District 11 Bond Issue: Facility shortfalls hinder chemistry at Coronado

       To say that Coronado High School chemistry teacher Bruce Hall is not happy with his classroom facilities would be an understatement. “If you're going to have chemistry equipment, it should be in line with the 21st century,” said Hall, who is retiring after this year. “You can't have old equipment that just works some of the time (or not at all).”
       He was speaking in response to a question about one of the line items - the one calling for a Coronado “science area renovation” - that is part of the $131.7 million District 11 buildings bond ballot issues (3F and 3G) that will go before the voters in the Nov. 2 election.
       The bond issue budgets $901,000 for what Mike Maloney, director of facilities for School District 11, says will be “basically a remodel of the entire science area. We know there's a need to make those classrooms more efficient, effective and safe.”
       Hall, who has taught at Coronado for 21 years, expressed his deepest concern about how the current facilities might dampen the interest of students. “Excitement in science has a lot to do with the surroundings,” he said. But in his classroom (similar to other science rooms at the school), there are water faucets that don't work, electric devices that long since failed, insufficient outlets and equipment that's out of date - such as Hall's centrifuge, on which students need to hold down the top to keep it from spinning unevenly.
       Augmenting the problem has been the growth of Coronado. Principal Susan Humphrey said the school was designed for 900 students and now is nearly twice that size. As a result, pointed out Lynn Williams, head of Coronado's Science Department, there is a noticeable lack of space in the science areas. To deal with that situation, labs have been made to double as classrooms and classrooms as labs.
       A review of the bond issue items - which can be accomplished at the District 11 website (www.d11.org) - reveals similar needs in other schools, including roofs, heating systems, windows, doors and chalkboards that maintenance crews have nursed along, well past their service lives. West Middle School, for instance, still has doors and heating equipment that date back to when the school was new, 81 years ago.
       Critics, most noticeably in the El Paso County Notice of Election document (sent to the public), have argued that the bond issue is an unnecessary tax hike and education reforms are needed first. “The issue is what goes on in the classroom, not how pretty buildings are outside,” states the “Summary of Written Comments” against the ballot issue.
       District representatives have defended the bond issue, as stated in one flyer that's been mailed to citizens, as protection on the public school district's “half-a-billion-dollar investment” in its system. The tax increase would work out to a “great value” of $4.40 a month extra cost for the owner of a $160,000 home, the flyer states.
       For Bruce Hall, such arguments are not the issue. “We're making do,” he said. “It's tough to get the students excited.”
       His worst nightmare, as he completes his final year, is that nothing will happen. “I shudder to think about coming back here in 10 years and having it not look any different,” Hall said.
       Below is a school-by-school, item-by-item list, edited from the information on the district's website, listing how the money would be spent at the 13 Westside schools, which together would receive about $16.7 million of the bond issue.

Westside Pioneer Article

BRISTOL
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500; replace TVSS (transient-voltage surge suppressor) devices, which will be beyond their rated life in five years, $6,000.
HVAC (Heating, ventilation and, where applicable, air conditioning): Replace obsolete 3500 (direct digital control) DDC controller, $68,000; replace residential recirculating fan in kitchen, $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace carpet (beyond rated life), $103,00.
Capital Renewal subtotal, $214,500.
Capital Improvements
Add Air conditioning to support summer programs, $297,000.
Open School Modifications: Enclose open classrooms & add corridors, $340,000.
School-choice projects, $51,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $688,000.
Bristol total: $902,500

BUENA VISTA
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace branch wiring because of age and material type, $10,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500; replace TVSS, which are approaching the end of their rated life, $3,000.
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (44 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $12,000; replace 93-year-old window system (which is beyond rated life of 40 years), $125,000.
HVAC system: Replace obsolete 3500 DDC controller, $40,000.
Install kitchen hood, $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace countertops and cabinets (3), which are beyond rated life and are failing, $4,600, $70,000 and $40,000; replace hardware (2) because of age, maintenance problems and conforming issues, $26,000 and $6,000.
Plumbing system: External 93-year-old sanitary sewers (2), which are showing signs of failure, $25,000 and $25,000.
Roofing (beyond rated life, and system in poor condition), $10,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $441,600.
Capital Improvements
Security Fencing: add chain link fencing for safety / security, $27,000.
School-choice projects, $82,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $109,000 .
Buena Vista total: $550,600

HOWBERT
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace branch wiring because of age and material type, $10,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500; replace TVSS, which will be beyond their rated life in five years, $3,000.
Fire / Security system: Replace antiquated, non-conforming fire alarm system with an addressable-type system, $40,000.
HVAC system: Replace obsolete 3500 DDC controller, $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace 45-year-old countertops and cabinets (3), which are beyond rated life and are failing, $80,000.
Plumbing system: Replace various plumbing fixtures due to age and safety concerns, $15,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $175,500.
Capital Improvements
School-choice projects, $50,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $50,000.
Howbert total: $225,500

