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How Facilities Affect Everything


Bringing Essential Topics to Districts Statewide

EAST PEORIA October 24, 2018

O’FALLON October 25, 2018

FEATURING EBF & ESSA Both Regional Conferences include extended sessions on Evidence-Based Funding and the new reporting requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Review, get new insights and ensure key staff members are all on the same page as EBF and ESSA continue to impact your district processes!


IASPA Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators


Illinois Association of School Business Officials UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018 / v.26 / i.01





FORECAST, TRENDS & THE FUTURE: New Approaches for Budgeting

and Managing District Finances


From the Ground Up Gain a basic understanding of the main facility systems, what they do, how they operate and best maintenance practices for each type. Cover Story by Sean Gordon, CPMM, CPS and Dan McCurdy

Forecast, Trends & the Future: New Approaches for Budgeting & Managing District Finances


LOOKING FOR PAST ISSUES? Visit and search for Illinois ASBO.


to Improve School Facilities Learn how to begin the conversations with your stakeholders early in the process to improve your school facilities. By Stephen R. Johns, Ed.D.


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FROM-THE-PODIUM Making our Buildings Feel Like Home. 07

FROM-THE-OFFICE Advocating for Quality Educational Facilities in Illinois. 09

FROM-THE-FIELD The Impact of Educational Environments. 11

Learn how Community Consolidated School District 93’s facilities department creates standardized processes. By Sean Gordon, CPMM, CPS


SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 Critical Facilities Issues: New classrooms, remodels and school security. 21


Roadmap Creating a long-term plan for your district can assist in the communication, timing and funding of facilities projects. By John Connolly, Robert T. Hughes and John E. Lavelle


Onboarding Facilities Staff as Valued District Employees For any new hire, the first day sets the tone for a great experience within your organization. Learn how to acclimate new buildings and grounds staff to your district culture.



By Richard J. Hendricks, JD, CPA, CSBO

How to Read Your Energy Contract LIKE A PROFESSIONAL Get a fundamental understanding of how electric supply works, then decide what options may work best for you.

ON THEIR LIST New! Book reviews from your peers on relevant career topics.

By Glen Grimm and Dr. David Thieman


36 The Final Word Ronald Anderson, CPMM, CPS, MBA, MPM Building & Project Manager Proviso Twp. HSD 209

Ronald believes the single most important facilities best practice is transparency. This creates an environment of collaboration and trust, and allows you to establish critical buy-in and support from the board, superintendent and administrative leadership team, building level staff and most importantly, the community.


RESOURCES From the Ground Up: Resources to Lead Your School Facilities


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MAGA ZINE Illinois Association of School Business Officials


Northern Illinois University, IA-103 108 Carroll Avenue DeKalb, IL 60115-2829 P: (815) 753-1276 / F: (815) 516-0184 /


UPDATE Editorial Advisory Board

Check out or the latest Calendar of Events included in the UPDATE mailing for full seminar listings including location and PDC sponsorship and register for professional development today. September June 2014 2018

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Presidents' Gala



Facilities Operations Program: Essentials of Facilities Management

9/21 9/25/2018


ASBO International Annual Meeting & Expo



Using the LIFO Assessment to Grow Leadership & Communications Skills AAC #1500




Online AAC #1918 - Leading with Justice For All: LGBTQ Sensitivity, Bias and Response




Online AAC #1805 - Evolution of Education: Traditional Classrooms to Personalized Learning


Arlington Heights Lisle Kissimmee, FL

10/2/18 10/10/18 10/16/18 10/17/18 10/18/18

Naperville Rock Falls Effingham O'Fallon East Peoria


ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar



Online AAC #932 - Culture Counts: What Effective Leaders Do to Build Leadership



Support Professionals Full-Day Seminar



Online AAC #1266 - Reducing Conflict and Working with Difficult Employees and Parents



PDC Networking Meeting




Facilities Operations Program: Essentials of Maintenance Operations







CPS Facilities Certification & Exam




Regional Conference: East Peoria

East Peoria



Regional Conference: O'Fallon



Midwest Facility Masters Conference



Online AAC #1390 - Leading Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

Online Naperville Online


O'Fallon Wisconsin Dells, WI

PDC MEMBERS Ryan Berry Legal Issues Yasmine Dada Principles of School Finance James T. Fitton Budgeting & Financial Planning Kathy M. Gavin, M.S. Ed., CSBO Special Education Sean Gordon, CPMM, CPS Maintenance & Operations Richard J. Hendricks, JD, CPA, CSBO Cash Management Stephen R. Johns, Ed.D. Planning & Construction Tim J. Keeley Purchasing John E. Lavelle Risk Management Stacey L. Mallek Accounting, Auditing & Financial Reporting Patrick McDermott, Ed.D., SFO, RSBA Public Policy Sherry L. Reynolds-Whitaker, Ed.D. Human Resource Management Michael J. Schroeder Transportation Laura L. Vince Food Service BOARD & EXTERNAL RELATIONS MEMBERS Cathy L. Johnson President Carrie L. Matlock, AIA, LEED ® AP, BD+C SAAC Chair AT-LARGE MEMBERS Jeff E. Feyerer Fairview South SD 72 STAFF MEMBERS Michael Jacoby Executive Director / CEO (815) 753-9366, Susan P. Bertrand Deputy Executive Director / COO (815) 753-9368, Craig Collins Statewide Professional Development Coordinator, (630) 442-9203, Rebekah L. Weidner Senior Copywriter / Content Strategist, (815) 753-9270, Tammy Curry Senior Graphic Designer (815) 753-9393, John Curry Senior Graphic Designer / Videographer (815) 753-7654, Laura M. Turnroth Communications Coordinator (815) 753-4313,

Illinois ASBO Board of Directors Cathy L. Johnson President Dean T. Romano, Ed.D. President-Elect Mark W. Altmayer Treasurer David H. Hill, Ed.D. Immediate Past President 2016–19 Board of Directors Jan J. Bush, Julie A. Jilek, Bradley L. Shortridge 2017–20 Board of Directors Mark R. Bertolozzi, Kevin L. Dale, Eric DePorter 2018–21 Board of Directors Seth Chapman, Ed.D., Angela M. Crotty, Ed.D., Adam P. Parisi

Illinois ASBO Board Liaisons

Carrie L. Matlock, AIA, LEED ® AP, BD+C Service Associate Advisory Committee Chair Terence M. Fielden, Service Associate Advisory Committee Vice Chair Deborah I. Vespa ISBE Board Liaison Perry Hill IASB Board Liaison David Wood Governmental Relations Specialist Calvin C. Jackson Legislative Liaison

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All materials contained within this publication are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, displayed or published without the prior written permission of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. References, authorship or information provided by parties other than that which is owned by the Illinois Association of School Business Officials are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.


See the rest of the Fall 2018 event offerings at:

PERSPECTIVE / Board President

FROM–THE–PODIUM Making Our Buildings Feel Like Home We have all heard it: Home is where the heart is. I believe firmly that home is not simply a place; it is a feeling. That feeling comes from being safe, secure and knowing that you belong. Given the amount of time spent each day in our buildings, our facilities become that second home for our students, staff and communities. Our teams work tirelessly to create a warm, clean and welcoming environment for all who enter and associate with our schools. Communities rally around their home teams. Alumni come back, years later, to reconnect to memories. Our buildings are a beacon of pride, a reminder of our past and an anchor of our future direction. As professionals in this space, our hard work and commitment to continuously improve our buildings is relentless.



Communication is essential to a well-run home; the same is true of a well-run building. Our schools offer a symbol of stability in an uncertain world — not just a place to go and learn but a place where we can safely grow, stretch and imagine. At home we rest our heads and dream while we slumber; at our schools we create an environment to foster those dreams to realization. We know that does not just happen. It is the product of collaboration and planning, leading to thoughtful decisions about budgets and facilities that will serve us long into the future. Communication is essential to a well-run home; the same is true of a well-run district. Take the time to understand key stakeholders, embrace common themes and talk to those with different perspectives to compromise and move your facilities forward. The articles in this issue provide a great starting point for those conversations. I encourage you to read and discuss them with your stakeholders.

