April 30, 2013 Facilities/Security Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
School Facilities and Security Subcommittee
Mr. David McCarthy, Chairperson
Quincy High School
Principal’s Conference Room
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
5:00 p.m.

  1. Welcome - Chairman McCarthy

  2. Update on School Grounds Maintenance - Mr. Chris Cassani

  3. Quincy High School Issues - Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Gary Cunniff, Mr. Walter MacDonald

  4. Update of School Improvement Plan/Lighting Audit Issues - Mr. Kevin Murphy

  5. Adjournment/Thank You!


Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A meeting of the Facilities and Security Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm in the Principal’s Conference Room at Quincy High School. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. David McCarthy, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Parks Director Christopher Cassani, Public Buildings Director Gary Cunniff, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. Kevin Murphy, Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Kevin Segalla; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. McCarthy called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm and turned the meeting over to Parks Director Cassani who gave an overview of the plans for landscaping on school grounds this spring. For Quincy High School, an outside contractor will do the preliminary work over the next several weeks. The department has purchased two new 48-inch pickup mowers which should help out with efficiency in maintaining school grounds. Mr. Cassani has met and/or emailed with many of the principals and each school has had a first pass of lawn mowing. Lincoln Hancock has received some extensive maintenance for overgrown shrubbery. Mr. Cassani expects strong performance and communication from his staff and will be attentive to the schedule of upcoming school events, including testing and quiet times. Mr. Cassani also spoke about the upcoming Cleaner Greener event on May 4 and the extraordinary efforts of the principals and volunteers to work together with the Parks Department. Mr. Cassani noted that preparation for the two high school commencements at the Veterans Stadium in early June, including attention to plantings.

Ms. Isola complimented Mr. Cassani on how the school grounds look this spring. Mr. Bregoli asked about whether the Parks Department owns a bucket truck. Mr. Cassani confirmed they do and said that collaboration between departments will be one of his priorities. Mr. McCarthy asked for details about the work that will be done at Quincy High School, and asked for regular watering of the plantings at the front of the school and that the landscaping along Coddington Street needs some attention. Mr. McCarthy asked about trimming shrubbery at Bernazzani, Beechwood, North Quincy, Point Webster, and other locations and Mr. Cassani will look into those. Mr. McCarthy complimented Mr. Cassani for the effort that had been put into preparing the athletics fields around the city. He asked if Faxon Field track events are utilizing the facilities at Quincy High School. There are several portable facilities at the track that will be remain there permanently, with additional ones to be installed shortly. Mr. McCarthy also said that the playground near Quincy High School has drainage issues in the far corner and asked if fencing could be added for safety. Mr. Cassani said that bids for safety fiber in playgrounds across the city will be sent out in mid-May and that an outside company has been hired to assist with the goose problem at the Faxon Field track.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification on the outside contractor working at Quincy High School; Mr. Cassani said that it is a short-term assignment for about three weeks. Mrs. Mahoney echoed Mr. McCarthy’s concern about shrubbery and grounds maintenance. Mr. Bregoli asked about the safety fiber installations; twenty-four sites will receive new fiber installations so all playgrounds across the city will have received new fiber over the last two years. Ms. Isola asked if any of the schools have gardening committees to assist with landscaping. Mr. Cassani said that he is in the process of establishing connections with the principals and learning about those opportunities for partnerships with parents and families. Mr. McCarthy also noted that North Quincy High School is another area of concern; mowing was completed there today.

The next item on the agenda was a review of the Quincy High School punch list. Public Buildings Director Gary Cunniff distributed the list which dates back to June 2011. Mr. Cunniff has begun the process of annotating the list for items that will be referred to Maintenance, items that need to be investigated, and items that are under extended warranty. There are some items that are additional requests, such as window shades. Mr. Cunniff noted that there are still struggles with some of the heating/cooling issues, partly due to the complexity of the system. Quincy High School was awarded Green Community status and there is some grant funding available in order to add some efficiencies to the energy use in the building.

Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. Santoro to speak to the major issues at Quincy High School. Mr. Santoro said that the fact that the heating system cannot be adjusted for individual areas of the building is the biggest issue. The second biggest issue is the compressor noise issue in the C wing that causes vibrations in several classrooms. Number three is the area where the water fountain leaked in the gym and the warping of a section of the gym floor. Mr. Cunniff said that the heating issue should be addressed by the commissioning process for the Green Communities program. He also noted that several solutions proposed by the architect and acoustical engineers failed to address the compression vibration issue.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification on the commissioning exercise. Mr. Cunniff said that Peregrine Energy Group is working on this process. Mrs. Mahoney asked whether the glycol leaks several years ago affected the performance of the system and if the commissioning recalibrates the whole system. Mr. Cunniff said the cost of commissioning would be covered by the grant; there is the option of looking at replacing the Honeywell system. Mrs. Mahoney asked if the manual manipulation could have affected the system performance and asked that the subcommittee be kept appraised on the ongoing system performance. Mr. Cunniff said that a commissioning should last ten years and costs $100,000. Mr. Cunniff said that the stability of the Honeywell platform is an issue in the long run; since it is a proprietary system, there are not many outside resources that can help with this system.

