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Student Learning Supported by Maintenance and Operations Team
Posted 5/23/22

Maintenance Team Members making Facility Repairs

When someone hears the words “school district” most tend to think of students and teachers in a classroom. However, there’s so much more that goes into managing, operating and maintaining a school district. Newport-Mesa Unified School District has 32 school campuses and multiple district facilities throughout Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, encompassing more than two million square feet of building space on 485 acres of land, nearly the size of Disneyland. 

Many have heard the saying “it takes a village”. Well, it truly does. Our District employs approximately 3,000 individuals that serve about 18,000 students. Of the 3,000 employees, approximately 230 are specifically dedicated to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) of our school and District facilities.

The M&O team is an intricate part of the District that provides clean, safe and modern facilities that are purposeful, visually pleasing and provide a purposeful learning environment.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Landscape and irrigate more than 12.7 million square feet of greenery (equivalent to the approximate size of two 18 hole golf courses)

  • Half a million square feet of artificial turf fields 

  • Four Olympic size swimming pools

  • Playground equipment at 22 elementary schools

  • Energy management and solar power generation

  • Facility security, including locksmiths and alarms 

  • Preventative maintenance on a variety of equipment, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

  • Respond to more than 13,000 work orders each year for general facility repair and maintenance including general maintenance plumbing, electrical, HVAC, carpentry, welding, locks, alarms and painting

  • Printing signage and banners to support school activities

  • Technicians to support theater and performing arts

  • Pest management 

  • Custodial services

“There is always more work than we have time or money to accomplish, but we are fortunate to have a Board of Education that prioritizes facility maintenance, and that we have highly qualified employees that do timely and quality work,” said Administrative Director of Maintenance and Operations Lance Bidnick. 

Prioritizing Repairs and Projects

As part of their work, the M&O team prioritize upgrades, repairs, and replacement of items based on multiple factors including: 

  • Emergency repairs

  • Districtwide condition assessments

  • Anticipated lifespan of equipment

  • Review of work order submissions

  • Ability to access school with minimal disruption 

  • Value added work combined with another project 

A districtwide maintenance master plan is currently being developed and will outline anticipated maintenance and upgrade projects for future years, based on priority factors noted above, as well as direction from the Board of Education and district leadership. 

While some of the major equipment and maintenance items have a typical life cycle, the time, access, and resource constraints of our department, and school district as a whole, require us to prioritize repair and replacement without affecting education.

Upcoming Projects

There is a wide range of M&O services, from daily operations such as custodial support and minor repairs, to large-scale, major projects, such as the recently completed roof replacement at Mariners Elementary School.

As we near the final few weeks of the school year, students and school site staff are excitedly awaiting a well-deserved summer break. The M&O department, however, is gearing up for the busy season. During the summer months, when most of our schools and some of our district facilities have less people on site, M&O can implement more intensive, large-scale projects.  

In addition to deep cleaning and other routine maintenance work at all school sites, below is a list of larger projects anticipated for summer 2022:

The HVAC system at Eastbluff Elementary School will be replaced this summer. (HVAC systems typically have a 15-year life span.)

The gym flooring at Ensign Intermediate School and Estancia High School will be refinished this summer. Refinishing work includes sanding, updating graphics, and re-sealing flooring. 

Irrigation improvements at Corona del Mar Middle/High School varsity baseball field and TeWinkle Middle School field. This work includes re-rerouting irrigation lines and adjusting sprinkler heads to improve irrigation efficiency.

This project includes blacktop replacement throughout the school, including the playground area. (Blacktop typically has a 25 year life cycle.)

This project includes roof replacement, anticipated to be complete by the start of the 2022-23 school year. (Roofing typically has a 20 year life cycle.)

Trim painting: Adams, Kaiser and Killybrooke Elementary Schools will get exterior trim repainted this summer. (Exterior touch-up painting, such as trim, typically is done between 7-8 years of a full paint life cycle.)

Full exterior repainting: Andersen, Mariners, Paularino, and Whittier Elementary Schools, as well as Ensign Intermediate will receive new exterior repainting this summer. (Full school painting typically has a 15-year life cycle.)

In summer of 2021 full exterior painting occurred at Davis, Newport, Rea and Sonora Elementary Schools.

It is anticipated that Costa Mesa Middle/High School, Newport Heights and Paularino Elementary Schools will get full exterior repainting in summer 2023.

New classroom flooring is anticipated at Back Bay/Monte Vista High School, Ensign Intermediate School, and Harbor View, Lincoln, Newport, and Pomona Elementary Schools. (Flooring typically has a 15-year life span.)

In summer of 2021 new flooring was installed at Mariners, Newport Coast and Newport Heights Elementary Schools.

Adams, Andersen, College Park, Kaiser, Paularino and TeWinkle are on the list for new flooring in 2023.

M&O is replacing wood chips with artificial turf surfacing, starting with kindergarten playgrounds, which is expected to be complete by the end of summer 2022. There is also a plan to replace wood chips at all schools. (Playground surfacing typically has a 10 year life span.)

M&O is in the process of performing a condition assessment for upper grade playgrounds in order to prioritize future upgrades. 

Adams and California Elementary Schools, as well as Early College High School will be fumigated this summer. Fumigation is completed on an as-needed basis.


As you can see, it truly does take a village to educate our 18,000 students and support our 3,000 employees in facilities that nearly encompass the size of Disneyland. From maintaining clean, aesthetically pleasing schools and offices that support purposeful learning and working environments, our M&O team works diligently and with pride on being one of many important pieces of the puzzle that make our school district a desirable place to learn and work. Learn more by visiting the Maintenance and Operations Webpage.