The incredible amount of time and dedication that goes into planning and implementing maintenance and construction is easily underestimated and, on occasion, overlooked. While it is important to engage in critical conversations about things like energy conservation and maintenance schedules, it also serves each of us to discuss and to champion the story of our facilities teams and the work they put into every game, event, filter change, temperature adjustment, working light bulb, dry ceiling, clean classroom and maintained field. This work should never go unnoticed. Please read this issue, take the articles to heart and be proud of the work being done in your space by your teams. To those who oversee the process, to all who do the daily work and to all who support the resources necessary to maintain our schools, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make our buildings feel like home.

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What is your

WHY For Illinois ASBO Leadership

Applications are due

December 15! Learn more about Illinois ASBO leadership opportunities at

Relationships PERSPECTIVE / Executive Director Understanding

Passion Knowledge



Advocating for Quality Educational Facilities in Illinois I began my career in 1980 as a teacher and vocal music director in an outer suburban district. The district did not really have a program and my initial job was to ascertain what was needed in terms of the facility, sound and lighting installations, auditorium upgrades and the like. Exciting for a new teacher! Going through the needs assessment with my superintendent, I talked about how facility modifications were required to make the program vital and meaningful. I will never forget his response because I did not agree then and I do not agree now: “Mike, a great teacher doesn’t need all of this to create a great program.” I responded, “With all due respect, the quality of the facility not only tells our kids just how much we value them, but it also gives their talents the chance to be seen and heard. I can have an impact with no facility at all, but they



It’s up to you to pass the test of commitment and passion as you engage and advocate for educational facilities with your communities. cannot have an impact without an adequate facility.” I got the money, but he told me he was already going to give it to me. He just wanted to see how passionately I would advocate for my students. Later, as a business official, it was my privilege to lead in a growing community. After 20-years, the enrollment grew from 1300 to 6000. The passion that I had learned to exhibit as a teacher now had to play itself out with a community. Nine successful referendums taught me that it takes an immense amount of time and commitment to advocate for high quality facilities and get support for that vision. I think it is harder today than it was a decade ago. Boards and communities are much more cognizant of the impact of tax increases and ballot questions are fewer and farther between. That does not mean the needs have been met. To fully understand the backlog in Illinois, ISBE and the Capital Development Board survey the capital needs of all school districts and report to the General Assembly every two years. The 2017 results depict the needs of the 406 elementary, secondary and unit school districts.* *For more detailed information, visit:

• Nearly $993 million is needed to build 62 new school buildings. • To ease overcrowding, districts are using 763 temporary classrooms. • Over $5.7 billion is needed for overall general repair and remodeling projects. • Of the overall general repair and remodeling needs, over $3 billion is needed for Health/Life Safety work. • Nearly $743 million is needed for 119 building additions. • 186 additional classrooms are needed for Kindergarten classes. • 247 additional classrooms are needed for Pre-Kindergarten classes. With the enormous facility needs in Illinois, this UPDATE should help you make the very best choices with the resources available. Illinois ASBO will keep state funding issues alive and ever present with the General Assembly. It’s up to you to pass the test of commitment and passion as you engage and advocate in your communities. Together, the children of Illinois can be well served.

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Registration Now Open! Nov. 5-6, 2018 Kalahari Resort & Conference Center Wisconsin Dells, WI Career Development and Educational Training for those responsible for Facilities, Operations, Safety, Risk Management and School Finance. Normal isn’t good enough any more — you need to bring innovation, efficiency and leadership to your work in your school district. Attend this conference to get the nuts and bolts of best practices through learning and networking while enhancing your leadership skills. Become a facility master.

Connect with vendors who specialize in flooring,

architecture, grounds equipment, maintenance, cleaning, building envelope, energy, sustainability, technology infrastructure, cost containment, security and more, all in one place.

Network with facilities, operations, safety, risk management and school finance professionals. Credit offered for Wisconsin ASBO Facility Manager Core (Modules 4 & 5) and Continuing Education Certifications and Illinois ASBO Facility Manager Certification

Certification approval requested for CPMM & CPS. Earn graduate credit through Viterbo University.

Being a Champion of Change

The Glass Ain’t Half Empty, It’s Just Too Big!

Mark Mayfield

Limited attendee scholarships are available.

Join Mark for a humorous approach to a serious subject: managing change. Learn change theory and how the power of creativity is the key component in managing change.

Pat Finnemore

Learn from Peers & Industry Experts on: • • •

Leadership/Management Learning Environment Safety, Security & Risk Management

• • •

Technology, Social Media & Communications Maintenance and Operations Auxiliary Services

For Attendee Registration, Exhibitor Registration, and Sponsorship.

Hosted By Questions? Call 608.249.8588.


It is natural for people to struggle with change; it can be hard as well as take us out of our comfort zone in a hurry. There are some natural and learned skills and characteristics that can help us become change agents in our personal and professional lives. Pat will use stories and examples to illustrate several of these characteristics showing that anyone can become a “Champion of Change” if they choose to.

In Participation With


FROM–THE–FIELD The Impact of Educational Environments As an architect, I have no doubt that facilities affect everything. This may seem a little biased, but it appears to be true. For a moment, put aside all of the research that states environments/ facilities can and do affect people’s lives. Instead, let us focus on ourselves. First, think about your favorite place to relax, the place you are most productive. Now, consider a place where you are uncomfortable. Imagine yourself in that environment and how it looks and feels. Sure, your mood plays a huge role, but it also has a lot to do with the space. The color of the walls, temperature, views to the outside, furniture and even the scent can change your demeanor. In educational environments, this is especially true. Certain colors and lighting levels can promote a calm environment. Others may stimulate movement. In Frank H. Mahnke’s book Color, Environment and Human Response, Mahnke suggests that ideal color schemes depend on a student’s age and on the function of the space.



I personally have seen and heard the positive and negative results that illustrate how facilities affect everything. Based on his research in color and environmental psychology, he believes preschool and elementary students prefer warm, bright colors while recommending cooler colors for upper grade and secondary classrooms. From the conversations I have with our clients, I know color is a very subjective topic. Our design department believes in including a variety of color options to give students choices. Those can be on walls or other items within the learning environment such as flooring or furniture. Another documented behavioral influencer is the presence of nature within the school environment. “Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline. The greener, the better the scores.”* However, it is not just about the views. Exposure to nature doesn’t have to be literal. Biomimicry is the practice of emulating nature through design. This method has a profound positive effect on learning. Introducing natural materials, such as wood, plants and even animal imagery to classroom environments can positively impact a child’s behavior.

After 25-years of practicing educational architecture, I have seen and heard the positive and negative results that illustrate how facilities affect everything. But this opinion is not limited to architects. Educators believe school facilities make an impact as well: “After the completion of the addition there are many colorful, flexible spaces full of natural light available for students and staff to connect in small groups and one on one settings. These spaces provide students with the opportunity to refocus and get ready to learn.” - Melissa Kartsimas, Principal at Kennedy Elementary, Schiller Park SD 81 “The physical school environment matters. It contributes to creating a positive climate and culture that results in high levels of student engagement in learning.” - Merryl Brownlow, Ed.D., Asst. Supt./Curriculum and Instruction, Riverside SD 96 Bottom line, facilities make an impact.

*Faber Taylor et al. Views of Nature and Self-Discipline: Evidence from Inner-City Children, Journal of Educational Psychology (2002).

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John Connolly

Sean Gordon, CPMM, CPS

Glen Grimm

Chief Technology Officer Cons. High Sch. Dist. 230

Dir./Buildings & Grounds Comm. Cons. Sch. Dist. 93

Sr. Business Development Mgr. Constellation Energy

Was named on the National School Boards Association’s Technology Leadership Network “20 to Watch” list for his ability to inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions that contribute to highquality learning environments and more efficient operations.

Has 15-years experience in commercial HVAC, three years as a building engineer at District 87 and has spent the past five years at CCSD93. Sean is the chair of the Illinois ASBO Maintenance & Operations PDC and has completed the Illinois ASBO Facility Management Designation Program.

Has served the members of the IEC since 2009. Every summer Glen opens the annual E² Energy to Educate grant program, offering students in grades 6-12 and college opportunities to experience problem-solving today’s and tomorrow’s energy challenges.

Robert T. Hughes

Stephen R. Johns, Ed.D.