IVYWILD
Capital Renewal
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (87 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $6,000; replace 87-year-old windows system (which is beyond rated life of 40 years), $200,000.
HVAC system: Replace obsolete 3500 DDC controller, $30,000.
Install kitchen hood: $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace carpet, which is four years beyond rated life, $162,000; replace slate old chalkboards, which are difficult to clean, $7,000.
Replace countertops and cabinets, which are 67 years beyond rated life and are failing, $83,000; replace hardware because of age, maintenance problems and conformance issues, $30,000.
Plumbing system: Sanitary sewer, which is made of vitrified clay material, 47 years beyond rated life and starting to fail, $75,000
Site / Playground repairs: Fix damage to the front stairs, $58,500.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $681,500.
Capital Improvements
School-choice projects, $64,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $64,000.
Ivywild total: $745,500

JACKSON
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace branch wiring because of age and material type, $40,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $5,000; replace TVSS, which will be beyond their rated life in five years, $3,000.
Fire / Security system: Replace duct detectors because of poor condition, causing many trouble calls, $3,500
HVAC system: Replace inefficient HVAC components, which are 13 years beyond rated life, $66,000.
Install kitchen hood, $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace carpet, which is one year beyond rated life, $93,000; replace ceiling tiles, as needed because the glue on the back of the ceiling tiles, 18 years beyond their rated life, has dried out, causing the tiles to fall, $100,000; replace old chalkboards, which are difficult to write on, $10,000; replace hardware because of age, maintenance problems and conformance issues, $30,000.
Site / Playground repairs: Lay new asphalt on 18,333 square feet of playground, $10,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $397,500.
Capital Improvements
Add Air conditioning to support summer programs, $226,000.
Parking / Traffic Improvements: Develop off street parking / student drop-off improvements, $165,000.
School-choice projects, $49,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $440,000.
Jackson total: $837,500

MIDLAND
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace breakers and fuses because some are 13 years beyond current rated life and not readily replaceable, $40,000; replace intercom system, which is 14 years beyond rated life and does not function very well, $22,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500.
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (48 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $50,000; paint exterior - some wood is showing, there are signs of decay, and the paint is peeling in some areas.
$35,000; replace ramps (rotten and warped) with non-skid type, $3,000
Fire / Security system repair / replace: Replace antiquated, non-conforming fire alarm system with an addressable-type system, $37,000.
HVAC system: Replace inefficient HVAC components, $57,000.
Interior repairs: Replace chalk boards - 36 years beyond rated life and becoming non-readable, $10,000; replace hardware because of age, maintenance problems and conformance issues, $36,000; replace keying system - 28 years beyond service life and getting difficult to maintain, $6,000.
Plumbing system repair / replace: Replace sanitary sewer system because of old piping, bad material and many stop-ups, $25,000.
Site / Playground repairs: Lay new asphalt in various area, $32,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $360,500.
Capital Improvements
Add Air conditioning to support summer programs, $616,000; add wall (divide room), $27,000.
Add/ replace portables for 175 students, $500,000.
School-choice projects, $41,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $1,184,000.
Midland tot.: $1,544,500

PIKE
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace intercom system, which is 14 years beyond rated life and does not function very well, $22,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500; Install new sub-panels, as large 48-year-old frame breakers are not replaceable, $40,000.
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (48 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $60,000; replace 48-year-old window system (which is beyond rated life of 40 years), $175,000.
Fire / Security system repair / replace: Replace antiquated, non-conforming fire alarm system with an addressable-type system, $37,000.
HVAC system: Replace boiler, which is 23 years past its 25-year service life, with a two-boiler system, $80,000; replace HVAC piping, which is 28 years past 20-year service life and in a failing condition, $100,000; Replace obsolete 3500 DDC controller, $50,000; replace failing rooftop unit, $35,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $606,500.
Capital Improvements
School-choice projects, $49,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $49,000.
Pike total: $655,500

WASHINGTON
Capital Renewal
Electrical system repair / replace: Replace intercom system, which is 17 years beyond rated life and does not function very well, $22,000 intercom; replace main distribution panel (MDP), which is 28 years past its 20-year service life, and its breakers, which are old and not replaceable, $50,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500.
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (48 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $50,000; replace 48-year-old exterior windows and frames and glaze windows, $100,000
HVAC system: Replace boiler, which is 23 years past its 25-year service life, with a two-boiler system, $80,000; replace HVAC components which are inefficient and 23 years beyond rated life, $66,000; replace kitchen's 48-year-old residential recirculating fan, $30,000.
Site / Playground repairs: Replace asphalt where poor drainage conditions exist, $15,000; replace original (48-year-old) school playground equipment, which does not meet current guidelines and is a safety issue, $20,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $440,500.
Capital Improvements
Add Air conditioning to support summer programs, $840,000.
Open School Modifications: Enclose open classrooms and add corridors, $310,000.
School-choice projects, $50,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $1,200,000.
Washington total: $1,640,500

WHITTIER
Capital Renewal
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are 40 years old and made of wood, with metal doors, $27,000; replace 51-year-old putty-glaze-type windows systems (2) (which are beyond rated life of 40 years), $26,500 and $148,000.
HVAC system: Repair or replace inefficient components in various pieces of HVAC equipment that are obsolete, $76,000.
Interior repairs: Replace carpet (beyond rated life), $42,000; replace 52-year-old chalkboards, which are failing. $35,000; replace hardware because of age, maintenance problems and conformance issues, $36,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $390,500.
Capital Improvements
School-choice projects, $68,000
Capital Improvements subtotal: $68,000.
Whittier total: $458,500

