School district ponders policy on maintenance

The Federal Way School District is moving toward establishing a new policy for the maintenance of its buildings.

The district listened to a second reading of a plan that would do away with the old policy, mandated by the state, that each district must invest 2 percent of the value of the funded improvement in the maintenance of the building each year.

This rule only applied to buildings that were funded with state support after 1993, and was a condition of the districts receiving funding for future projects.

Now, however, a new plan will allow the district to decide what type of maintenance is necessary.

The change is to help with clarification and guidance for implementation and reporting to the state, facilities director Rod Leland said.

The state started allowing the change this year, abolishing the 2 percent rule, which had been around since 1992.

Once the school board passes a resolution to adopt the policy, which will have them committing to maintain a safe and healthy standard, they must put together a specific asset preservation system (APS) — a maintenance plan — by Dec. 31.

That APS must be finalized and approved by Jan. 1, 2011.

The district must then begin performing an annual building condition evaluation and report back to the board by April 1, 2011.

The district relies on state funding to help pay for projects.

As part of the current $149 million school construction projects bond, the district is expecting to receive $20 million in state match grants.

They have already been approved for the funding from the Valhalla and Panther Lake elementary school projects, and expect money to be approved from the remodels of Lakota Middle School and Sunnycrest and Lakeland elementary schools, along with improvements to 23 of Federal Way's 37 schools.

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