NEWARK, NJ - The Newark Board of Education approved hiring a facilities management consultant to assist with developing a five-year facilities plan for the district's school buildings.

Steve Morlino, the former Executive Director of Facilities Management for Newark Public Schools, was awarded the $13,200 contract.

“[He] will help the district try to look at the infrastructure we currently have and what innovative ways we would be able to address the issues we have,” said Jason Ballard, Assistant Business Administrator at a board meeting on Tuesday.

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Issues with roofs and water damage impact schools in all five wards in the city, a recent comprehensive walkthrough of school buildings in the district revealed. Comprehensive reports for each school will be shared at the Clarity 2020 unveiling on June 13.

The district currently has a full-time facilities director person, but Morlino would be responsible for assisting the district in developing a five-year long-range facilities plan and training for other staff in the facilities department. The current facilities plan reaches the end of its term in June.

“This person has 35 years of experience...Through his experience and extensive knowledge, it will translate to what the rest of the team members would be able to do based on his expertise,” said Ballard, referring to Morlino.

Morlino has a Certified Education in Facilities Management Certification and teaches courses at Rutgers Center for Government Services. Facilities employees will also have the option of completing the certification program. Ten members graduated with their certification this year and about five or six graduated last year said Ballard.

After he served in his role at NPS for 15 years, Morlino transitioned to be Executive Director of Facilities Management for Paterson Public Schools in 2014.  Morlino was fired from Paterson Public Schools early this month. No reason was disclosed for the termination, other to say he is an "at will" employee and his contract was not renewed.