John E. Lavelle

Dir./Facilities Cons. High Sch. Dist. 230

Business Manager Millburn SD 24

Asst. Supt./Business Services Cons. High Sch. Dist. 230

Has led facilities and operations initiatives for District 230 including major capital improvement projects and long-term planning to maximize finances and provide quality learning environments for students and staff.

Has been in education for 37-years, with 24 as a business manager in both regular and special education districts from 1400 to 14,000 students. As an SBO, Stephen has managed all aspects of school construction projects totaling more than $250 million.

For two decades, John has been a financial steward for school districts in Illinois. In addition, he served as a Director on the Illinois ASBO Board and as Chairman of the Will County Regional Organization.

Dan McCurdy

Richard J. Hendricks, JD, CPA, CSBO

Chief Mechanical Engineer AMSCO Engineering, Inc.

V.P./Administrative Services Moraine Valley Community College

Dr. David Thieman Sr. Business Development Executive NextEra Energy Services

Dan currently leads the mechanical engineering department for AMSCO Engineering in Downers Grove. Dan has worked for over 35 years for K-12 public schools in Illinois.

In his current position at Moraine Valley, Rick oversees both human resources and buildings and grounds. He has over 23-years of experience in K-12 with 15-years as an Assistant Superintendent/CSBO.

Is a former Illinois school superintendent who understands district energy purchasing. He brings invaluable insight to the IEC electric program in both selling and buying and assists districts in their language and from their perspective.

Would you like to be an UPDATE Contributor? UPDATE articles are brainstormed and solicited through the Illinois ASBO Editorial Advisory Board. If you have an issue you feel needs to be brought to the forefront, present your ideas to Rebekah Weidner at The issue themes that we will be soliciting articles for next year include:

• School Finance & Budgeting • Leadership • Digital Learning • Purchasing We look forward to seeing new faces on this page as we continue to make the UPDATE an indispensable resource for school business management.

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STARTING THE WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOL FACILITIES, EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS A UNIQUE STORY TO TELL. SOME DISTRICTS MAY HAVE SEVERAL SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS THAT NEED MAJOR RENOVATION OR REPLACEMENT, OR SOME DISTRICTS MAY BE FACING DECLINING OR INCREASING ENROLLMENT. IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU WILL NEED TO BEGIN THE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR STAKEHOLDERS EARLY IN THE PROCESS TO IDENTIFY THE COMPONENTS OF YOUR DISTRICT’S STORY AS YOU BEGIN THE PROCESS TO IMPROVE YOUR SCHOOL FACILITIES. The general public typically only sees the finishes in a school building. They notice things like worn carpeting or floor tile, peeling paint, roof leaks, cracks or potholes in the parking lot, cracks in the exterior brick mortar and other such examples. Those who spend more time in a school such as staff, students and parents may be aware of inadequate heating and cooling inside the building, a lack of water pressure, water fixtures that do not work properly or inadequate electric service to handle classroom technology. These are just a few examples of the types of issues that are readily apparent. 14 |

UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

However, if you are beginning the discussion of school facilities with your stakeholders, you will need to educate them on much more than the obvious problems with the facility. Assessing the major costs associated with renovating a school facility consists of examining the components of the facility that are not typically seen. Many of these components are in the ceiling, in or under the floor, on the roof, in the mechanical room and in the technology closets.




Each of the components of a facility has a typical lifespan that can be used as a guide for determining upcoming costs to include in the district’s future budgets, as well as a starting point to determine which facilities require major renovation and/or replacement. Many districts have engaged their architectural firm to conduct a long-range facility plan to identify maintenance and replacement costs for their facilities. If the timing is close to the ten-year life safety plan, it is cost effective to complete the longrange facility plan at the same time.

If your school district already has a long-range facility plan, you have the basic information needed as you begin the process of developing a district-wide master facility plan. The long-range facility plan allows the district to start the conversation with stakeholders regarding the existing infrastructure of the buildings. It is not unusual for the factual data in the facility study to identify different school(s) than originally anticipated as most in need of renovation or replacement. It is very important to use this objective data as you begin the process of developing a district-wide master facility plan.


As you begin to develop your district-wide facility plan, keep in mind these four key elements:1 1. Design a process and stick to it. 2. Be diligent and patient.

3. Engage the community on every level. 4. Remain flexible and keep an open mind.


Once the long-range facility study has been completed, districts should begin to include stakeholders in the process to identify district facility needs and develop a plan. Willett (n.d.) identified a stakeholder in public school improvement as “…someone with a vested interest in the public school system or who is affected by its performance.” Willett (n.d.) went on to identify key stakeholders as “…students, teachers, administrative staff, parents and alumnus.” He also identified local businesses, local government officials and health and social service providers as additional stakeholders.

In order to understand curricular needs, the district may choose to hire an educational facility planner to assist with the process of identifying components that will enhance the current curriculum and be flexible enough to adapt to future needs. Most architectural firms also offer this type of service for their clients. There is a paradigm shift that needs to happen in order for staff members and other stakeholders to look at how education is changing and understand how the design of the facility enhances the educational process.

During the process of developing a district-wide master facility plan, it is important to provide opportunities for all stakeholders to be involved in the process. Opportunities for stakeholders can range from attending a town hall meeting or school tour to participating on one of the major committees that is analyzing the data and making recommendations to the board of education.

If you are designing a new building, the district can look at a design that will minimize the number of weight-bearing walls so the building can be easily reconfigured as needs change in the future. It is also important to include options that will enable the district to add classrooms in the future if enrollment increases. This could include providing structural support in the building for adding classrooms on a second or third floor or it could include adding an additional educational pod if the building is designed using a pod design. The important idea is to provide options for expansion, if needed, in the future.

As the process to develop a district-wide master plan moves forward, the committee(s) of stakeholders will need to determine: • If the existing facilities are able to meet the curricular needs of the district both now and into the future. • If the number and size of school facilities should be modified. • Which school safety and security components need to be included in the master plan.


There are many methods that a school district can use to engage stakeholders in addition to committee involvement. It is important to share information and learn what the stakeholders are thinking. Town hall meetings require minimal time of the stakeholders, but also allows the district to get a pulse of the community. These types of meetings can be most effective when held at neighborhood schools that may be impacted by the district-wide master facility plan.

ARTICLE / Stakeholder Engagement

The answer to the question to renovate or build a new facility will be different for each school building and each community.

As the stakeholders begin to look at the data, the district may also want to answer the following questions: • Can the grade levels served by existing school facilities be reconfigured? • What is the cost of renovation versus the cost of replacement of school facilities? • Will a renovated facility provide the same educational opportunities for the students as a new facility? DeJong summed it up by saying “provide the best place for students to learn.”2 The answer to the question


Involving students as stakeholders can also provide valuable insight and develop ownership. At the School City of Hammond, the district asked elementary students to share what they would like to see in a renovated or newly constructed Irving Elementary School. They had a unique opportunity to engage teams of architects, engineers and educational facility planners to examine the issue of renovation versus new construction. This was a component of a conference for the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) that is now known as the Association for Learning Environments. The teams listened to the students and engaged them in a question and answer session. They took this information, along with the educational space needs, of the school and developed a rough plan for a renovation or new construction. In the end,

to renovate or build a new facility will be different for each school building and each community. Factors such as a facility’s historic significance, type of original construction and availability of land will all influence the decision regarding renovation or new construction. Unfortunately, schools now have to look more closely at the safety and security components that will need to be incorporated into a renovated or newly constructed school facility. There are several good recommendations contained in the Recommendations of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force School Safety Working Group.

Irving Elementary was replaced by new construction that incorporated the original decorative terra cotta from the old school — both inside and outside the new school. Another example of students as stakeholders was described by Gary Henry, a former Principal of Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston, TX. Mr. Henry understood the value of involving stakeholders in the process. In his case, the district already had an approved bond program. During the design phase of the project, Mr. Henry involved a group of 5th grade students in the vision, design and layout of the playground. “These students created a list of playground essentials and desirables. They selected the color scheme and the types of climbing, swinging and sliding surfaces.” The involvement of the students gave them a voice and ownership in their new school.


