quality assurance program developed to provide school principals with a mechanism to give timely feedback on the quality of work completed at schools.

Recommendation 49:

Realign the facilities organization to provide adequate supervision of the maintenance and custodial functions.

VISD should review the responsibilities it assigns to the director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation to determine which duties could be more appropriately assigned to other support staff for a more efficient management structure. The district should realign the department accordingly. Assigning a lead role with a pay differential for supervisory responsibility to one of the maintenance workers would allow the director to delegate supervisory responsibility and to become proactive in planning for and managing the maintenance of facilities.


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent reviews responsibilities assigned to the director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation to determine which could be more appropriately assigned to other support staff. September 2003
2. The superintendent makes those assignments and submits a report to the board indicating which duties have been reassigned and to whom. October 2003
3. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation evaluates the capability of existing maintenance staff to determine which person could best serve in a lead maintenance role. October 2003
4. The superintendent reviews the pay schedule for maintenance employees and determines an appropriate pay level for a lead person. October 2003
5. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation establishes objectives for the management of facilities maintenance and operations of facilities and develops a framework for meeting those objectives. February 2004


FISCAL IMPACT

Lead staff pay is estimated to be 20 percent above the average hourly rate. The average hourly rate for a Venus ISD maintenance worker is $12.25, so the lead pay hourly differential is $2.45 ($12.25 per hour x 0.20). There are 2,080 work hours in a year. Assuming the lead maintenance staff role would begin in November 2003, there would be 1,728 work hours instead of 2,080 work hours in 2003-04 by removing September (21 work days x 8 hours per day = 168 hours) and October (23 work days x 8 hours per day = 184 hours) work hours from the count (2,080 work hours – 168 September work hours – 184 October work hours = 1,728). The annual additional cost for 2003-04 would be $4,234 (1,728 work hours x $2.45 per hour pay increase). Annual additional costs for 2004-05 through 2007-08 would be $5,096 (2,080 work hours per year x $2.45 per hour pay increase).

Recommendation 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Reorganize the facilities organization to provide adequate supervision of the maintenance and custodial functions. ($4,234) ($5,096) ($5,096) ($5,096) ($5,096)


FINDING

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation lacks a formal agreement with City of Venus staff to share equipment and facility resources. Through an informal agreement, VISD borrows city equipment for major plumbing repairs to avoid the expense of renting this equipment; the city parks some city vehicles on fenced VISD property to reduce the city’s parking expenses. While VISD and the city both have saved money, the lack of a formal agreement between VISD and the city could lead to questions about unauthorized use of school or city property and expose either entity to potential liability issues.

Recommendation 50:

Formalize the current informal arrangement between VISD and the City of Venus in an interlocal agreement to share equipment and facility resources.


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent reviews current practices and board policies regarding the sharing of equipment and facilities, and identifies areas of concern and opportunities for partnership in the sharing of equipment and facilities. September 2003
2. The superintendent meets with the City of Venus city manager for a discussion to develop a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the sharing of equipment and facilities by the two entities. October 2003
3. The superintendent and City of Venus city manager submit a written MOU for legal review and incorporation into an interlocal agreement. October 2003
4. The superintendent and the City of Venus city manager submit the interlocal agreement for approval by their respective governing bodies. November 2003


FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.


FINDING

VISD does not have written operating procedures for the maintenance of facilities and repairs In addition, the review team heard complaints from teachers and community members that the district does not address routine maintenance in a timely manner. The review team received these comments from teacher surveys and discussions with teachers and community focus groups. All these groups felt that the district responds promptly to emergency maintenance requests. Exhibit 6-35 details the results of the review team’s survey of teachers’ attitudes about facilities maintenance.

Exhibit 6-35
Teacher Perception of Facilities Maintenance

Survey Question Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree
Buildings are properly maintained in a timely manner.
0% 28% 19% 48% 5%
Repairs are made in a timely manner. 0% 28% 10% 43% 19%
Emergency maintenance is handled promptly. 0% 52% 24% 24% 0%

Source: TSPR surveys.

Procedures that ensure timely response to maintenance requests and efficient work performance are inherent to an effective maintenance operation. The lack of such procedures in VISD is evident in the large percentage of negative teacher survey responses and in comments from citizen and teacher focus groups. Teachers and community members made the following comments during focus group meetings with the review team:

  • Two years ago I went to a board meeting and requested that they fix the clock in the gym, and they removed the clock;
  • Light on the flag pole was burned out for four months, finally was fixed after four months;
  • We know the new bathrooms were shut down at the beginning of the year because the boys destroyed it;
  • Staffing of maintenance is not adequate;
  • There is daily vandalism of the bathrooms;
  • Repairs are not done in a timely manner;
  • High school alarm system no longer works; and
  • One teacher has students do repairs.

