LOWELL -- After portions of the high school were without heat for several days in November, the School Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to create a comprehensive maintenance strategy for the district's 28 schools.

Committee members, district administrators, and maintenance staff have been in talks for weeks with their counterparts on the municipal side of government about creating such a plan.

Given the long list of deferred maintenance the hardest part may be yet to come, however. In addition to voting to create the strategy, in coordination with the city, the committee also voted unanimously to ask the City Council to identify funding for the repairs. They were adamant that the money should not come out of the district's already tight budget.

"It's getting to the point where systems are starting to break down, things are starting to break down all at once," committee member Steve Gendron said, acknowledging that the plan will do no good without the money and enough staff to do the repairs.

Some progress has already been made. The high school, and all other Lowell schools, are fully heated again and maintenance staff plans to fix 14 broken boilers that are part of redundancy systems by the end of December.

On Wednesday, the committee also:

n Entered into contracts for the busing of homeless students.

n Reviewed a report on participation in school breakfast and lunch programs.

n Received a report on diversity recruitment efforts.


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n Received a monthly personnel report.

Follow Todd Feathers on Twitter @ToddFeathers.