The conversation is not over once the plan has been developed and adopted by the board of education. Next comes the task of garnering support and funding for the project. Typically, this is through a referendum process that will require voter approval. As you continue the process of communicating with the public, it is important to keep the message consistent regarding the project benefits and cost. Your success in securing funding for the district-wide master facility plan is a signal that the process was fruitful and the community has taken ownership of your plan to improve school facilities. References: 1. Paulsen, B. & Siepka, C. (July, 2013) School Reinvention. Retrieved from 2. DeJong, W. (June, 2010) Renovate or Build New? Retrieved from 3. Henry, G. (n.d.) Valuing Students as Stakeholders. Retrieved from 4. Paulsen, B. & Siepka, C. (July, 2013) School Reinvention. Retrieved from 5. Willett, Brian. (n.d.). How to Involve Key Stakeholders in Public School Improvement. Synonym. Retrieved from involve-key-stakeholders-public-school-improvement-12180162.html

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

By Sean Gordon, CPMM, CPS



Every department in a school district can benefit from standardization. When it comes to the facilities department, Community Consolidated School District 93 focuses on these three areas: 1. Hiring New Employees: From a human resources perspective, the selection process for new employees impacts the quality of the worker that is hired.

2. Setting Systematic Daily Processes: Once hired, a consistent training process introduces new hires to the culture as well as the daily operation of facilities from cleaning, to snow removal, to maintenance of equipment and beyond.

3. Maintaining High Standards Post-Construction: With new construction and renovation projects, it is important think ahead by focusing on the quality of the work and making sure it can be easily maintained.

HIRING NEW EMPLOYEES Standardization starts the moment a job vacancy occurs. The hardest part of hiring a new employee can be finding the right candidate pool for the position to ensure there are several qualified applicants to choose from. The most costeffective way for a district to do this is to utilize the web. Post the job on your district’s website and other similar websites, such as your regional office of education website. Other great, cost-effective sources for talent are Illinois ASBO professional development committees or facilities regional organizations. Both professional networks spread the word throughout the area to qualified candidates. TRAINING STAFF ON DAILY PROCESSES Once you have selected a candidate, it is important to not only introduce the new employee to the district’s culture, but to train them on the tactical aspects of their job. Setting systematic daily processes for the tactical side of facilities work establishes and ensures consistency throughout your district. For example, in custodial positions it helps to have an inhouse training program. There are commonly accepted practices and square footage calculations for cleaning processes, as well as manufacturer recommended maintenance practices for mechanical equipment and proper ground care techniques. A very useful training tool is the Good School Maintenance book offered by ISBE. For training positions such as licensed maintenance professionals, districts may look into online training, or opportunities available through current partnerships with suppliers or Service Associates. The primary goal is to set

the new employee up for success in your district. It is not only important to offer training as part of the onboarding process for new hires, but also continuous professional development for your current employees. If not properly reinforced, people tend to stray from best practices and move toward what is most convenient. There are many online training programs available, usually for a relatively small fee. You could also ask for resources from the businesses that you already work with such as cleaning suppliers or equipment distributors or manufacturers. Many of these partners are more than happy to come to your district and provide training upon your request. CCSD 93 has also found that, when possible, our own in-house staff members are great training resources. Using in-house staff creates buyin and collaboration, plus they usually have a better and faster way to do things that save the district resources in man hours, materials and equipment.

THE KEY TO AN EFFECTIVE STANDARDIZATION PROCESS is to have a reasonable goal, a clear means of how to achieve that goal and a way to measure that the goal has been completed to the district’s satisfaction.

MAINTAINING STANDARDS POST-CONSTRUCTION There are many areas for standardization with regards to construction and renovation processes, but we will look specifically at maintenance. One of the most important questions to ask is “How do we maintain the finished product?” After the final contractor is gone, the final payment is paid and the warranty period is up, you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the finished product without any support. At CCSD 93, we are clear throughout the project that everything going into a building must be able to be maintained and repaired with relative ease. We challenge all who are working on the project to assume that whatever is going in will fail, then ask how it would be repaired and ensure that it is designed and installed accordingly. A few examples of this include: • Isolation valves on water feeds for VAV boxes on branch lines, or plumbing fixtures. • Access panels for air handling coils (on both sides) to access panels in drywall. • Color coded conduit above ceilings differentiating fire alarm, emergency power and regular conduit. Most of these items are clearly spelled out in your respective project manuals and drawings, but if they are not, you should consider doing so. However, do not stop there. Make sure to verify that these specifications get done through site visits and punch lists. Even though many of your colleagues may understand your expectations, an extra set of eyes can go a long way.

PREPARING FOR FUTURE PROJECTS To ensure a satisfactory result from your construction or renovation project, make sure your district has the attic stock and finishes. Many products that are used during the construction and renovation project are manufactured in mass quantities. For example, flooring and carpets are dyed or colored to fabricate. Despite manufacturers best efforts, the material you get now may not match what you get six months from now when you need additional material for a repair. Attic stock is additional material used on the job that is given to the owner to use for future repairs or warranty issues. Since it was produced and purchased at the same time as the other materials, it matches exactly with what was installed. Attic stock needs to be specified in the project manual and it is crucial that it be delivered to someone specifically and signed off on. This standardized process verifies accuracy. If you do not follow this process, you may be told that the materials were left on site and potentially never see them again. Other items to clarify are standard colors for paint, flooring and finish, cove base, toilet paper or paper towel holders, light fixtures, drop in ceiling style, etc. These items should be considered not only for the current project you are working on, but also future projects so that your required inventory for attic stock is greatly reduced, making it more effective to store, find and install. At CCSD 93, we are in the middle of a lot of work that has similar desired outcomes at different facilities, which requires consistency throughout.

REVISIT AND REFINE When talking about standardization, it is important to incorporate as many processes as possible and establish a clearly articulated way of doing things to ensure the job is done systematically and efficiently. As with all processes, it is important to revisit and refine regularly so that you stay current and have the best possible end product.

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PERSPECTIVE / On the Profession

SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 What are your critical facilities issues that will need to be addressed in the next five years? first thing that comes to mind is growth, whether it is expanding or just creating “ The new classroom spaces. It could be new buildings or expansions. This is included in our three-year strategic plan. We have a growth committee and are engaging with local realtors to determine our options.”

TIM EHLERS Dir./Maintenance, Rockton SD 140

we have some roof issues and just completed a roof replacement in one area “ Currently of our building. We are also doing a remodel of our Learning Resource Center which will include a state-of-the-art Makerspace area, coffee bar to be run by our special education department and a large seating area for presentations. With everyone going 1:1, we want the area to be more of a community gathering place to host study groups.” CHERYL ROY Manager of Fiscal Services and Facility Operations, Lemont HSD 210

security is the biggest issue that needs focus right now. Nothing has been “ School approved to share, but within our district we are looking at measures when it comes to security. We cannot advertise what we are doing, but it is something that everyone is talking about right now.”

DAVID S. SCHUH, CPMM, CPS Dir./Operations, Crystal Lake CSD 47

work for a small district. The elementary school is non-air conditioned and is 60-years “ Iold, which means some deferred maintenance, including roof and brick work are needed. The junior high is 20-years old and has air conditioning but it still has other needs, as it has not been touched much over that time period.”

KEVIN T. WERNER, C.P.A. Chief School Business Official, Prairie Grove CSD 46

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018



Dan McCurdy



here are a multitude of facilities systems that make up every school building.

Each system is important to the building individually, but together they are vital to providing the safe and comfortable environments that we teach and learn in every day. It is essential to maintain these systems, preferably per manufacturers guidelines provided in the maintenance and operation manuals for each piece, to ensure that they reach their expected/useful lives. You will also find that most of your key critical components in these systems have back-ups or redundancies built in that automatically and seamlessly take over to prevent shutdowns. While not all failures can be prevented, a proper maintenance program can reduce the risk of failure and minimize the impact and recovery time when a failure occurs. These systems range from the power that keeps lights on, to the water you drink from a fountain, the internet that allows global access and the temperature control systems. While each building is different, the goal of each system it the same. What differs is how to go about achieving that goal. It is important for school administrators to have a basic understanding of the main facility systems, what they do, how they operate and best maintenance practices for each type.


