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2014-05 School District of Chilton Facilities During the Summer

First published on 15 May 2014 Posted in District News

It is the first week of May and many of us are wondering if a true spring is ever going to arrive! Despite that feeling, those of us in the maintenance and custodial department, at the School District of Chilton, are beginning to plan ahead for the summer. If you were not aware, summers are a busy and bustling time around here!

Our facilities are used extensively during the summer, both by the school and the community. The school runs two different sessions of summer school, an enrichment program in June and a remedial program in August. A Tiger Sports Drills and Skills program is also offered in the afternoons in June. Swim lessons and open swimming are provided throughout the summer, as well as a variety of camps and open gyms. The school staff usually has at least one workshop scheduled at our facility each year, as well as the annual data retreat attended by our administrators and other staff members. In June, we will host both baseball and softball sectionals. Athletic contact days are spread throughout the summer, and the fall sports begin in early August!

During the summer the community will also use our facilities for various events and meetings. We host the annual SeniorFest event in June, and have two weekends of performances by the Calumet County Community Theater in July. CCCT has rehearsals before their production dates, and we host a community day-care program throughout the entire summer.

As you can see, the school district's facilities are a very busy place during the summer! It is great to have our facilities used so much, as they are an integral part of our community and something to be proud of. To keep our facilities looking great and our systems running as they should, a lot of work is scheduled and accomplished each summer by the maintenance and custodial staff. There is a lot of cooperation and coordination involved in trying to accommodate all the building usage, and yet allow for the maintenance and cleaning of the facilities. Everyone works together to accomplish these goals.

Many people ask what the maintenance and custodial staff do during the summer. The students are gone, so what is there to be done? The summer work actually begins before classes are out! The pool is shut down for the last week and a half of classes for pressure washing and other deep cleaning, as well as for yearly maintenance. This year, a lot of the extra preparations for the softball and baseball sectionals will also take place the last week of classes, an early start to the summer work.

The cleaning of the classrooms and halls is not the normal cleaning that occurs during the school year. Each room is cleaned from top to bottom, inside and out. The furniture is cleaned as it is taken out of the rooms, and then the room is washed and dusted from the top down, ceiling to the floor. Once that is done, the floor is taken care of. If there is carpeting, a deep clean extraction is done. If it is a tile floor, it is scrubbed with an abrasive pad and then receives three coats of finish. If a tile floor is at a condition that the old finish needs to be stripped off before new finish is applied, that is done and five coats of finish are applied. The halls are cleaned from top to bottom also. Those floors are cared for the same as the classrooms. Each locker in the district is thoroughly cleaned and the hardware is all checked. The hinges are all lubricated.

The cleaning in the specialty areas presents extra challenges because of tall ceilings, equipment that is there, area configuration, floor surface type, etc... Some of these areas include the gyms, the High School commons, the Engler Center, the athletic locker rooms, fitness and weight room, science rooms, etc... Most of these also tend to be high-use areas during the summer and require extra co-ordination with the various groups to schedule time for cleaning and maintenance.

Maintenance tasks that requires more labor, and/or larger blocks of time, are scheduled during the summer. This includes regular 'summer' maintenance as well as several 'one time' projects that we usually take on each year. There is some maintenance, both routine and preventative that can only be done when the students are not present because of the amount of time needed and the access needed to their areas. There is always grounds work to be done, general mowing/trimming, tree and shrub trimming, taking care of weeds in the sidewalks, aerating athletic fields and playgrounds, adding bark to the playgrounds, etc.... Some of the other routine maintenance includes sealing the dugout roofs and the Morrissey field bleachers, marking parking lots, lubricating lockers and gym bleachers, etc... Daily, the cleaning crew will generate a list of minor repairs that they come across while cleaning. These are taken care of, along with the lists that the teaching staff submits to the building principal, as part of their end of year wrap up.

Each summer, we break down the boilers and clean them. We also clean the coils in the chillers, the bubblers, cabinet heaters and thermostats. This increases the life expectancy of this equipment, as well as saves energy dollars since they run more efficiently. We also routinely wash and service the grounds and cleaning equipment that we are using during the summer to keep it working in top condition, and to minimize breakdowns.

Of course, there are some areas that need to be cleaned and maintained either daily or weekly during the summer. These would include the office areas, bathrooms, pool deck and locker rooms, and any areas that activities are currently going on – and there is usually a lot going on!

I have only touched on a part of what goes on in the school facilities during the summer, but as you can see, there is a lot of activity. Between the people using the facilities for various events, and the maintenance and custodians hustling about their jobs, the School District of Chilton is a hopping place during the summer! So the next time you are asked or wonder about what goes on here during the summer, you can honestly say, "Plenty!"

By: Dan Kopf

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