RB’s capital plan is an educational priority — 2/22/2012

Why a report on our $66 million project is an educational priority for our future

from RB Landmark

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: chris robling

hey this accounting thing is great. look at 2-20 post from “Me”, at bottom, there is a link. [http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=8607&TM=76646.35]

if you use that link you get to a TV show with info about the capital program, and clips from the komarek referendum debate last year. this is very cool, because in the clip i saw i do not use the word, “audit.” tim scanlon, at about 2 minutes in, uses “audit,” and promises one “when all is said and done.”

i also mention the paw/cyberdog debacle, where $500,000 to $750,000 of our money went out the window, down the chute, up the chimney, whatever.

amazing that the moment someone calls for an “accounting,” scanlon, dr. bonnette, and former board members flipped out. they actually started saying “there is no investigation…”

why would they say that?

we need an accounting — or a report, if you will, at the very least to build a capital program for the school. here is some 101: if we spend $60m — or, as it turns out, $66m — then we need to divide that by 20, or maybe 25, or maybe 30 (different rationales and circumstances), then that amount, obviously between $2m and $3.3m, gets loaded into our ongoing, year-in / year-out capital plan for maintenance. iow, it adds on to the existing capital program that’s related to the remaining part of the building. this is done with considerably more refinement, but you get the idea.

right now, our board does not even have a definitive list of what we bought for $66 million. we have a spreadsheet.

this issue is not new. the citizen’s committee raised it six years ago (2006), before, during and after the referendum campaign, that i supported. once the referendum passed, the citizen’s committee strongly advised hiring a commissioning agent, who is a professional building practitioner responsible for setting all systems, starting their operations, checking for overlaps, underlaps, failures, problems, solutions, etc. COMMISSIONING AGENTS WRITE FORMAL REPORTS TO THEIR CLIENTS.

the board then chose not to hire a commissioning agent.

the result? our new boiler has had numerous problems, and may still be underperforming. a noxious mix of gasses and humidity in the pool room has RUSTED STAINLESS STEEL in about 3.5 years. water seeps into the big room that is not the field house we were promised. in fact, there are shots of a jerry-rigged plastic skirting Denis Kosirog put on our new gymnasium’s north wall that would break your heart. i am sure they will get out.

and on top of all of this, our definitive report of what we bought… does not exist.

so, tim scanlon can get defensive and scared as he did at komarek in the video, and all of us can interpret that as we see fit. tim’s feelings do not matter.

our future matters. the “accounting” or “report” informs our future. it will ground the highly refined estimates referred to above to build 15 percent of our budget. in this respect, getting the report right, is in fact an EDUCATIONAL issue, because if we build our budget correctly, dr. skinkis and the board have a better grip on non-capital/life-safety expenditures, which is the teaching and learning side.

this is why tim walsh is so profoundly wrong in his doctrinaire refusal to address the building for which he is legally responsible. i spoke with him about this one year ago, said i was not hung up on an “audit,” per se, a “report” would be fine, and he continues to campaign against an audit like he’ll catch typhus for having one. why would he do that? it is not the way they run his gas company, because gas companies, generally, have the best capital plans since they do not want anyone to blow up.

i have written about the old boards’ bad choices acting as dead hands of the past, constraining our present and future. the contract is the worst problem. the managerial collapse is probably #2. after spending $66 million for a leaky gymnasium, troubled boiler and gaseous pool, and who knows what else, we can conclude that no report is problem #3. the contract must be killed asap. the board and admin are imposing management where there was none. eventually, we have to get to the report or accounting, at the very least to maintain what we have bought.

cheers, c

Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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