Most facilities are equipped with both fire alarm and building security systems. Additional protection may also be provided by water-based fire suppression sprinkler systems. These systems not only protect the buildings, but also help to protect the occupants in the event of an emergency. Even though these systems are not noticed on a daily basis, continued proper operation is essential to keep the buildings and occupants safe.

Fire and Security Maintenance Best Practices Fire Alarm Systems • Periodic basic functional testing (fire drills, etc.) • Yearly complete inspection and testing. Security Systems • Yearly complete inspection and testing. Fire Sprinkler Systems • Weekly visual inspection. • Yearly complete inspection and testing to maintain conformance with NFPA 25. • Sprinkler head testing and or replacement is required after 50-years for standard wet heads, 10-years for dry-type heads.


Power is supplied to the buildings through a service provider; however, there are also alternate methods of generating smaller amounts of power via solar panels, wind turbines, etc. to help reduce dependence on the power companies. The power provider usually services the external power equipment (transformers, incoming wiring). The inside equipment that receives the power and distributes it throughout the building is the responsibility of the school district to maintain. Some facilities also have alternate power systems in place in the event of an emergency or power outage. 24 |

UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

Power Systems Maintenance Best Practices Power Distribution Equipment • Yearly circuit breaker inspection/operation. • Thermal scan/tighten connections every 10-years. Emergency Power Equipment • Yearly generator testing including full load transfer test (usually prior to winter heating months.) • Yearly generator maintenance including oil change, air cleaner, etc. • Yearly battery-operated equipment inspection (emergency lighting, exit signs, battery backups, etc.)


The roof systems of buildings are also an essential part of the building envelope as a whole. By implementing a periodic preventive maintenance best practice program for roofs, the roof system will be able to perform to a full and useful life cycle. Below is a list of the common roof membrane types used in low-slope roof construction, from least expensive to most expensive. Cost can vary depending on the specific conditions present. Also included are the membrane thickness where applicable and the roof membrane life expectancy. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. Low-slope roof construction is commonly referred to as Flat Roofs. It is important to consider the slope in a roof system to minimize the possibility of ponding water. Slope in a roof system is accomplished by either structurally sloping the roof deck or by the use of tapered roof insulation. A minimum slope of ¼" per foot should be designed into the roof system during both existing roof replacement and new construction. The life expectancies listed below are the time frames that should be considered for long-term planning and budgeting of roof replacement. If the roof system is installed and maintained properly, the roof membrane can perform past the time frames listed.

ARTICLE / Facilities Systems

Common Roof Membranes for Low-Slope Construction 1. TPO – Thermoplastic Polyolefin: A Thermoplastic (Plastic) Single Ply Roof Membrane, generally white in color, 60 mils thick and adhered to the roof insulation (20 years.) 2. EPDM – Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer: A Thermoset (Rubber) Single Ply Roof Membrane, black in color and either 60 mils or 90 mils thick, can be adhered to the roof insulation or loose laid and ballasted with river rock (20-25 years.) 3. PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride: A Thermoplastic (Plastic) Single Ply Roof Membrane, comes in a variety of colors and either adhered or mechanically fastened (20-25 years.) 4. BUR – Built Up Roof: A Multi-Ply membrane generally with hot asphalt for waterproofing, fiberglass felts for strength and gravel surfacing for protection (25-30 years.) 5. MB – Modified Bitumen: A Multi-Ply membrane with either hot asphalt or asphalt based cold adhesives for waterproofing, pre-manufactured membrane ply sheets for strength and factory applied granule surfacing or field applied gravel surfacing for protection (25-30 years.) 6. Vegetative Roofs: Installed over a roof system. These roof systems require careful thought and consideration in regard to weight, appearance and long-term maintenance.


This refers not only to potable water that is consumed throughout the buildings, but also the hydronic heating and cooling systems that may provide temperature control to your buildings, as well as how rain/ runoff water is managed. On each of the main water supply inputs to each building (there may be multiple), there may be a reduced pressure zone (RPZ) backflow prevention device which prevents contamination of the water supply system from the building. These must be tested and certified annually by a licensed plumber.

Water and Sewer Maintenance Best Practices Water Supply • Lead testing (required at least once, but recommended annually for main consumable points.) • Locate, identify and exercise all isolation valves for systems. • Backflow prevention (RPZ) testing required annually. • Quarterly water heater inspection and cleaning. • Annual thermostatic mixing valve inspection and adjustment.

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HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) Systems

HVAC systems are likely the systems that people know the least about and they consume and cost the districts the most in energy dollars. There are a plethora of equipment and systems required to condition our buildings and spaces, many of which are described here. However, your systems may vary from those described. If you have a boiler or chiller type system, heated or cooled water is typically circulated throughout buildings via piping and associated circulation pumps. Air circulation systems come in all shapes and sizes, most typically via rooftop units, air handling units, or individual unit ventilators in each space. Condensing units and cooling towers are two examples of outside units meant to remove unwanted heat from inside a building.

HVAC Maintenance Best Practices

• Yearly coil cleaning for air cooled chillers. More frequent cleaning may be required due to environmental factors (adjacent trees, dust, etc.) • Yearly refrigeration inspection and maintenance (refrigerant charge, oil levels, etc.) Circulation Pumps • Yearly inspection and lubrication for pumps with grease-lubricated ball bearings. • Monthly inspection and lubrication for pumps with oil-lubricated sleeve bearings. Air Handlers • Quarterly filter replacement. • Yearly bearing (motor and fan shaft) lubrication. • Yearly drive belt replacement. • Yearly control component inspection (dampers, valves, etc.)

Boilers • Steam ○○ Daily/weekly blow down. Procedures will be determined by your chemical water treatment provider. ○○ Monthly water chemistry testing (typically by your chemical water treatment provider.) ○○ Yearly drain, clean and flush. This includes both the fire-side and the water-side of the boiler. ○○ Yearly burner testing, adjustment and maintenance.

Rooftop Units • Quarterly filter replacement. • Yearly bearing (motor and fan shaft) lubrication. • Yearly drive belt replacement. • Yearly control component inspection (dampers, valves, etc.) • Yearly refrigeration inspection and maintenance (refrigerant charge, oil levels, etc.) • Yearly gas burner (if equipped) inspection, maintenance and adjustment.

• Hot Water ○○ Monthly water chemistry testing (typically by your chemical water treatment provider.) ○○ Yearly cleaning. This typically is only required for the fire-side of the boiler. ○○ Yearly burner testing, adjustment and maintenance.

Terminal Equipment • Unit ventilators, unit heaters, fan coils, etc. ○○ Quarterly filter replacement. ○○ Yearly bearing (motor and fan shaft) lubrication. ○○ Yearly control component inspection (dampers, valves, etc.)

Chillers • Yearly draining and cleaning of the water-side of the chiller. This includes both the condenser and evaporator heat exchangers for water-cooled chillers.

Variable air volume (VAV) boxes • Yearly control component inspection (dampers, valves, etc.)

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

ARTICLE / Facilities Systems

Condensing units • Yearly coil cleaning for air cooled chillers. More frequent cleaning may be required due to environmental factors (adjacent trees, dust, etc.) • Yearly refrigeration inspection and maintenance (refrigerant charge, oil levels, etc.) Exhaust Fans • Yearly lubrication. • Yearly drive belt replacement. • Yearly fan and duct cleaning for systems serving kitchen grease hoods. Piping Systems • Yearly isolation valve inspection and testing. Exterior Louvers • Yearly inspection and cleaning. More frequent cleaning may be required due to environmental factors (adjacent trees, grass, etc.)

• Our entire phone system is VOIP with a dual copper back up for in and out calls if we have an Internet outage. At every building, we have equipped office and administrator staff with mobile hotspots in case of a complete loss of connectivity to provide emergency connections. We are also currently investigating a Dual ISP for core services such as servers and phones. • Every year we look to upgrade both our LAN and WAN speed. While we do upgrades on core components we make sure to do our best to future-proof by purchasing the largest throughput that we can afford at the time. This is an ever-changing area of planning, by taking these steps now we are more prepared for our future. By no means is this the only or best solution for your needs; however, it highlights the areas and possible solutions that should be explored and considered when looking at these types of facility systems.

Control Systems • Yearly inspection. • Periodic software updates.


