School repair list totaled up for 2010 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

School repair list totaled up for 2010

Surface damage at Farrington High School Surface damage at Farrington High School
Ron Okamura Ron Okamura
Randy Moore Randy Moore
Roy Takumi Roy Takumi
A bell at McKinley High School waits to be repaired. A bell at McKinley High School waits to be repaired.

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the ewa side of McKinley high school's four-sided campus setup sits the ugly stepsister. Building "W" was built in the 1920s.

It looks its age and it's principal Ron Okamura's pet peeve.

"If you look at the walls there's a lot of rot, dry rot that's come through and termite damage," he said.

McKinley's repair and maintenance backlog for 2010 adds up to $6.9 million for leaking roofs, structural repairs and painting needs.

Department of Education Assistant Superintendent Randy Moore keeps tabs on the total backlog for all of Hawaii's public schools.

"We've made major progress for the first half of the decade. And since then it's been pretty stable," he said.

Moore said this year's grand total is $390 million -- $43 million more than last year.

He said the DOE will ask the legislature for $100 million to cut into the backlog bill.

State House Education committee chairman Roy Takumi said it seems do-able.

"The way we do repair and maintenance in our schools is depending on revenues that we think we're going to have and obviously the amount we think we can borrow," he said.

"In difficult economic times it's sometimes easier for the legislature to appropriate money that is going to be spent by selling bonds because it doesn't require current tax money," he said.

At McKinley only one school bell works. Fixing the others is on the repair and maintenance wish list -- just like building "W."

But what gets fixed depends on what the state can afford.

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