ASF Question #2 on Management of Green Space/Stormwater for School Board Candidates - May 2020

APS as Environmental Steward


APS has done a commendable job in recent years in upgrading energy efficiency at existing schools and ensuring that new schools meet state-of-the-art clean and efficient energy standards through LEED certification and the like.  Yet beyond school walls, APS has faced strong and, in the ASF view, justifiable criticism for:


(A)  Stormwater management issues at the renewed Ashlawn Elementary School that caused damage and inconvenience to surrounding residents and neighborhood traffic hazards that took years and millions of extra dollars to correct.  There is now concern at the new Reed School in Westover that, after APS first pledged enhanced stormwater management devices such as an underground detention pond to help mitigate Torreyson Run runoff issues during intense storms, APS may now be backing away and signaling that any such improvements will not be done by the target delivery time for the new school in the fall of 2021.  Rather, we understand that APS may do this work a year or two later, causing newly-grassed athletic fields to be dug up once again, and at greater expense and disruption.  What would you do to ensure that APS is part of the solution to a holistic County-wide approach to the increasing challenge of stormwater management?


(B)  Precipitous or unauthorized tree destruction during the construction of the Ashlawn Elementary addition and in building the new Alice West Fleet Elementary School that have caused community alarm.  Meanwhile, neglected tree maintenance and watering at Wakefield High School and other properties has required multiple replacements at great taxpayer expense. The Alice Fleet and Wakefield episodes occurred despite the fact that APS hired an arborist several years ago to avoid such problems.


What steps will you take to ensure that APS is a better steward of all of its grounds and, in particular, its trees?