In this day and age of technology and innovation, communication and speed is key in order to operate at the highest educational and organizational levels. Not only do we have to deal with connection to the outside world but also our internal connection. Here are some of CCSD 93’s practices when it comes to communication technology: • We are currently utilizing our ISP to provide both LAN and WAN services over their Fiber connection. • We have all core and building switches on a six to seven year replacement schedule as well as a yearly cleaning and maintenance program. All switching and PPoE Access Points are connected to both our UPS battery back up systems and onto our dedicated generator circuits providing zero interruption in the event of power loss.

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

By John Connolly



Robert T. Hughes


John E. Lavelle


25-Year Roadmap

Creating a Long-Term Plan for Your District


he biggest challenges administrators face related to large projects are communicating clearly, getting projects done within the allotted time frame and handling shifting priorities. Some districts have developed an annual work session with their boards to determine the priorities of the district, while others have monthly subcommittee meetings that include board members, leadership and community representatives. These meetings are great opportunities to avoid the common misconception of poor planning by communicating effectively. Delays can cost money and cause problems if acquisitions or construction projects are not complete before the start of school and the best laid plans can be disrupted as new priorities arise. Getting back on track by revisiting what was previously decided can be challenging, which is why having a long-range plan can assist when it comes to the communication, timing and funding of projects, while providing focus during changes in leadership and the emergence of new priorities.

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It’s not enough to know what needs to be done. Two other big questions often asked are, “Do we have enough money?” and, “When will we have time to get this done?”


et Your Board on Board


reate Your Financial Roadmap

District 230 has an annual meeting involving the It is not enough to know what needs to be done. school board, teachers, support staff and administrators. Two other big questions to ask are, “Do we have The purpose of this meeting is to have a broad discussion enough money?” and, “When will we have time to get about priorities. They call this the Successful Students this done?” Many Illinois districts have a Debt Service Successful Schools (S4) plan which establishes broad Extension Base (DSEB). When preparing to issue debt, goals and action steps. Along with goals related to student it is often necessary to update your district's credit rating. learning and curriculum strategies, we discuss Besides understanding your district’s major sources of others related to providing the appropriate revenue and the condition of the local economy, resources to meet the needs of rating agencies are also interested in financial students. As part of this process, planning. The long-range plan helps in we developed the idea of longreviewing a plan and issuing debt to t is not enough to range planning based on the coincide with the projects. know what needs realization that the usual threeto be done. Two -to-five-year plan was not It is easy to put off much needed enough. To avoid surprises upkeep and continue deferring other big questions to that could disrupt plans maintenance until the only way to ask are, “Do we have related to other goals, we took complete these projects is with the enough money?” a look at the life expectancy passing of a referendum. The public is and, “When will we of major assets such as roofs not tolerant of poor and short-sighted have time to get and HVAC equipment over planning, especially when you have this done?” an extended period of time. We had the capacity to borrow without a settled on a timeframe of 25 years referendum. A DSEB provides a source of and planning began to take shape. funding that makes it easy to work backward from the summer dates you want the project completed After looking at our district’s major cost centers, by, to when you need to go to bid. Even if you do not have the district decided that technology should be a DSEB, it is possible to use a small consistent annual included with buildings and grounds expenditures. surplus to provide the funds needed to extend debt. As this plan has been shared and discussed at various meetings, we have found it to be a great Depending on the project it might also be possible, means of communicating and aligning the district’s through future cost avoidance and increased energy spending with the overall district planning. While efficiency, to justify getting the work done. These types everyone understands work needs to be done of projects may also be eligible for grant funding and it is within the district, it can come as a shock when the helpful to have identified and planned for this “shovel ready” price tag is high. Having this long-range plan that work as new funding opportunities become available. takes into account price escalation helps with accepting Including conservative cost estimates with an escalation the need to move forward and complete large, rate can serve to show the cost of deferring work. With this costly projects. long-term plan in place, it is easy to see if work comes in under budget or whether it might be possible to pull future work into an earlier year.


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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

ARTICLE / Long-Range Planning


repare to be Flexible

When large expenditures are put off and the life expectancy of assets is not known, unexpected repairs can affect the district’s ability to carry out other important initiatives related to student learning. More disruption can occur when the failure impacts the building’s temperature during months of student attendance. It can always be argued, “Why fix it if it’s not broke,” but when the impact of a breakdown disrupts your primary mission it can end up costing more and impacting learning. This is not to say that flexibility cannot be built into the plan, but regular maintenance and care is still necessary in an effort to prolong the life expectancy of major equipment. All major building equipment should have a preventative maintenance program. When items are well-maintained they are more likely to exceed their anticipated life cycle, which gives you more flexibility in your long-term plan. School districts have new major expenses coming from the area of technology, which is why District 230 chose to include these in our long-term planning. While most major technology has a five-year refresh cycle, some systems, such as phone or intercom systems, are typically on a ten-year refresh cycle. Knowing when a refresh should occur can help a district determine the best year to replace or extend equipment based on the need for other large expenditures. Technology also carries with it the issue of the total cost of ownership. It is critical that these are considered before adding major technology initiatives. Having a 25-year plan demonstrates you have done prudent planning as it relates to major expenses. Less than a year after District 230 developed a 25-year plan, new and pressing priorities were identified that pushed everything forward one year. With these types of occurrences in mind, a long-range plan needs to be a living document that has the ability to adjust to a changing landscape. For example, with the increased violence at schools across the country, new goals have emerged related to security.

Other examples of unanticipated circumstances that might change the order in which things are completed are: • New funding opportunities • State mandates • An enrollment surge due to the closing of an area private school Again, these changes in priority only support the practice of the long-range plan. Without this document any change in priorities can cause the original work to fall off the radar and be forgotten.


Mechanism for Continuous Improvement Unexpected costs can make goals impossible to meet. Having a 25-year budget eliminates surprises. By having a plan that is a living document and is reviewed multiple times per year, we can meet goals and be flexible in meeting shifting priorities while also being realistic about timeframes. Leveraging the ability to borrow to meet long-term goals by using small surpluses, or DSEB, can allow a district to have the funds available to meet their most pressing goals while meeting board and district goals for continuous improvement. Cooperation between the finance, facilities and technology departments is a major part of the success of long-range planning. This documentation exercise serves as a great communication strategy and provides a consistent backbone as boards and leadership turn over.




Onboarding Facilities Staff as Valued District Employees

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018




or any new hire, the first day sets the tone for a great experience within your organization. Many school districts have extensive new employee training for teachers. Before returning staff members are back in the buildings, they might experience multi-day sessions that include introductions to administration, a presentation of benefits, training on the student management software and an overview of the curriculum. Each new teacher is assigned a mentor — a veteran peer to provide guidance throughout the first year. Contrast that welcome with one that simply includes a few minutes in human resources to complete forms before heading off to work. The latter is a typical process for many members of the buildings and grounds department. Once the legalities are secured, well, there is work to do. Not treating this new human resource as a valuable member of the district is short-sighted. The new employee may be responsible for the cleanliness of desk tops, restrooms and all the surfaces our children contact daily. They may also be responsible for the care and maintenance of playground equipment. They will have the safety and well-being of our students as their primary concern and we barely said hello.

BEFORE THE FIRST DAY Nothing says “you’re just a new body” like the absence of preparation. The supervisor should be spearheading the efforts by multiple departments to prepare the first day reception. Human Resources should have the necessary forms packaged and ready, IT should be preparing access and the assigned mentor should be planning introductions and be ready to share accurate district information.

THE FIRST DAY Paperwork is the necessary evil of day one, but should not be the beginning and the end of onboarding. Drug testing also may be slotted in the first morning as well as email setup. The balance of the first day should focus on establishing the relationship with the immediate supervisor.

They may take the new hire for a lunch out as an informal opportunity to discuss the operation of the department. A walk around of the building and/or district is also a good way to get some face time with the new employee.

THE FIRST WEEK The second day should focus on the job duties of the new position. If there is a lead employee or other supervisors in the hierarchy, the new employee should shadow that individual in order to learn the aspects of the job they will be performing. An introduction to leave time (vacation, sick, personal, etc.) should be part of the meeting with the chief school business official (CSBO). It is important to know the boss’ boss and to be clear on the expectations of leave use. Burning leave is sometimes an issue with staff and an early explanation of leave time expectations may ultimately save a job.