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation indicated that the average turn-around time for a maintenance work order is one to two days unless parts have to be ordered. In these cases, the maintenance crew usually makes the repair the day after the part arrives.

The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation initiated a process for campus staff to e-mail work requests to his office in order to speed up the flow of information to the Maintenance Department. The director pointed to a backlog of only four work orders as of April 24, 2003 as evidence of a prompt response time by the department. But the director does not have effective mechanisms for monitoring the response to, and completion of, the work orders and for receiving feedback from the campuses.

The lack of written operating procedures presents a problem in ensuring that staff is properly trained in how to submit work requests; that maintenance priorities are defined and followed; that response is timely and work is performed efficiently; and that quality control is monitored and documented.

Successful maintenance departments develop management reports that track individual staff performance, and evaluate the repair needs of each facility and the responsiveness of the department. Historical information on repairs at a given facility provides important management information on replacement decisions and evaluation of preventive maintenance.

Recommendation 51:

Develop written operating procedures for maintenance processes and performance measures that ensure timely and adequate response to routine maintenance requests.

The district should ensure that staff is trained in, and adheres to, the use of operating procedures. Performance measures should include effective mechanisms for monitoring the responses to, and completion of, work requests. VISD should develop a mechanism for receiving and evaluating feedback from the requesting campuses. The district should emphasize quality control at all stages of the maintenance work order process.


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation reviews and documents current maintenance and operating practices, identifies effective and efficient practices appropriate to VISD and develops written operating procedures for maintenance processes. September 2003
2. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation identifies points of inefficiency and any lack of responsiveness, formulates efficient and responsive maintenance procedures, establishes methods to monitor maintenance staff performance, obtains user feedback and institutes quality control mechanisms for maintenance of VISD facilities. October 2003
3. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation trains maintenance staff and campus personnel on the new operating procedures for submitting maintenance requests, reporting maintenance concerns and giving feedback, and emphasizes quality in work performance and responsiveness to user needs. November 2003
4. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation gathers feedback and monitors the effectiveness of the new operating procedures and the responsiveness and quality of maintenance staff’s performance on a regular basis. February 2004
5. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation evaluates the new operating procedures, maintenance staff performance and makes any necessary adjustments for the following school year. June 2004 and Annually


FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.


FINDING

VISD does not conduct a regular, formal evaluation of the custodial contractor’s performance. VISD’s contract with the Faulk Company (FC) states “FC will have regular meetings with a specified person from VISD for the purpose of evaluation of services provided by the custodial department.” The district does not have documentation to support such evaluations. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation stated that he does not evaluate the contractor’s performance and consequently, the accountability for housekeeping is lax in VISD. With no mechanism in place to monitor and evaluate the custodial contractor’s performance, the district has no objective basis or documentation to substantiate that FC is performing to the district’s standards or expectations.

The custodial contract between VISD and FC consists of the proposal that FC submitted in July 2001; the proposal is divided into 10 custodial specifications sections. According to the contract, FC will provide a project manager for the district and one or more day shift custodians at each school; will be responsible for daily custodial operations; and will have regular meetings with a specified VISD person for the purpose of evaluating FC’s services. In the section titled “Duties and Frequencies,” the proposal states, “FC will be responsible for scheduling all custodial duties. The frequencies of these duties will be determined by FC and approved by VISD. FC’s recommended cleaning and frequencies are on the attached sheet.” FC did not include the attachment with its proposal. The same section included the statement, “FC will implement a Quality Control Program,” with no further description of what constitutes the program. The contract not include performance measures; how the contractor will report to the district or who the contractor will be accountable to on a daily bases; the number of custodians to be provided to the district; employee criminal background checks and proof of insurance. The terms of the agreement provide for an annual cost of $298,000 to VISD for a three-year period from 2001-02 through 2003-04. VISD retained three current full-time employees on its payroll to work in the custodial section. FC supervises and manages the work of those employees. If any one of those employees ceases working for the district, FC will fill those positions with FC employees at an additional cost of $17,000 per employee.

Responses from surveys of teaching, administrative and support staff and parents indicate diverse opinions among those groups regarding the cleanliness of the schools. Exhibit 6-36 details the responses to the review team survey.

Exhibit 6-36
Perceptions of VISD School Cleanliness Among Teachers, Parents
and Administrative and Support Staff

Survey Question:
Schools are clean.
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree
Teacher Responses 0% 38% 10% 28% 24%
Administrative and Support Staff Responses
0% 67% 11% 11% 11%
Parent Responses 10% 70% 10% 0% 10%

Source: TSPR surveys.

The review team received the following comments during focus group meetings:

  • Problem with cleaning school;
  • Mouse and roach infestation is a problem;
  • There are hot water and soap issues in the bathrooms; and
  • My son complained that there was never any toilet paper in the bathrooms.

