Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Roof: Old Portables

During summer break a new roof was put on a bank (or pod) of portables at Jenny Lind Elementary. The portables--#51, #52, #53--have a history of maintenance, moisture, and mold issues. In recent months I have shown photos of the current condition of these aged portables:
New Roof on 24 year-old portables at Jenny Lind Elementary

They are 24 years old and have been rapidly deteriorating for a number of years; the recommended life expectancy of a portable is 15 years. These portable classrooms are now “9” years past their safe use and occupancy recommendation. Furthermore, there have been serious medical issues related to these classrooms (as far back as 10 years ago). A new roof will not change the age (or health risk) of these portables.

Window Screen: Pod 5 Portable
The good news is that there is a new roof on these old (antique) portables. The bad news, unfortunately, is that it is money wasted (in difficult economic times). The exact dollar amount of this project is uncertain at this time. However, because of their age (and severe deterioration) the money should have been used to have the portables removed from the school site. They are now a health and safety hazard with a very nice new roof. A new roof does not solve the ongoing long-term health issues; it just gives the appearance of money well spent. Unfortunately, it’s like putting a nice new (expensive) saddle on a very old pasture horse. The horse (which was a good one during it’s prime) served its purpose many years ago; a new saddle will not revive or bring back it’s days of old. Those days are gone.

Old Roof: Portables #51, #52, #53
The enrollment at JLE (and CUSD) is down; as a result there are empty classrooms on this campus. There is no reason to repair and “preserve” these antiquated and unhealthy portables. They have served their purpose; it is time to retire these pasture horses. They are a severe liability. My wife had a respiratory arrest and seizure after becoming ill from long-term exposure in a JLE 24 year-old portable. The evidence is right before our eyes. The buildings are a dangerous health hazard; which is one reason why Cal-OSHA is presently investigating JLE. A new roof will not solve the problem; a new roof will only prolong the likelihood of more long-term
health issues and medical emergencies.

Behind #51--Sitting Below Ground Level
Air Vents Covered

These portables do not need to be used; there are other—empty—classrooms at JLE that can be used. However, even if JLE was busting at the seams and had no room for any new students (from a sudden increase in student enrollment) these aged portables should not be considered as viable classrooms—for students, teachers, or support staff. They are not worth the risk. Don’t be fooled or deceived; this is not a functional use of maintenance money. Unfortunately, these aged portables should not have been re-roofed; they should have been re-moved; in other words--put to pasture.

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