Custodial staff is busy throughout the summer cleaning up schools, grounds. One custodian explains the work done leading up to the first day of school.
By Lead Custodian Jim Shaffer
The custodians are tasked with getting the district facilities and grounds ready for another school year. The work involved is very physical and time-consuming. Usually, we have a very tight schedule to get everything done, but Bellefonte Area is fortunate to have a group of hardworking and experienced custodians to accomplish this. They also take a lot of pride in their work. To us, there is no greater satisfaction than seeing results and to have teachers, students or a member of the public say, “great job.”
Our work starts with cleaning all classrooms, offices, the cafeteria, bathrooms and the food service area. We clean the furniture and pull it out. We clean walls, lights, windows, floors and anything else that needs cleaning. I always say we, “clean from top to bottom and everything in between.” After the rooms are ready, we put all furniture back. When all rooms are done, we then start to clean the hallways from top to bottom and everywhere in between. The hardest thing to do in the hallways and rooms is applying the floor finish and having it come out just right. It is a really great feeling to look at the shiny floors in the hallways and classrooms.
Other responsibilities include the gymnasium, which is usually the most time-consuming part. It takes three or four days just to get it ready for floor refinishing — and refinishing the floor is another two or three days to complete. This one area really reflects the effort put forth in the schools. There is nothing that looks better than a freshly-done gym.
Grounds are usually done by our grounds person, but we are sometimes tasked with filling in. We do have to keep the grounds free of litter and debris that may accumulate with summer storms.
There also are other things that happen in the summer. Supplies and material come in for us to unload. Meeting and building usage takes place that we have to plan our work around. Sometimes the weather plays a part in our work, especially humid days. Equipment sometimes breaks down and needs to be repaired, but through it all, the custodians weather the storm and keep on trucking.
The Bellefonte Area School District custodians are hard workers and dedicated to making sure all schools are ready — not just in the summer months, but throughout the year. That is our contribution to the education process. When we see the students receive their diplomas, we know that we did out part in helping with that success.