The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has set aside $1 million from its contingency reserve for the maintenance and operations of its nine junior colleges.
No money has been distributed to the junior colleges in the district as of yet.
A formula for distribution of the funds will be decided during the Dec. 8 meeting of the District Budget Committee (DBC).
Pierce College has received many complaints about the state of cleanliness of its restrooms and classrooms. Supplies for the bathrooms including toilet paper, seat covers and paper towels are in short supply and students complain about the cleanliness of their classrooms according to Paul Nieman the director of Plant Facilities.
“We’ve added all this square footage but the colleges haven’t put together a plan to maintain the buildings,” said Ken Takeda the vice president of Administrative Affairs.
The additional funds being used represent a one-time funding because the money comes from a surplus of cash in the LACCD’s unrestricted general fund.
Other money has also been allocated for use in the district including $750,000 for utilities.
Janitors are in short supply at Pierce.
Pierce needs 26 custodians to properly clean the campus on any given day but is only budgeted for 24.
Several custodians are often call out of work on any given day.
If a custodian doesn’t show up to work they don’t get paid but their work is still left undone.
Custodians at Pierce are divided up into two shifts. The early shift is in charge of the majority of cleaning while the late shift is in charge of spot cleaning and moving equipment.
There are several reasons restrooms are often left unsanitary including misuse and abuse by students and non-students.
“We have outside groups that come in and trash the restrooms,” said Nieman.
The Library department chair is pleased with the custodian that is assigned to work in her building.
“We’re happy with the person we have,” said Florence Robin the Library department chair. “She does a very good job, but she is often taken out of the library to work on other buildings.”
Director of the Student Health Center Beth Benne however, tells a different story.
“The Health Center needs to be cleaned every day,” said Benne.
To report maintenance emergencies call the Plant Facilities at 818-719-6441 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m. call the campus sheriffs at 818-719-6450.
Filthy tissues and urine cover the Men’s Restroom in the Math 1400 building. (Joe Kukuczka)