District 204 has rolled out a plan to take care of their maintenance backlogs.
Earlier this year, a consultant revealed that District 204 should have been spending about $8.5 million every year to keep up with building maintenance.
But the district hasn’t met that number once in over 10 years – leaving a backlog of deferred maintenance projects in order to keep a balanced budget.
Now, the administration has rolled out a four-year, $34.2 million plan to take care of some of those projects.
“We want to proactively maintain existing projects, projects that have been on the books that would be coming on so that we’re filling the hole of deferred maintenance faster than we’re digging a hole of new projects coming on,” explained Jay Strang, chief school business official for District 204.
The plan is to keep up with scheduled maintenance while prioritizing deferred projects related to school safety and building envelope repairs – that is fixing leaky roofs and walls.
In 2019, 204 will spend just over $10 million on repairs and upgrades.
In 2020, another $10 million will be spent, completing the elementary air conditioning project and school safety upgrades.
$7 million is budgeted for 2021, and $6.3 million is budgeted for 2022.
Though this plan does not completely catch up the district on deferred maintenance, it takes a chunk out of the problem while less urgent projects can wait.
“We will have $370,000 of deferred asphalt come on,” Strang explained. “And we felt comfortable with that because we have been able to maintain our asphalt with patches and is it necessarily attractive or the best look when you drive up to the buildings? No, but we can patch those and feel that they’re safe.”
Over the next four years, this plan will complete $17.6 million in deferred maintenance projects, leaving about $10 million to completed.
Three Engage 204 items are addressed in this plan – school safety, elementary air conditioning, and of course, the deferred maintenance projects.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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