Mrs. Lebo asked for a further updated list for Quincy High School, removing the items that are regular maintenance items and focusing on the major issues. Mr. Murphy said that the Maintenance department will review the list to see what has already been completed and timelines will be assigned for remaining items. Dr. DeCristofaro said that there will be an opportunity to review an updated version of the list, possibly at a School Committee meeting or Subcommittee meeting. Ms. Isola asked about the Interwrite board issues on the list and Mr. Santoro confirmed that most, if not all, of these have been resolved.

Mr. Bregoli asked Mr. Segalla to confirm that the custodians have not been trained to maintain the HVAC system. Mr. Cunniff said that the system requires constant computerized maintenance and there is no one assigned to do that currently. The commissioning exercise should result in a system that requires minimal maintenance; a Public Buildings staff member could perform this maintenance or an outside contractor could. Public Buildings has requested additional staff in the FY2014 budget.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for further clarification of the post-commissioning HVAC maintenance. Mr. Cunniff said that the Honeywell programming is proprietary and beyond a certain point, an outside person cannot make changes. The training that was given to Maintenance and Custodial when the building opened was cursory and the Honeywell maintenance contract is expired. Mrs. Mahoney is concerned that post-commissioning we will not have a trained person to maintain the system. Mr. Cunniff feels that Peregrine Energy has the expertise to train a designated person to perform the regular maintenance. A skilled HVAC technician who can both diagnose and fix problems would be ideal; they could run the automation system and identify the components that need to be replaced. Mrs. Lebo wondered whether this is as much as an issue across the city. Mr. Cunniff said the City’s larger buildings are the concern, with the schools as the primary issue. Mr. Murphy noted that in most of the school buildings (and other city buildings), the city purchased the Honeywell automation system only, and that it interacts with older HVAC components.

Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the bathroom and lighting issue on the Quincy High School list and whether any were safety issues. Mr. Santoro said that a number have been addressed, including any that were safety, but an updated list will clarify what is still to be addressed. Mr. McCarthy asked for Mr. Segalla, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Cunniff to work collaboratively to update the list by the end of this week (May 3).

Mr. Bregoli asked about the new Central Middle School; Mr. Cunniff explained that this is not a Honeywell system, but a more open software system. Part of the package of installing this automated temperature control system is training for a designated staff member. There is no one appointed at this time to take on the responsibility of this training. Ms. Isola is concerned about Central Middle School and whether the custodians will be able to maintain that system. Mr. Cunniff said that Peregrine’s analysis at Quincy High School will be instructive in the operations of Central Middle School. Ms. Isola understands the energy efficiency goals of these automated systems, but questioned whether energy is wasted by running a complicated system that we cannot maintain. Mr. Cunniff noted that with Central being a model school, there are examples of successful operations of these systems. Mr. Cunniff has consulted with Newton and they have an energy manager who interacts with the IT department; this is Public Building’s goal, whether it is a new employee or handled on a contractual basis. Mrs. Lebo suggested that one of our talented Career and Technical Education students could be trained. Mrs. Lebo also said that having the Quincy High School list updated by May 3 was not realistic and suggested a May 10 goal.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the time frame for commissioning. Mr. Cunniff said that the commissioning process can’t be completed until the heating season is underway again. Mrs. Mahoney is concerned that as of next fall, we will have two schools with these complex systems and no one to maintain them. She reiterated that it is of the highest priority that we have someone in-house to maintain these systems and acknowledged everyone’s frustration including Mr. Cunniff.

Mr. McCarthy introduced Mr. Murphy to review the list of School Improvement Plan/Lighting Audit items. A number of additional items have been completed since the last update in March; new items are in process, including lighting issues at six schools being addressed through collaboration with the Traffic Department electrician and their bucket truck. The lighting at Quincy High School has special-order replacement parts and this is underway.

Mrs. Lebo asked about repaving in parking lots; Mr. Murphy is working with Department of Public Works Commissioner Raymondi to coordinate this along with re-striping of a number of school parking lots during the summer.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting at 6:25 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.