Building preparations begin long before first day of school

Building preparations begin long before first day of school
Posted on 08/24/2016
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Long before teachers enter their classrooms, thousands of students flood the hallways, and the first homework assignment is ever made, Clear Creek ISD’s Maintenance and Operations department is hard at work preparing for the start of school.

They begin months before the prior school year has even ended. In many cases, a preliminary schedule of responsibilities is first developed in December, said Edward Hall, Director of Maintenance and Operations.

That’s done so that all of the maintenance and operations responsibilities can be completed before teachers return to work, he said.

Responsibilities like cleaning and performing floor maintenance on more than 7 million square-feet over 44 campuses in roughly 49 days. That alone takes 187 custodians to accomplish these tasks based on time and motion studies, Hall said.

The 187 does not include custodians working on summer school campuses.

“We map out campuses in close proximity and assign a defined number of custodians to teams, which includes six detailing teams and six floor cleaning teams,” he said.

The number of custodians assigned to each team is work-loaded by defining the tasks required in each building and applying International Sanitary Supply Association time and motion studies. Those tasks include anything from window cleaning, dusting, furniture cleaning, to carpe extraction and floor removal.

“The time and motion study allows us to convert tasks into time,” Hall said.

Using seven hours of daily productivity as a guide, Hall and other department heads are able to assign the appropriate number of custodians to clean and perform care in elementary campuses in about 10 days and intermediate campuses in about 15.

As for high schools, custodial personnel remain on the seven campuses all summer because the number of camps and district events scheduled, he said.

Besides standard cleaning, summer is also a time for the Maintenance and Operations department to perform preventative maintenance and assist Facility Services with bond construction inspection.

Maintenance Coordinator Steve Borowitz works with custodial personnel to schedule cooling tower cleaning and inspection around summer schools and campus cleaning schedules.

His technicians brave the outdoor heat and humidity inside mechanical rooms to ensure each part is inspected and coils are cleaned of scale and debris. This allows cooling towers to work more efficiently and provide a cool and comfortable climate for teachers and students.

Technicians also walk a number of schools each day taking air temperature and humidity to ensure HVAC systems are functioning properly.

Maintenance Coordinator Solomon Sandoval and his electricians perform preventative maintenance on campus emergency lighting, breaker and distribution panel infrared inspections, and check each exterior light pole to ensure these lights are operational.

Special Projects Supervisor Tom Young works to ensure district life safety systems are inspected and repaired. Tom works closely with city fire marshals as they walk buildings and bond construction to ensure fire hazards aren’t present and code requirements are met. He also sets up boiler and vent hood inspections as well as works to ensure fire extinguishers, elevators, intercoms and sound systems are functional.

General Maintenance Supervisor Gaylon Orrill and carpenters stripe parking lots and paint fire lanes in the summer heat. Technicians till and install mulch in all district elementary playgrounds as well as pressure wash buildings and entryways to ensure they’re clean and debris free. He also sorts through and prioritizes several hundred district painting requests.   

Each Maintenance supervisor works closely with Paul Miller and Facility Services to support bond construction in the summer as well. Miller and his Project Managers are juggling hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades, remodels and new construction.

“Getting the schools up and running and ready for teachers and students wouldn’t be possible without our Maintenance and Operations department,” Dr. Greg Smith, Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD said. “They are an important part of our team and we could not be more thankful for their hard work and dedication.”

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