Custodial, Maintenance Staff Work To Keep School Open During Crises

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Brianna Miller, Reporter

Linda Nix-Byrd and Martha Munoz are two members of the custodial staff who work during student lunches. Custodians have had to work extra hard over the past year due to COVID.

Brianna Miller, Reporter

Going around the empty halls of the school are the silent workers not often talked about. The ones who keep the school squeaky clean and the ones who keep the lights on or the air conditioners and heat running. 

Custodians and maintenance workers are the backbone of the school, especially during the COVID crisis of the past year and the winter storm last week. 

Things just get done and our interaction is minimal,” maintenance director David Edger said.

The maintenance department alone has about eleven job areas.

Field specialist and grounds folk keep the sports complexes and the outside mowed and clear of trash. 

The electricians, PM techs, HVAC techs, special system techs and the building automation techs keep all things that have wires working, such as: lights, air conditioner, heaters, cameras, elevators and other electrical things in check. 

Plumbers keep the bathrooms healthy. Painters take care of the things that are painted. Carpenters fix door and window frames and the floor. Locksmiths make sure the doors work correctly, and warehouse folk make sure the school has the materials it needs.

“Safety of students and staff are always the top priority, but what is priority number one right now might not be 15 minutes from now,” Edger says. “Things are always changing.” 

Because of COVID concerns, custodians have stayed longer to make sure everything is sanitized at the end of the day. Therefore, after already cleaning the whole school like usual, they have to work extra to deep clean a second time. This extra exposure also makes them more at risk of getting sick, but they do it to help keep everyone safe. 

Additionally, the custodial and maintenance staff continue to work even during school breaks and weekends to make repairs and deep clean.  

“I’d like to say that I am very proud of our custodial staff,” custodial supervisor Richard Maceyra Sr. said. “This last year, we have faced some very challenging and demanding times in our department. There has been a lot of extra cleaning duties added to our list like sanitizing and disinfecting things like door knobs, door handles, rails and extra plexiglass that have been put in classrooms and offices.”

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