Houston School District to embark on 26-point maintenance plan

The Houston board of education adopted a detailed maintenance plan Monday that will result in updated facilities and more dependence on its biomass boiler, which will cut fuel costs dramatically.

The decision will set in motion several projects that will be completed during the fiscal year that begins this week. “It’s quite a list of projects that our maintenance department will be undertaking,” said Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent, following the special meeting.

Of the 26 separate projects okayed, more than half will be handled in-house by a beefed up maintenance department. One custodial position was recently moved into that department, increasing the number of workers to three. Projects not handled in-house – painting, concrete and heating work – will be contracted to various local firms.

Vandiver said one of the largest projects involves connecting the district’s boiling system that is fueled by sawdust to Hiett Gymnasium. Current fuel outlays total about $15,000 annually. It is estimated that the work will pay for itself in just three years. Also, the drawing board are heating issues in the vocational building, which was constructed in 1967. Four furnaces are targeted for replacement with units that dramatically increase efficiency.

In all, the district has about $139,000 included in the budget to complete the projects, Vandiver said.

Other work planned:

*Renovation of the high school and middle school cafeteria is already under way. A new floor, new ceiling tile and heating system are being installed. The walls also will receive a fresh coat of paint.

*Sidewalks and painting are planned. Several stretches of sidewalk are scheduled for replacement this summer. Each building on campus is scheduled for painting.

Here is a complete list of work planned in the upcoming year:

*Paint classrooms in third grade wing.

*Replace middle school main entrance (east) doors.

*Replace middle school south door lock.

*Paint three – four middle school classrooms.

*High school roof repairs.

*Power wash and seal the high school building exterior and caulk windows.

*Replace the high school cafeteria loading dock.

*Replace the high school cafeteria floor and ceiling tiles.

*Paint the high school cafeteria.

*Paint three – four high school classrooms.

*New vocational building classroom door locks.

*Replace furnaces in four vocational building rooms.

*Connect the gymnasium heating system to the boiler.

*Repair drainage system in front of the gym.

*Replace the maintenance building roof.

*Sidewalk repair.

*Replace classroom door locks in the older part of the elementary building.

*Replace guttering/downspouts on the west side of elementary building.

*Work on heat in the high school educable mentally handicapped classrooms.

*Replace two sets of doors on the east side of the vocational building.

*Replace guttering and downspouts at the vocational building.

*Improve drainage on the east side of the vocational building

*Remove satellite dish from the middle school-high school library roof.

*Correct water problems in the middle school locker rooms.

*Install a door to the concession area in the northeast corner of the gym.

*Power wash and seal the building exterior of the gym.

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