Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District trustees got updates on maintenance issues and the Building Exploratory Committee (BEC) Oct. 6. Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Facilities and Maintenance Director Dave Benner said Lavallee Brensinger (LBPA) engineers came for three days of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and structural systems exploration. The team also updated its architectural drawings for both Boothbay Region Elementary and High school buildings, he said.
The biggest issues the engineers found are roof leaks at BRES. Benner said three of them need to be resolved no matter where the building project goes in the long term and no one is certain if those issues are due to bad flashing, new finish coats on the parapets or cracks on top of the parapets. Williams Roofing will check for those leaks and Tecta America will lift four heating and ventilation units over the kitchen to reflash for a separate roof leak issue, he said.
Custodians and maintenance staff have kept up well with their work, but part-time help is nonexistent, Benner said. The workload is manageable when all shifts are filled, but all staff are stressed about taking sick days or time off knowing the workload will be unmanageable short-staffed, he said.
“We're doing negotiations, but we don't pay our maintenance people very much money. And my people are really good … It's really been a struggle. It's really coming to a head, now.”
AOS 98 Superintendent Robert Kahler spoke with the three firms being considered for a cost analysis of LBPA’s building assessments. He said the firms are willing to do a third-party assessment, or “capital needs assessment,” of the schools to compare with LBPA's findings. The public and BEC members asked for the independent study instead of a basic cost analysis as proposed by LBPA because, they said, it would ensure a fair assessment and transparency in the project.
Said Kahler, “I don't necessarily anticipate anything new, but it's going to be a different view of what needs to be done.”
Trustees Chair Steve Lorrain said the BEC's community outreach subcommittee will seek community members as well as teachers and students to join. The subcommittee will keep the community updated and engaged. Lorrain said LBPA contacted him and his co-chair Abby Jones, CSD committee member, and offered the services of the firm’s community engagement expert. She will attend the subcommittee's meetings, he said.
“We're going to talk to (BRHS Principal Tricia Campbell) about getting a few students involved, too. Maybe we'll even get a student from the elementary school to at least sit through a couple of our boring meetings. They might have some input, too.”
Lorrain said the BEC will try to have the subcommittee meet after regular meetings.
Kahler said he hopes to start holding budget workshops soon so the annual budget will be ready for an early May vote. CSD trustees and committee members should start thinking about what they would like to see in the next budget, he said. Last year, the vote was held in late June, well past the Boothbay Harbor and Boothbay annual town budget votes.
“My goal is ... to move (workshops) back toward where they used to be or a little bit earlier ... so if there is a vote and it doesn't go the way we hope it goes, we will still do it not in the dead of summer.”