Lew Jones, Director
1707 Russell Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: (510) 644-6250
Fax: (510) 644-8983
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The Berkeley Unified School District Maintenance Department has had a positive effect – since passage of a local tax, Measure BB of 2000 – toward improving the overall appearance of each school and other district sites. This progress has been made because of new procedures, additional staff, and improved staff training. It is the goal of the Maintenance Department to provide safe, secure, and well-maintained schools for Berkeley’s children.
A very brief history about BB
Like most school districts in California, Berkeley Unified was faced with continually reducing its maintenance budget since the passage of Proposition 13. Maintenance and safety needs could no longer be addressed by the skeleton maintenance crew. In November 2000, Berkeley citizens passed Measure BB, a special tax which generates approximately $4 million per year to improve maintenance systems and establish a long-term plan to maintain Berkeley schools.
Measure BB in Action
The passage of Measure BB gave Berkeley Unified School District’s Maintenance Department stable, dedicated funding, doubling its budget for the term of the special tax (12 years). Improvements have already been accomplished.
- Additional staff was hired, doubling the work force and providing expertise in many trade skills.
- Training programs are being added to the system to continually upgrade staff.
- To minimize disruption to classroom learning and to provide regular, on-going services, AM/PM shifts were created. Crews during the morning/early afternoon shift perform routine maintenance and handles emergencies, while crews during the late afternoon/evening shift perform preventative maintenance at all of the schools on a rotating basis. This schedule addresses existing and potential maintenance problems more effectively.
- Newer, safer vehicles were purchased, equipped with racks and enough storage to transport necessary equipment and supplies.
- Additions to the staff allow for more frequent and comprehensive gardening services to all of the sites.
- With staffing and equipment/supplies coming into place, the Maintenance Department can now tackle other needs, such as review and revision of contract services, systematic repairs for boilers, ventilation systems, and fire safety record-keeping.
Berkeley voters renewed Measure BB of 2000 with the passage of Measure H of 2010. Measure H will take effect in 2013 when Measure BB will retire.