Manager response indicates “preventative maintenance program” already in place

Never play word games with a Lawyer !

Remember that when asking the City Manager a question or presenting a motion. Councilor Rourke brought forward this motion after attending a facilities presentation at the Citywide Parent Council meeting. What parents were looking for were more along these lines:

When are water bubblers inspected and fixed? When are Sinks, Toilets, locks on bathroom stalls inspection, maintained fixed, updated replaced? What is the schedule to inspect ceilings with tiles cracked or falling? How often are the replaced? When are Cafeteria Tables and chairs fixed replaced? What’s the schedule to fix, maintain holes in hallways and classroom walls? What is the schedule to maintain, fix painted cracking walls, stairs, floors in the classroom?

Instead what Councilor Rourke received was 100 foot view of things that are generally kept up.

Maybe the Councilor needs to ask for more specific items? Maybe he could start with a report from the Manager on what exactly turned up with the Inspections that were done earlier this year that showed the true conditions of these City owned buildings? Think the citizens and others would be interested in knowing how poorly conditions in city schools really were?

To his credit he addressed them which is the main reason the City could exceed Net School Spending by almost $5 Million this year. My understanding is that if these were private buildings not City owned the Safety / Fire / Electrical Code Violations may have made them uninhabitable!

Councilor Rourke – How about asking the Manager for the following: A school by school breakdown of scheduled maintenance and review of the conditions of all windows, doors, bathroom fixtures (toilets, sinks, stalls, locks on stalls, floor tiles), chairs, desk, hallways, stairs and outside building conditions including doors, windows, cracks in walls/foundation, driveways and stairs?

Here’s the Manager’s Response to Councilor Rourke’s motion.

REFERENCE: 10.3 2016/107 C. Rourke – Req. City Mgr. look into a preventative maintenance program for Lowell school buildings.

Dear Mayor Kennedy and Members of the City Council:

I am writing regarding the above motion made by Councilor Dan Rourke. The Lowell public school buildings are owned by the City and maintained jointly by the City’s Lands and Buildings staff and the Lowell School Department.

The City Electrician oversees annual inspection of the fire suppression (sprinkler) systems and back-up generators. Annual preventative maintenance on the fire alarm systems is conducted by City electricians. Jim Green, Deputy Commissioner for Lands and Buildings oversees monthly chemical checks for the water in the boilers between November and April and A/C chillers between April and November, which are done by contract. Lands and Buildings also changes
filters in the mechanical rooms and on rooftop heating and cooling units three times a year.

Domestic hot water systems are inspected twice a year, once in the summer and again in the fall and roof drains three times a year by Lands and Buildings staff. Finally, they open up the boilers once a year in the summer for inspections required by the City’s insurance company.

The Facilities Manager on the school side, Mr. Brian Curley informed my office that there is preventative maintenance package for the school air compressors that have pneumatic temperature controls; that is performed once annually. The elevator contract has monthly inspections that include adjustments and maintenance. Custodians replace heating and cooling filters in the individual classrooms twice a year.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this or any other matter.

Kevin J. Murphy
City Manager