AISD Aims To Change Facilities Process

Carstarphen proposes annual reviews of building repairs

By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Sept. 16, 2011

The Austin Independent School District is closer to a new decision-making process for building repairs and renovations, with Superintendent Meria Carstarphen proposing "annual facility actions" rather than a strict, 10-year master plan. At the board of trustees' Sept. 12 work session, Carstarphen laid out a three-part framework. In November, she will formally present a new decision-making process. This will result in annual information-gathering on campuses based on the industry standard Facility Condition Index of building quality. From there, her staff will make annual recommendations, factoring in metrics like academic achievement and the state's Financial Allocation Study for Texas spending scores. There will also be a role for community engagement, and campuses will be allowed to critique their FCI scores. The original facility master plan study was heavily criticized for overstepping its assignment, making campus-by-campus recommendations rather than setting out a broad strategic plan (see "What the Task Force Wrought," May 27). By concentrating on establishing a systematic process, board Vice President Vince Torres said, Carstarphen's plan is "right on target." However, board Secretary Lori Moya has asked for clarification on how often the FAST reports will be updated, while trustee Annette LoVoi said she expects "a carefully delineated process" for community input.

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