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Tiger Talk: Summer time at school

One of the questions a school custodian or maintenance worker is asked most frequently this time of year is, "What do you do all summer?" The answer is: "EVERYTHING." Most of our large capital projects are completed during the summer months. Proj...

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One of the questions a school custodian or maintenance worker is asked most frequently this time of year is, "What do you do all summer?"

The answer is: "EVERYTHING."

Most of our large capital projects are completed during the summer months. Projects for this summer include Phase II of the sprinkler installation, which runs from Door 33 at the district office to Door 3 at the high school.

In the high school, we'll be carpeting classrooms on the 10-year cycle, adding needed furniture to classrooms and completing door replacement. We'll be adding an art display case to showcase student art projects in the hallways. Also on the list is cement repair in needed areas and upgrading the school's exterior lights to LED.

On top of those projects is the annual summer cleaning and maintenance. We start the day the students are out the door. We have nearly 197,000 square feet in all of our district buildings on over 68 acres.

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Locker cleanout is the first step. After that we clean each and every one of our 120 classrooms and 25 restrooms from ceiling to floor. We clean lights, vents, walls, counters, floors, windows and doors. All furniture, including desks, chairs and shelving, are cleaned.

Every year there are classrooms being swapped with others based on where staff are reassigned. All hallways are cleaned from ceiling to floors as well. Tile floors are stripped, sealed and waxed. Carpets are steam-cleaned with high traffic areas getting an additional extraction.

Every year, the custodial crew dedicates two weeks of the summer to clean all three gymnasiums, weight room, wrestling room, Early Childhood gym and all five locker rooms.

All summer we are doing lawn maintenance and crack-sealing of the district parking lots.

On June 23, Pine River-Backus Schools will host Custodial Day MASMS (Minnesota Association of School Maintenance Supervisors) Northern Chapter for facility directors, custodians and maintenance workers from schools across northern Minnesota. These schools will be visiting our site to attend training sessions on cleaning, equipment, maintenance and other topics as well as seeing 30-40 vendor exhibits. We are expecting approximately 200 attendees.

Our custodial and maintenance staff work very hard to make our school buildings and grounds a source of pride for our staff, students and community.

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