Brisbane Facilities

By: Ronan Collver, Brisbane School District Superintendent, rcollver@brisbanesd.org

As I am well into my 4th year as Superintendent of the Brisbane School District, I have to tell you that I simply love coming to work each and every day. We are so fortunate to have so many outstanding educators, paraprofessionals and secretaries that have dedicated their lives to the youth of our community. Another group of individuals that I would like to recognize is our custodian and maintenance crew. They have all fully embraced my philosophy that having clean and functioning facilities increases the overall education of our students. A clean environment has a significant impact on our staff and on our students. When people feel better about their environment, they feel happier and safer, and this in turn directly enhances academic outcomes by creating better learning environments. We all know that clean, quiet, safe, comfortable, and healthy environments are an important component of successful teaching and learning.
The District conducted a Facilities Planning Assessment this past summer to get a gauge on the quality of our facilities and to identify our needs over the next 5 to 30 years. We really wanted to identify any immediate needs as well as estimate the costs of needs moving forward. As with any building there is a normal deterioration of items such as roofs, flooring, HVAC, plumbing and electrical components over the course of time. I want to make sure the District has a plan over time to remedy and update some of these vital systems. We also have some sidewalks that need to be replaced for general safety as well as ADA compliance. The study did a great job at identifying items such as window replacement that will assist with future heating costs as well as some doors with more modern panic bars to make exiting the building in an emergency safer for our students and community.
There is a growing body of work linking educational achievement and student performance to the quality of air they breathe in schools. Improving our HVAC systems and the filtration systems as well as airtight windows and doors will greatly improve the air quality in all of our classrooms. Replacing carpets with more sanitary types of flooring which will improve the health of all the people that enter our buildings. Water filing stations are needed at all three schools so that our students have easy access to water for refillable water bottles. The safety of students and staff is crucial, and installing a camera surveillance system throughout the District will improve the safety for all students and staff in keeping our campuses safe.
Despite the hard work of our maintenance crew, our facilities are in need of some repairs. This includes some current repairs as well as future repairs due to the ages of the building. Lipman was built in 1956, Panorama in 1968 and Brisbane Elementary School in 1935. With the ages of the buildings, modernization needs are also present. I want to guarantee that our schools are in fantastic shape now and for future students in years to come. For this reason, the Board of Trustees are considering passing a resolution in favor of pursuing a facilities General Obligation Bond in the March 2020 election. An important aspect of a bond is that you only need to sell them as needs arise. Creating a master list of short- and long-term improvements to our facilities is a responsible way to maintain quality facilities for our students and staff. The State of California has promised future funds to assist schools with facility needs, however, in my experience, facility money from the State cannot always be counted on. The District will also be actively pursuing any Modernization Funds, Financial Hardship Funds, and utilizing all Developer Fees that are collected in order to maximize the amount and quality of all projects. If you would like to read and examine the entire report, you can find it on our website at www.brisbanesd.org.