Batavia schools running out of time to defer items on maintenance list

Posted1/24/2013 5:18 PM

The ability to defer recommended replacement of roofs and other things at schools is getting less likely, according to the four-year capital projects plan for Batavia schools that buildings and grounds director Pat Browne presented to the school board this week.

And then there is the state of J.B. Nelson Elementary School -- built in 1955, and the district's oldest facility.

"J.B. Nelson's site presents many opportunities," Browne wrote in the memo that accompanied his presentation.

He estimates that the to-do list for the school's grounds, exterior surfaces, interior surfaces and building systems would add up to $2.13 million over the next four school years. Overall, the district's fix list is estimated at $12.57 million, for six elementary schools, a middle school, a high school and the headquarters.

Nelson needs a new parking lot, roof, lights and plumbing replacement, according to the report. The plumbing, original to the building, is galvanized pipe that has corroded, lacks proper connections to copper fittings, and is leaking.

School Board Trustee Jack Hinterlong wondered whether the district should put money into Nelson.

"I think the board may need to talk a little bit more about whether to replace Nelson or repair it," he said. "I think the board needs to talk about that and decide before we pour money into the school." No other trustees said anything.

All the lights at Nelson and Rotolo Middle School will eventually have to be replaced, and about one-third of those at Batavia High School, because the United States has banned manufacture of the bulb their fixtures use.

Browne's report is available in the online board meeting packet at

He said that in 2010, it was estimated several roofs would need to be replaced between 2012 and 2016 and none have been. The cost is estimated at $3.4 million. There are no "active leaks," Browne said, but the materials are reaching the end of their projected life spans, and so more likely to develop problems, he said.

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