Audit dings Moffat County High School for 27 items of concern |

Audit dings Moffat County High School for 27 items of concern

Comprehensive reports from the state facilities audit expected in late January

Sasha Nelson
Moffat County School Board of Education listened to a presentation from a facilities audit conducted by the Colorado Department of Education. Regional Program Manager of the Division of Capital Construction Kevin Huber expects the final report will be completed near the end of Janurary 2017.
Sasha Nelson

— Moffat County School District underwent two audits this fall — an accessibility audit of the high school by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and a comprehensive facilities audit by the Colorado Department of Education Division of Capitol Construction.

Moffat County High School was randomly selected to undergo a review of accessibility by the Office of Civil Rights.

The audit uncovered 27 items of concern focused around equal access to technology, communication for employees and kids — making sure that information in student handbooks is in Spanish — as well as ramps, signage, drinking fountains and bathrooms, said Superintendent Dave Ulrich.

The school district already has addressed 13 items and has a plan in place to address all deficiencies by 2018.

“One of the district’s belief statements is that all students deserve opportunities to participate in programs and activities. Career and Technical Education at the high school is no exception,” Ulrich said. “We are confident we can address the issues in the approved timeline.”

The facilities audit evaluated all of the facilities and sites within the district.

The division that did the audit, oversees a program called Building Excellent Schools Today or BEST that provides grant dollars and assistance securing federal financing loans for capitol improvement projects.

“In 2009, the BEST program went out and evaluated every building and school facility in the state to better understand the needs,” said Regional Program Manager, Kevin Huber. “These are now out of date and inaccurate. All buildings have been accessed, but not all reports are completed.”

Detailed inspection reports for each building, outside structures and school grounds, should be completed by the end of January, Huber said.

The reports classify each of the major systems as a life safety or life cycle issue, and then provide estimates to when and at what cost each system will require replacement or refurbishment.

Examples of life safety issue include fire alarms and suppression systems, Huber said.

In contrast, “when a building was built, every system has a life cycle. Life cycle is adjusted depending on the inspection,” Huber said.

Once audited, each building and site are given a Facilities Cost Index (FCI) number that helps to compare the cost to replace versus remodel each location. When an FCI is between 50 to 75 percent it might be more cost effective to demolish the building and start over, Huber said.

Huber recommends that the district use the audit as a basis to create a facilities master plan.

The school district plans to use both assessments as a basis to apply for state and federal grants to help with costs.

“We are hopeful to get assistance from the state in the form of a BEST grant in 2017,” Ulrich said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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