BIJOU
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace MDP because of poor design and National Electric Code (NEC) issues with installation, $8,000; replace aged electrical devices (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $7,500.
HVAC system: Replace furnaces #1 and #2, each of which is 25 years beyond rated life and failing. $3,000 and $3,000; replace obsolete 3500 DDC controller, $25,000; install kitchen hood, $30,000.
Interior repairs: Replace old chalkboards, which are difficult to write on, $3,000; Replace doors, which are 45 years old and made of wood, with metal doors, $15,000 doors; replace hardware because of age, maintenance problems and conformance issues, $25,000.
Replace portable buildings (4), each of which is beyond its rated service life. $90,000 for each.
Replace roofing systems (3), each of which is beyond its rated life and/or has issues with blisters, worn felts or shingles, $4,800, $25,000 and $25,000.
Site / Playground: Repair asphalt due to old age to include the basketball court, $20,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $554,300.
Capital Improvements
Add small auditorium to provide modular meeting space, $100,000.
School-choice projects, $55,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $155,000
Bijou total: $709,300

HOLMES
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace intercom system, which is 11 years beyond rated life and does not function very well, $30,000; replace aged electrical devices (3) (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $3,000, $7,500 and $15,000.
Fire / Security system: Replace library alarm devices, which are 12 years beyond their rated life, $20,000.
HVAC system: Replace entire HVAC system (new when the school was built in 1968), which is 11 years beyond its 25-year rated life and in failing condition, $1,186,000.
Interior repairs: Replace carpet (beyond rated life). $120,000; replace old chalkboards, which are difficult to write on, $16,000; replace lockers, which are 16 years beyond their service life and in various states of disrepair, $76,000; replace athletic lockers, which are 16 years beyond their service life, $150,000; replace original windows system, $40,000.
Replace roofing systems (4), each of which is 16 years beyond its 20-year rated life and has failed or has blisters, felts or loose shingles, $90,000, $140,000, $20,000 and $80,000.
Site / Playground repairs: Seal-coat asphalt system to prevent permanent damage, $17,500.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $2,011,000.
Capital Improvements
Add air conditioning to support summer programs, $1,550,000.
School-choice projects, $111,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $1,661,000
Holmes total: $3,672,000

WEST
Capital Renewal
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are old (81 years) and made of wood, with metal doors, $15,000
Fire / Security system: Replace library alarm devices, which are 12 years beyond their rated life, $20,000; replace old pull stations with addressable devices, $8,000; replace smoke detectors with addressable devices, $3,000.
HVAC system: Repair or replace inefficient components in various pieces of 81-year-old HVAC equipment that are obsolete, $198,000.
Interior repairs: Replace old chalkboards, which are becoming non-readable, $16,000; replace 35-year-old lockers, $41,000.
Site / Playground repairs: Fix concrete, where old age and tree roots have caused cracking and uneven areas, $25,000; landscape and resod in various areas, $60,000.
Capital Renewal subtotal: $386,000.
Capital Improvements
School-choice projects, $161,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $161,000.
West total: $547,000

CORONADO
Capital Renewal
Electrical system: Replace 34-year-old auditorium sound system, $40,000; replace 34-year-old auditorium lighting system (manufacturer no longer in business; many parts not available), $80,000; replace aged electrical devices (4) (work involves grounding repairs, circuit tracing/verification, new device covers and proper circuit id and labeling), $10,000, $15,000, $26,500, $8,000.
Exterior Repairs/Ramps/Paint: Replace exterior doors, which are rusted and starting to fail, $15,000.
Fire / Security system: Replace library alarm devices, which are 12 years beyond their rated life, $20,000.
HVAC system: Replace boilers #1 and #2, each of which is 11 years beyond its service life and has a boiler tube failure, $100,000 for each; replace HVAC controls, which are non-conforming, poor functioning and 11 years beyond service life, $672,000.
Interior repairs: Replace old chalkboards, which are difficult to write on, $35,000; replace lockers in the boys' locker room, which are 14 years beyond service date, $82,000.
Plumbing system: Replace 34-year-old swimming pool's scum gutter drains and piping and rebuild the balancing tank, $52,000.
Replace roofing system, which is approaching the end of its rated life, $35,000; replace roofing systems (2), each of which is 14 years past its rated life. One has blisters, patches, worn felts, and bad flashing; the other has corrosion and some holes, $150,000 and $35,000
Capital Renewal subtotal: $1,475,500.
Capital Improvements
Art room renovation, $225,000
Build new auditorium to provide adequate seating capacity for school functions, $1,350,000.
Science area renovation: Remodel science area, including [per staff interviews] improved labs, replacement of outdated and broken equipment, and chemistry ventilation, $901,000.
School-choice projects, $256,000.
Capital Improvements subtotal: $2,732,000.
Coronado total: $4,207,500