THE FIRST MONTHS Feedback should be ongoing but a sit-down meeting is a must. After 30 and 60 days, the supervisor should initiate an informal discussion, away from the day-to-day work, to continue the dialogue. This offers a focused setting to compliment successes and provide guidance in areas in need of improvement. If there is little progress after the 30-day meeting, the 60-day meeting may be more formal in order to reflect the seriousness of management concerns. During these months, orientation to the department, building(s) and district staff and operations must continue.

Onboarding is equally important to each new hire. The process may differ, but establishing a sense of belonging and conveying a welcoming message is critical for all. Onboarding should: Say, “Welcome to the team!” Introduce the new staff to those he/she will interact with daily. Share the compensation “package” details. Offer a path to advancement.

Introduce the district, i.e. number of buildings, classifications of other employees (administration, teachers, teacher aides, clerical staff, buildings and grounds staff) and building versus district staff.

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Before the 1st Day

The 1st Day

The 1st Week

1-5 Months

6-11 Months

The 1st Year

• Communicate first day logistics to new hire including parking information • Communicate social/practical norms & info • Communicate with supervisor

• Assist with completing any outstanding new hire paperwork • Drug testing • Email set-up & protocol • Payroll • ID photo/badge

• Check in with employee • Check in with supervisor • Review process related to probationary period with new hire & supervisor

• Invite to welcome reception • Discuss formal review process • Review benefits package

• Initiate benefits post-probationary period

• Request employee complete onboarding feedback survey

• Select/orient mentor(s) • Announce hire to department/ team/area • Place welcome call to employee • Communicate technology needs to IT

• Brief overview of role, responsibilities & expectations • Provide keys, access codes • Lunch with employee to continue discussion of department nuances & desired outcomes • Introduction and discussion of leave policy & protocol • Create new hire work schedule

• Debrief with employee after initial meetings, training • Review department equipment & safety information • Identify & address learning needs • Licensure maintenance • Discuss initial assignment • Arrange for shadowing within department & adjacent areas

• Confirm understanding of key department policies & procedures • Discuss performance review • Discuss & set short/long-term goals • Introduce clients/colleagues from other areas • Informal discussions at 30 & 60 days

• Determine employee “feel” for role & understanding of work expectations • Discuss progress toward short-term goals • Schedule 120day review

• Perform one-year review • Celebrate successes/ progress • Discuss goals & needs to meet those goals in the coming year • Encourage & assist employee in achieving goals

• Create orientation calendar • Prepare welcome packet • Plan to participate in socialization activities with new hire

• Provide calendar of orientation activities • Give tour of local work environment(s) • Introduce employee to local co-workers • Share experiences/find commonalities

• Orient to local IT systems • Review local administrative & financial procedures • Orient to online resources

• Orient to the institution • Share perks & benefits of long term employment at the institution • Request feedback on orientation sessions • Elicit informal feedback from new hire • Attend events occurring at the institution

• Accompany employee to event or activity outside general work area • Introduce employee to available career growth resources • Attend an information session with employee

• Request employee complete orientation feedback survey

ARTICLE / Employee Onboarding



Before the 1st Day

• Prepare employee workspace


The 1st Day

The 1st Week

1-5 Months

6-11 Months

The 1st Year

• Orient to office environment & routine • Add employee to relevant email/ birthday lists

• Provide training on office equipment

• Include new hire in office conversations & celebrations

• Continue relationship building activities

• Acknowledge one-year work anniversary

• Computer/ portal access verification

• Follow up with employee • Assess understanding of equipment/ website/email navigation & use

• Send information regarding online training modules/ sessions

• Address employee IT needs as they arise

• Request employee complete IT survey



The mentoring component of onboarding provides the new employee with a confidant — a peer that can answer basic questions, steer the new employee clear of known internal problems and provide a confidential sounding board. It is critical that the mentor be a knowledgeable veteran that is loyal to the district. Mentors must be carefully selected and then specifically trained for the assignment. By displaying integrity and developing trust, the mentor sets an example of the care the district shows for each staff member.

The first day can be more than just the first day of a new job. It can be the first day of a new career. Where the path leads is ultimately up to the employee. The district can nurture the employee and provide a glimpse around the next corner. They can also facilitate job shadowing with staff members in related roles to encourage personal and professional growth. Coupling that experience with opportunities for training, both in and out of the district, prevents stagnation and frustration.

Upon employment, a two-way street is established between the district and employee. A free flow of information with no road blocks allows both parties to drive the limit and pass safely. Preparation starts prior to the first day and, with some hard work and good luck, ends with well wishes for retirement from an organization that values each individual and recognizes that it is only as successful as the sum of its staff.

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By Glen Grimm


Dr. David Thieman


The energy industry has changed drastically over the last two decades. Almost half of the United States has now deregulated gas and/or electric markets and energy users can purchase from third-party suppliers instead of the utility. In 1997, Illinois was one of the first states to deregulate its electric market and in 2002 opened the gas market to retail choice.1 How do you ensure the best value with all these choices? The first step is to get a fundamental understanding of how electric supply works, then decide what options may work best for you.


Where does it come from? Electricity can be created by various sources: coal, natural gas, nuclear or renewables — like wind and solar. Regardless of the supplier you choose the utility still delivers, transmits and distributes the electricity to your locations. What does it cost? Electric supply 2 charges are generally divided into four major categories: 1. Energy: wholesale cost of power provided by an electric generator. 2. Transmission: cost to transport the energy from generators to customers. 3. Capacity: fixed payments to generators to ensure plants will be online and provide a contracted amount of power. 4. Ancillaries: facilitates continuous flow of electricity so supply will meet demand. The energy market has experienced a period of sustained, lower prices and lower cost volatility for many cost components. As a result, customers are increasingly choosing products that fix the energy price and pass through the non-energy components.

What does it really cost? While fixed price products seem like they can offer greater budget stability, it is important to be educated about all of the components that ultimately make up your district’s total energy costs. Some supplier offers seem to have attractive prices, but these may exclude unknown, uncertain or unrealized cost components that are required for service. Instead of including these costs in the fixed price, these unknown costs may be deferred until they are realized and reflected on the customer’s invoice as a pass-through charge. These pricing adjustments are often related to non-energy cost components such as capacity, transmission and ancillary services. Without a proper understanding of the cost of these components and your district’s risk tolerance, choosing a fixed price option based on price alone could prove to be detrimental to your bottom line.

An average Illinois school district’s electric bill is broken down as follows:

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How do I make the right choice? As an energy buyer for your district, you can minimize your risk with various product solutions and a transparent contract. Your district’s energy supply charges may be included in the price quote you receive, or may be passed through as separate charges on your bill. A rate that does not include every cost component will be lower, however, in the long run could be more costly. Do not assume all offers are the same — as with any other item you purchase, you MUST read and understand the terms and conditions that go along with the offer. What do I look for in the contract terms? The most common way prices can be changed is via a “material usage change”, “material adverse change” (MAC), “regulatory change”, “change in law” (CIL) or similar clauses in the contract. While this language has been used to cover items related to an unknown or future change in a law, a regulation impacting the cost to supply electricity to customers, or to information received from the utility, some suppliers may revise or broaden their application of this contract language. A few examples of capacity-related pass through charges may include: • Broadly labeling to cover any change in governing laws, regulatory changes, Independent System Operator (ISO) rules and protocols, market rules, load profiles, or how a utility or ISO may calculate usage, or a change in interpretation or application of certain rules. • Utility change to a customer’s monthly capacity or transmission obligations. • Suppliers fix these by adding premium to ensure cost coverage when a material usage change occurs. • Purchasing alternatives: fix the component for price certainty, or pass-through with no premium for potential lower price, understanding that price could ultimately be much higher over your term.

