The State College Area School District has had a deferred maintenance plan for the high school. I get a lot of questions about this when I talk with people about the State High project.
What does this mean? Deferred mainten-ance refers to the myriad repairs, mainten-ance and capital projects that have been set aside over the past 10 or more years because of the potential for a comprehensive State High renovation/construction project. Examples include HVAC, doors and windows, lighting and electrical, parking, storm water management and more.
Why has this happened? SCASD is trying to maximize fiscal responsibility by delaying certain State High expenditures that might then be replaced, removed or reconfigured during a State High renovation.
What is the cost of these items? Depending on exactly what is done, the estimated cost of deferred maintenance is $42 million to $70 million.
What happens if the tax referendum does not pass? Most aspects of the deferred maintenance cannot be delayed and some measure of the repairs will have to be completed soon. Without a successful tax referendum, these costs will come directly from daily operating funds. That will place a tremendous amount of pressure on our budget and will likely negatively impact other areas … including additional delays to the much needed improvements to our other core facilities (like our elementary schools).
Hopefully this clarifies some questions on our reference to the district’s “deferred maintenance.”
The writer is a member of the State College Area school board.