Controller Butkovitz reports on progress made by School District to improve facilities
September 23, 2015
William R. Hite, Jr. Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Philadelphia School District
440 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, Pa 19130
Dear Dr. Hite:
As a follow-up to my Office’s June 2015 report on the conditions of Philadelphia’s Public School buildings, we recently inspected 15 of the initial 20 schools to determine if any action was taken to improve the hazardous conditions uncovered by our inspectors. These selected schools were determined to need the most work.
After conducting our inspections, we found the School District took immediate steps to make several improvements based on our recommendations. Our inspectors found a substantial amount of the maintenance work had been completed over the summer break prior to students and staff returning for the new school year.
The enclosed report contains a status update to prior findings as well as before-and-after photographs to display the work that was completed. The asbestos that was exposed at Francis Scott Key Elementary has been encapsulated, properly sealed and the plaster ceiling above it has been repaired. The heating system that was leaking in Frankford High School’s basement now has new pumps and isolation valves so water does not escape. Additionally, many schools have new ceiling tiles, fresh paint and GFCI electrical outlets have been installed to meet industry standards.
As a result of our report, we were informed that the School District also developed a detailed remediation plan of action to address the types of issues that were found in our initial report. Along with taking corrective actions, the School District indicated that it has established plans to utilize capital funds to address some of the larger and more expensive issues.
I commend your effort and commitment to quickly addressing these unsafe conditions. While there is still much work to be done, this was an enormous leap forward to creating a safe learning environment for students, teachers and other essential staff that assist the School District in its daily operations.