Successful districts will hold contractors accountable for services rendered. Some districts survey school staff twice a year to determine their level of satisfaction. Problems indicated in survey comments are investigated and resolved. In most categories, custodial operations receive a four or five on scale of one to five, with five being the highest.

Recommendation 52:

Renegotiate the custodial contract to include standards of performance and criteria for evaluating performance.


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation reviews current custodial practices with school principals and identifies any concerns with the contractor’s current standards for staffing and housekeeping in VISD. September 2003
2. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation reviews the custodial contract with the Faulk Company to determine if any concerns identified in the review can be addressed within the terms of the contract. September 2003
3. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation establishes standards of performance for the custodial contractor and renegotiates the contract to include those standards with performance criteria and evaluation timelines. November 2003
4. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation gathers feedback and monitors the performance of custodial contractor. May 2004
5. The superintendent and the director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation evaluate custodial performance and make any necessary adjustments in the contract or, if necessary, the contract for following school year. June 2004



FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.


FINDING

VISD does not regularly monitor energy usage. The district lacks a mechanism for conserving energy or managing energy consumption. The district does not report utility costs by campus or facility; instead the district lumps utility expenses in one account with no specific detail accounting for electrical, gas or water usage.

VISD reported a total utility expense for 2001-02 of $366,322. That total included costs for telecommunications and waste collection. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation reported that VISD receives electrical service from three different providers; the district does not receive bills from one of its electrical providers in a reliable fashion. VISD receives electrical power from TXU Energy Services, United Cooperative and Reliant Energy. Reliant representatives did not know which of the district’s meters to read. This slowed down their billing of VISD. Reliant corrected this problem and is now sending bills on time.

The average soft drink machine uses two fluorescent bulbs, which total 80 watts, plus the energy required to operate the ballast, a component required to alter the electricity when using fluorescent bulbs. Using a very conservative estimate of only 2 kWh per day usage, a soda machine uses an annual total of 730 kWh just for lights. At an average rate of $0.10 per kWh this amounts to $73 per year for just one machine.

The goal of school energy management is to keep operating costs down by reducing energy waste while providing a safe, comfortable environment for learning. The State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) can help VISD to analyze energy usage and to identify potential energy savings with recommendations for realizing those savings. VISD has not contacted SECO for this assistance.

Other school districts have achieved energy savings by developing successful energy management and conservation programs. Wimberley ISD entered into an energy management program with a manufacturer of energy management control equipment. The goal of the program is to conserve energy usage at several schools using equipment upgrades and lighting retrofits. The district was able to centrally control classroom temperatures from the district’s maintenance facility by using its new energy control system.

Comal ISD implemented an energy conservation program. The district sets thermostats between 74°F and 76°F degrees for cooling and between 68°-72°F degrees for heating. The district also instructs staff to turn lights out when rooms are not in use, stop using space heaters and unplug all unnecessary equipment before leaving school. The district installed an automatic energy management control system at nine of its 16 schools. Comal employs a part-time energy manager to coordinate the district’s conservation program and energy management control system. Comal ISD’s estimated energy savings from its conservation program are $600,000 annually.

Recommendation 53:

Monitor energy usage and implement an energy management program in VISD.

The district should monitor energy costs by campus or facility. Electricity, natural gas, water and waste collection expenses should be recorded under separate expenditure object codes for management purposes and not lumped as one account code. Where more than one utility meter is located on a campus, the billings for those meters should be identified under the organizational code to produce a total utility expenditure for the campus. Monitoring the cost of energy usage by campus and facility would allow VISD to determine energy costs per square foot and to review the cost-efficiencies of energy usage.


IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The business manager refines accounting procedures to recognize utility costs by campus and by facility at the appropriate expenditure object code. September 2003
2. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation disconnects the lighting on all vending machines. September 2003
3. The director of Operations, Maintenance and Transportation identifies utility billing expenses by organization code and furnishes that information to the business office. October 2003
4. The superintendent contacts SECO to request an energy audit and assistance with developing a comprehensive energy conservation plan for VISD. November 2003
5. SECO initiates energy audit. January 2004
6. SECO presents the results of the energy audit to the superintendent and the board. March 2004
7. SECO assists the staff in developing an energy management plan for VISD. April 2004
8. The superintendent presents the energy management plan to the board for approval. May 2004
9. VISD implements the energy management plan. July 2004
10. The energy manager submits quarterly energy conservation reports to the board. October 2004 and Ongoing


FISCAL IMPACT

Energy savings from campus conservation measures could result in significant savings to the district, but are conservatively limited here to the savings that could be achieved through disconnecting lights on the 14 vending machines at a savings of $1,022 ($73 per machine x 14 vending machines) a year over the next five years.

Recommendation 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Monitor energy usage and implement an energy management program in VISD. $1,022 $1,022 $1,022 $1,022 $1,022