A few examples of transmission-related pass through charges may include: • Change in fees or costs imposed by an ISO or government authority, or a change in application or interpretation of these changes. • Any change by a utility, including a change in tariff, rate class, procedure, or other process or change that alters the supplier’s cost. • Purchasing alternatives: fix the component for price certainty, or pass-through with no premium for potential lower price, understanding that price could ultimately be much higher over your term. Based on your district’s budget process and specific needs, ask yourself these questions: • What circumstances trigger a price increase? (The broader the language, the less “fixed” the price tends to be.) • What specifically are the pass-through charges and what components are fixed? • What rights do I have to challenge a pass-through cost? Can I refuse to accept the change? • What are the rollover language, termination and notification clauses and are they appropriate for my district? • Are the payment terms compliant with the Illinois Prompt Payment Act? While energy suppliers may have similar language in their contracts, they may have a very different history in terms of invoking the language. It is very important to ask your potential energy suppliers to describe examples of invoked price changes.

CHOOSE CAREFULLY Choosing a contract based on the lowest price without a full understanding of potential pass-through costs, could leave your district exposed to more risk than intended and may not be the best overall value.

Footnotes: 1. 2. Your electric bill is generally divided into three categories: delivery charges, supply charges and taxes. Delivery charges cover the cost of delivering power to homes.

RESOURCES Are You in or Out of the Box? Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute is a story of an individual in a conversation with his vice president about self-deception. His story teaches us what it means to get out of the box when it comes to our own egos and communicating effectively with coworkers and teams.

It is often difficult to look inside of ourselves for the cause of failures. Most decisions are top down and choosing where the blame should fall can become every manager’s nightmare. What if we were the cause and we didn’t even know it? How often have you needed someone to say sorry just to feel validated that you were right? Ask yourself, is this shifting of blame better or worse for the organization? Out of the box thinking is often thought of as progressive thinking or creating solutions where there were none to be had. For managers, sometimes thinking “outside the box” might mean that we actually need to look inward at ways we may be deceiving ourselves when it comes to our leadership. Understanding our true motivations can help us ultimately better ourselves and our organizations.

Reading a story rather than an instructional how-to book was a great way to illustrate the concept of avoiding self-deception. As the story develops, we understand that a person is either “in” or “out” of the box when making decisions and interacting with others. The book delivers key leadership points in five broad categories of human and organizational experience: • • • •

Hiring Leadership and Team Building Conflict Resolution Accountability and Responsibility Taking • Personal Growth and Development The main story unites with these five principles, focusing the reader on specific ways they can grow their leadership to create higher productivity and a better work environment. The Arbinger Institute has done a great job following through on the book’s concepts with its core values of selflessness and laying out a path to better interactions with employees and family.

New! On Their List Book reviews from your peers on relevant career topics

Marcus LaPointe, CPMM, CPS Coor./Custodial Services School District U-46 Marcus has worked for U-46 for four-years. There, he coordinates the waste and recycling program and is the contract administrator for the outsourced cleaning contractors. As a school administrator, Marcus sees each day as a learning experience. He finds his work extremely rewarding as the challenges affect so many people from the students, staff and community. After reading Leadership and SelfDeception (twice), I confidently feel it has changed the way I manage. Focusing on situational leadership and organizational outcomes instead of my feelings in the moment, I can have more genuine concern for my employees and instead of playing the blame game we can create strategies to move forward together.

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From the Ground Up

Resources to Lead Your School Facilities Get Your Stakeholders Involved pg. 14-17 VALUING STUDENTS AS STAKEHOLDERS

Get inspired for how to engage your students by reading the story of an elementary school in Texas who recruited a committee of 5th graders to redesign the school’s playground. SCHOOL REINVENTION

Read this article from American School & University to gain tips for starting a “renaissance” of your school facilities, with the help of stakeholders in your community. HOW TO INVOLVE KEY STAKEHOLDERS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

This helpful article gives tips on how to identify key stakeholders, personalize the message and incentivize involvement in your next building project.

Create Loyal Staff Through Onboarding pg. 32-35 HOW TO GET EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING RIGHT

Learn the difference between onboarding and training and why the first 90 days of employment is critical for any employee who enters your district in this article from Forbes. WHAT IS EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING — AND WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

In this blog from the Society for Human Resource Management, understand the goals of an effective onboarding process, as well as tips for effective employee onboarding. EIGHT TIPS TO ENSURE GREAT ONBOARDING

It is common for schools as well as companies to overlook onboarding as a critical part of the hiring process. Get some tips for how to grow talent in your schools through onboarding. 40 |

UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018



Created by a task force of facilities professionals and consultants from across the nation, this guide covers topics including maintenance planning, creating safe environments for learning and maintaining school grounds. GOOD SCHOOL MAINTENANCE

Considered a “bible for the physical plant manager,” this book is used as a basis for the Illinois ASBO Facilities Operations Program and is a great training resource to give to your facilities staff. INTERNATIONAL SANITATION AND SUPPLY ASSOCIATION

If you are looking for a way to stay on top of cleaning trends, joining this association will give you access to numerous helpful publications and resources. SCHOOL SAFETY WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ILLINOIS TERRORISM TASK FORCE

In April, this report was sent to the Governor, outlining 13 initial recommendations designed to make Illinois schools safer. These cover behavioral threat assessments, hardening of facilities and response protocol in schools.

FIND FACILITIES NETWORKING THROUGHOUT THE STATE Is your facilities staff connected to a regional networking group? There are five Illinois ASBO facilities regional organizations throughout the state. These are an indispensable forum for idea sharing and training on best practices for facilities professionals!

Learn more at Will County Will County




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Ron’s Role in the District I have been in my role of Building & Project Manager since 2007. I oversee all the construction and operational projects for the district and manage the day-to-day operations of the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA). I have also completed major energy conservation projects that allowed the district to receive over $2 million in grant funds from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). My budgetary responsibilities are over $10 million annually.

Improving the Teaching and Learning Experience Improving the teaching and learning experience is critical for 21st century learning. The comfort of students and teachers is paramount to improving student achievement. While I cannot prove a direct correlation between installing new chillers, a new Building Automation System (BAS) and the improved test scores at PMSA, I strongly believe that ensuring comfortable ambient temperatures during the heating and cooling seasons have a significant impact on teaching and learning, thus improving student achievement.

An Energy Opportunity As the world continues to place more emphasis on decreasing our reliability on fossil fuels, the use of renewable and sustainable energy will become ever more important to school districts. Leading the charge is solar power. New federal and state legislation have created an environment to incentivize the public sector to strongly consider the deployment of solar. This will allow districts to produce their own electricity and generate revenue by selling energy back to the grid. Probably the single most important opportunity for all districts to consider is doing a cost-benefit analysis for a potential roof mounted or ground solar project.

Transparent and Data-Driven Facilities The single most important best practice I have learned is to be transparent. This creates an environment of collaboration and trust. It allows you to establish critical buy-in and support from the board, superintendent and administrative leadership team, building level staff and most importantly the community when seeking major capital for large projects. An additional best practice is the significance of being data-driven. I use the most current Building Automation System (BAS) applications to accumulate data, allowing me to proactively monitor the facilities and make data-driven mechanical, electrical and energy-efficient capital improvement decisions. Being data-driven also allows me to present very objective and compelling cases for district expenditures.

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UPDATE Magazine / Fall 2018

Setting the

Industry Standard for Illinois School Facilities

erations ities Operations

ntenanceFacilities Custodial Maintenance


Maintenance GRounds Custodial



Faci GRoun

Take all four courses to complete the program, or select a topic relevant to your role in facilities and come for the full-day seminar!




Custodial Maintenance

Join Illinois ASBO for this interactive facilities program designed to build a solid foundation for a successful GRounds Facilities Maintenance facility professional. Meet with colleagues and network about facility related topics while studying the Good School Maintenance textbook with hands-on instruction.

Facilities Custodial Maintenance

Facilities Custodial


GRounds Facilities Maintenance



Maintenance GRounds Custodial


RAM ROGRAM 9/19/18

Essentials of Facilities Mgmt.


Essentials of Maintenance Op.


Essentials of Grounds Op.


Essentials of Custodial Op.

Register Now: Already completed the program?

Refer a member of your staff and demonstrate your commitment to improving your team!

Faci GRoun



TechCon 2018

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 NIU NAPERVILLE CONFERENCE CENTER STEM learning is moving beyond the science classroom to all subjects and disciplines. What will this mean for you as a business, technology or curriculum leader? Come explore this question with other leaders and innovators from all sides of the education field at this year’s TechCon!

Get Inspired and Register at:

2018 Fall UPDATE  
2018 Fall UPDATE