The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Communications
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 301~Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015~(215)400-4040
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lee Whack
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA UNVEILS FACILITY CONDITION ASSESSMENT REPORT TO PRIORITIZE SCHOOL BUILDING NEEDS
Report will inform the District’s 5-year, $1.1 billion capital program
PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia today made public a multi-year and comprehensive Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) report. This report, which began in 2015, reviewed 308 educational and athletic facilities and over 26 million square feet of educational building space that serves 140,000 students in pre-k, elementary, middle, high school and alternative schools.
“Every child should have access to a safe, healthy, and welcoming school facility that supports teaching and learning opportunities. The Facility Condition Assessment empowers us to prioritize capital projects and clearly show our existing and potential public and private partners what our infrastructure needs are and how they can help,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia.
The FCA report updates information on the condition of school grounds, school buildings, athletic fields and related building systems. In order to create modern schools and classrooms where students and teachers thrive, it is critical that the School District have real-time, relevant information about the condition of its school facilities.
“We are a school district with a large amount of infrastructure needs in our buildings, and finite resources with which to modernize and fix them,” said Fran Burns, Chief Operating Officer for the School District of Philadelphia.
“The FCA is a data-rich and superb product that assesses every single school building in the district. This is a significant step in a larger effort that will directly inform our 5-year capital program, and brings the discussion of infrastructure to the forefront in a credible way. If greater funding is attained, the School District is ready to use those funds to modernize and improve our school buildings.”
The School District’s educational facilities are in fair condition with an overall Facility Condition Index (FCI) score of 32%. The District has a greater need for strategic investment in the replacement and upgrade of building systems than for complete facility replacement. This report allows the Operations Division to plan, budget and prioritize routine replacements and capital investments in a timely fashion. The higher a school’s FCI score, the greater the need for repair. Key findings include:
- Over a quarter of the School District’s facilities (87) are in a state of good repair and need minor facility improvements
- Over 12,000 documented outstanding repairs were identified at a projected value of $4.5 billion
- The District projects a capital renewal need of $3 billion over the next 10 years
- The greatest capital investment needs are in heating and cooling distribution, temperature control, and electrical service and capacity upgrades
- Less than 10% of District facilities (23) account for nearly 25% of our total repair costs
- There are 106 District facilities with an FCI score outside the sustainable funding range and these must be dealt with in the coming years
“At Dunbar we maximize every minute of instructional time,” said Dawn Moore, Principal at P. L. Dunbar Elementary School. “Our roof needs to be replaced because at times, when there have been leaks, it has forced us to relocate students until the issue is repaired. A completely new roof will prevent this disruption to our teaching and learning focus. In addition, we will be able to use the enclosed portion of our roof for other extra-curricular activities and special events.”
“Our school is our home and like any older home, you need to make repairs at some point. You realize that a ‘band-aid’ approach is no longer effective,” said Deanda Logan, Principal at Cramp Elementary School. “Right now we are in the midst of building improvements including upgrading to a state-of-the-art heating and cooling unit which will allow us to better control the building temperature. When the temperature is comfortable, students and teachers can focus on learning.”
Currently Cramp is in the highest facility rating tier, but with a new heating and cooling unit and upgrades to the electrical system they will lower their building FCI score from by 64.6 % to 38.5%.
“The electrical work that has happened at our school means we have enhanced instructional options,” said Guy Lowery, Principal at Mayfair Elementary School. “The School District has made investments in technology in recent years, but new electrical work means we have the capacity and outlets to power smartboards, tablet computers, ChromeBooks and other devices. In addition, the expansion we are undergoing right now will provide an appropriate lunchroom and revamped classrooms for our growing school.”
The improvements to Mayfair Elementary’s electrical system alone lower their building FCI score from 45.9% to 35.9%, and once the $7.5 million building expansion is complete in August of this year it will lower their FCI another 8.5 percentage points to 27.4%.
During this process each school building was visited, and there was a joint interview with the principal and/or building engineer to discuss the school’s specific concerns. After the interview, the entire school building, including all mechanical spaces, the roof, the exterior of the building and more were assessed.
The district goals of the 2015 FCA included:
- A comprehensive assessment of educational facilities owned and operated by the School District of Philadelphia.
- Calculate the Facility Condition Index (FCI) Scores for every building including FCI scores for individual systems to better assess need.
- Prioritize building systems based on need, observed deficiencies, and remaining useful life, and classify each system based on a recommended timeframe for when these systems should be replaced.
- Determine the District’s overall outstanding capital need and a recommended annual investment plan to address deferred maintenance.
- Use the FCA data to develop a multi-year capital improvement plan.