Lazy days of summer are crazy days for school maintenance

Chuck Martin, director of BG City Schools maintenance, stands in middle school hallway.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Forget spring cleaning – summer is when schools get scrubbed down.

During the lazy days of summer, school maintenance workers really get busy. When classrooms are emptied of students and staff, the Bowling Green School District maintenance workers can complete projects that just can’t be done during the school year.

Chuck Martin, Bowling Green’s maintenance director, reported on the summer work schedule during last week’s board of education meeting.

The lockers – that store everything from stinky gym shoes to moldy lunches – are thoroughly cleaned during the summer months.

The classrooms – normally crowded with desks and chairs – are all emptied of furniture, Martin said. Floors are waxed, carpets are shampooed, and light tubes are replaced.

Summer cleaning not only takes a lot of time, it also takes a lot of cleaning products, Martin said. The district goes through about 400 gallons of general cleaning solutions, 55 cases of bathroom cleaner, more than 100 gallons of floor stripper, and more than 200 gallons of floor wax.

Though the regular school traffic is gone, there are some obstacles for maintenance staff, Martin said. All of the school buildings have some type of summer programming to work around. The high temperatures and humidity sometime create slow drying times. And maintenance has to work around summer construction repairs – such as new flooring at Conneaut and Kenwood this summer.

Plus there are staffing issues, he added. Maintenance workers wanting to take summer vacations with families can lead to days of short staffing. And teachers sometimes often want to keep working on their rooms once school is out for the summer – and some like to get back into their rooms early before the new year begins.

Summer is also the time for classroom moves. This summer, there were 23 room changes in the middle school, 10 at Crim, eight at Conneaut, plus a few more in the high school and Kenwood buildings.

Maintenance staff also uses the summer to complete “work order” requests. There were 42 requests during the last month of classes, followed up by 81 more in the summer, Martin said.

Also at last week’s board of education meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci further reported on the district’s state report card. Bowling Green received an overall grade of “B.” Only 28 districts in the state received an “A.” Scruci said there is a direct correlation between district affluence and the results.

“We’re moving the needle in a positive direction,” he said.

The district earned “A”s for student growth and graduation rates.

Scruci also reported on the decisions to close school early some days due to extreme heat, and start late some days due to fog.

“Our staff and students’ health, safety and well-being is our top priority,” he said.

Toby Snow, the district’s transportation director, reported that the district has more bus drivers than past years, but more would be helpful. “I’ve never got enough,” he said.

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