Maintenance II: The Tuck-Point Industry Needs Better Lobbyists

The Cap Times article is centered around an investigation of the tuck-pointing project at East.  Materials prepared in connection with the 2005 maintenance referendum listed among the district’s maintenance needs $1.8 million for tuck-pointing at East.  According to the article, “Tuck-pointing at East now appears in referendum project records as completed” but “the intended thorough tuck-pointing job at East received only $5,000 worth of work.”  So, what’s up with that?

Here is what I can deduce from the records I have seen.  Tuck-pointing was listed as a project for East in the initial referendum maintenance lists.  So was tuck-pointing at Lapham and Franklin schools.   None of this work was done, at least not on the scale that was initially contemplated.   What is mystifying is that on a “Referendum Status Summary” list prepared last January, brick tuck-pointing at East High is listed as a project completed in 2009.  No dollar figures are provided. 

I think we can all agree that there wasn’t any million-dollar-plus tuck-pointing work done at East in 2009.  Someone would have noticed it.  In October, 2009, Doug Pearson wrote in an email to Erik Kass, “There was never funding provided for the large, East tuck-pointing project.  We did a small amount of parapet wall repairs at East last summer, about $5,000.  We have also done numerous other tuckpointing jobs at East.  But, have never had funding for total building tuckpointing, including lintel, sill, and parapet wall repairs.”  I gather from this that the completed tuck-pointing project listed on the January, 2010 report most likely refers to the $5,000 job that apparently was performed in the summer of 2009, but not to the $1.8 million job that was identified prior to the maintenance referendum vote. 

There were a lot of projects identified prior to the 2005 maintenance referendum that have not been completed, just as there are a number of maintenance projects that were undertaken over the course of the last five years that were not identified back in 2005.  Apparently Doug Pearson or others in the administration were not big tuck-pointing fans, or at least thought that those were projects that could be put off in deference to more pressing concerns,  

I know nothing about tuck-pointing myself and Wikipedia is no help on this.  If we as a district are falling woefully short, tuck-pointing-wise, perhaps some tuck-pointing professionals could set us straight.

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