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Burbank school district kicks off school upgrades

Biggest chunk spent so far is for management of bond projects, contractors.

July 23, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

As more than $40 million in Measure S bond funds starts trickling in, Burbank school officials spent about $33,000 tackling various facility upgrades during the first month of funding, according to a recent report.

As of June 30, most of the spending was with the district's facilities program manager, Kurt Hauffe, who runs Hauffe Co., according to a monthly expenditure report presented during a school board meeting last week.

From May 30 to June 30, Hauffe was paid $170 per hour — for an approximate total of $24,500 — working full-time to manage bond projects and solicit contractors.

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The Burbank school board approved Hauffe's hourly rate in April.

Going with one manager is less expensive than contracting with a team from a management company, said Christine Statton, assistant superintendent of administrative services.

"If anyone has worked with administering bond projects before, normally you bring in a whole construction management team so you can easily double or triple that [cost]," Statton said. "We're utilizing one person at this time. That seems to be working well."

There are currently 61 projects underway in Burbank schools that will be paid for with bond money or deferred maintenance funds, said Craig Bell, director of facilities for Burbank schools.

Another $6,500 was paid in June to environmental consultants who tested for asbestos at eight schools where crews will make roof repairs, including at Jordan Middle School as well as Disney, Edison and Stevenson elementary schools.

The expenditures were included in the first report detailing how bond funds are being spent and school board members have requested additional reports every month.

"I think it's going to be helpful to us to have this kind of report on a monthly basis … otherwise it's not going to be as apparent to the community," said school board member Larry Applebaum.

The district also spent $500 to advertise for a construction bid to replace the asphalt on the parking lot at Washington Elementary.

Another $1,557 was paid to the Department of Public Health of Los Angeles County to irrigate the playing field at Jordan Middle School with reclaimed water.

Bell said officials also plan to affix signs at each school listing the amount of bond dollars spent there, along with various projects that were funded at each site through the bond.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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