Building Code Administrator, UBCI
The Facilities Department is a service-oriented organization committed to the children of Highlands County. The goal of the department's 26 men and women is to provide safe and functional learning environments for our faculty and students. The highly skilled and experienced office staff provides support for 21 technically accomplished trade mechanics. Full advantage is taken of their specialized skills to remedy problems associated with building systems and equipment. Together with a large assortment of annual contracts with local vendors, we have the ability to address a host of maintenance-related issues without significant delay.
With the utilization of a Computerized Maintenance Management System, each school center can instantly transmit electronic work orders to the maintenance office, giving the department a head start in the diagnosis and repair of many components in our facilities. The development of such an aggressive maintenance program for the Highlands County Schools is well received for its ability to respond and provide customer service to our clients - the children, teachers, and administrators.
The department plays a major role in the design, development, and completion of new construction and capital improvement projects. Each mechanic in the department has worked on many capital improvements for the benefit of the classroom. Although we have worked with many outside contractors for some work, the department itself has done far more of this kind of work to stretch our ever-diminishing dollar, thereby allowing us to stretch the number of projects approved by the Board annually.
Another factor, which is used to help make use of our dollars to the fullest, is our Technical Review and Assistance Program. This construction management method offers the district a personnel pool to evaluate the feasibility of constructing and maintaining new facilities, additions, and enhancements. All trade mechanics from the area of carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting, building maintenance, grounds care, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are available to assist in ensuring that sound construction practices are utilized. The end result is that the projects are completed on time and within the budget. The best outcome is that the school has the functional qualities to provide quality educational opportunities.
We take seriously the Board's mandate for safe school housing. This is accomplished through the department's Fire, Health, and Life Safety Program. Code compliance is an ongoing issue. With an aggressive attitude, the department has reduced the number of safety citations annually. Every year, the district meets every new safety requirement mandated by the Department of Education before the opening of the school year. We strive to improve the equipment reliability, reduce emergencies and downtime and improve customer service. All of the staff members are committed to providing the finest learning environment possible in order to help the district meet the goal of educating the children of Highlands County. The department provides the Superintendent and the Board with confidence that we are taking our fiduciary responsibilities seriously by stretching our funds. While it is paramount that we focus on the value for each dollar spent, we take seriously our goal to provide the quantity and quality of maintenance service safely, on time, and at a reasonable cost to the district.