Graphic by Michael Belluscio
After a change in MCPS’ Capital Improvements Program, which helps maintain and improve facilities, MCPS released new data revealing multiple schools throughout the county are in need of further review after different infrastructure and building characteristic conditions were ranked poorly.
The Key Facility Indicator (KFI) is an assessment conducted to provide a general overview of school and building conditions throughout the county. The KFI is categorized into three major sections: infrastructure overview, infrastructure detail and building characteristics. Data collected in each section is then assigned a color: green indicating positive conditions; yellow indicating conditions in need of review; and red indicating conditions reaching the end of their life span.
While many schools trended green in the KFI, including RHS, multiple were marked yellow and some red; no definite conclusion about future renovation plans should be drawn from the data.
“For us, [the KFI data] is an opportunity to dive into individual schools,” MCPS Director of Construction Seth Adams said. “[It is for us] to see exactly where those deficiencies are, and for us to be able to look at it from a perspective of where can we invest.”
While consistent upkeep and maintenance affect the appearance of a building, it can also impact students in a positive way during the school day.
“When facilities show a sign of really good maintenance, it certainly reflects a notion of care in the building,” Adams said. “If there are impacts from daylighting or acoustics that we can help, then that’s where we certainly want to steer our focus and make sure that we can improve the overall experience of students and staff at schools.”
There are different steps required to fix a requested repair; some taking a short amount of time, while others need approval and a longer timeframe.
“Staff at the school inspect on a daily basis and report any maintenance issues that we can’t address in house to MCPS Maintenance [Depots],” RHS Business Administrator David Stough said. “Larger projects are handled by MCPS Construction. Depending on the request and the funding, this can take anywhere from weeks to years.”
Although the last time RHS had a major reconstruction was in 2004, it is still relatively new and believed to be well cared for compared to other schools.
“I’m very proud of our building services, and how much time and effort they spend to make sure this building is clean, because I’ve been in other buildings that aren’t as well maintained for as ours is, so I’m really pleased,” Principal Billie-Jean Bensen said.