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AMADOR COUNTY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT

Authority for Review

Grand Jury jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of local districts.

Method of Review

Interview with Superintendent of Schools
Interview with Assistant Superintendent for Business Services
Interview with Director of Maintenance, ACUSD
Interviews with maintenance workers
Review of documents including vehicle repair records
On-site visits

Findings

The Director of Maintenance oversees the maintenance of all ACUSD buildings and grounds in the District. The Director reports directly to the Superintendent. The Maintenance office and warehouse are located at Ione Junior High School.

The maintenance staff is composed of a groundskeeper, a painter, an electrician, a plumber, a warehouse person, a secretary and two general maintenance workers. These staff members perform the maintenance for 14 school sites. Custodians, located at the various schools, are included in the official staff but are not involved in the maintenance and repair beyond cleaning of the school sites.

Major repair/replacement items are funded through the Deferred Maintenance Fund. According to the Director of Maintenance, this fund "has been inadequate to meet all the needs."

The Maintenance Department is responsible for servicing the District Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. The new air conditioning systems are working properly in most locations. The Director of Maintenance believes the staff needs additional HVAC training to perform the required servicing.

The Director's office is in the Ione warehouse. The vehicles are based at this warehouse and most of the workers are dispatched from there to the 14 school sites. There are groundskeepers located at Amador and Argonaut High Schools.

The Director of Maintenance believes the maintenance vehicle fleet of 14 is insufficient in number to meet all of the Department's needs. The only passenger car is for the Director's use and the other vehicles are trucks for staff use. Seven of the staff vehicles are assigned to individual schools for custodial or groundskeeper use. Of the 14 vehicles, 13 are over 15 years old, including five that are at least 35 years old. Mileage is typically high. One van, for example, is 21 years old and has an odometer reading of 213,000 miles.

There is no scheduled preventive maintenance performed on the Department vehicles. There is no standardized procedure for a vehicle's driver to report problems with a vehicle. Repairs are done when the vehicle breaks down. When a vehicle needs service, the driver must deliver it to the Department of Transportation garage in Jackson and arrange for another worker to take him and his tools to his work site.

Two Department vans were observed to have loose tools and materials on the floor of the cargo area. There was no barrier between the cargo area and the driver and passenger seats.

Conclusions

A single painter, electrician, plumber, et cetera, are insufficient to properly support the 14 school sites.

Most of the maintenance vehicles are very old.

The maintenance vehicles should be serviced on a regularly scheduled basis rather than when they break down.

There should be a formal procedure for drivers to report problems with the vehicles.

Loose cargo and tools present a potential safety hazard to the vehicle occupants.

Recommendations

Expand the Maintenance staff to fully meet the needs of the District.

The oldest maintenance vehicles should be evaluated for replacement.

Service Department vehicles on a regular basis.

Implement a procedure for drivers to provide written reports on problems with Department vehicles.

Provide means for securing tools and materials in the cargo spaces of Department vehicles. Provide protective barriers between cargo spaces and the passenger areas.

Response Required

The Amador County Grand Jury requests the Superintendent of Schools respond to this report within 90 days as required by Penal Code Section 933(c).
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