custodian buffing classroom floor with machine

Summertime = Work Time

photo portrait of Jim FruehBy Fargo Public Schools Maintenance and Operations Director Jim Frueh

Summer break is here! While summer may be break time for students and some staff members, it becomes a time of work for the Maintenance and Operations teams throughout the District.

As the little cherubs walked out the school building doors on June 1, cleaning had already started in each of the District’s 23 schools. Most rooms get thoroughly cleaned each year. Pounds of gum (really!) and other sticky substances are removed from bottoms of tables, chairs, desks, and lockers.  Summer tasks for the custodians include painting, carpet cleaning, floor waxing, gym floor refinishing, window cleaning, locker cleaning, and wall cleaning – to mention only a few.

Of course, summer is also the time to do the work orders that have been collected throughout the year.  Often times there are also large scale projects happening at the same time as these cleaning and repair efforts. Lighting projects, HVAC upgrades, and even parking lot repairs can affect how and when a building is cleaned.

Summer is also a time during which the Fargo Public Schools trades group organizes any large scale plumbing, electrical, or HVAC repairs and scheduled upgrades, which improve operating efficiency. Depending upon the scale of the project or repair, these tasks could include contracted help as well.

Some of the Maintenance and Operations projects that are scheduled for summer 2017 are:

  • Gym floor and carpet replacements at South High
  • Roof section replacement or repair at North High, Agassiz, Ben Franklin Middle School, Eagles Elementary, and Madison Elementary
  • Parking lot replacement at the FPS District Office
  • Building automation upgrades at South High, Ben Franklin Middle School, and Bennett Elementary
  • Heat pump replacements at Discovery Middle School
  • Installation of glass wall along second story railings at Eagles and Ed Clapp Elementary Schools
  • Bathroom upgrades at Horace Mann Elementary
  • Exterior message sign installed at Madison Elementary
  • Energy conservation upgrades at Madison and McKinley Elementary Schools
  • Entrance door replacement at Roosevelt Elementary

Even though from the outside it looks easy to clean a school building – after all, it’s “empty,” right? – there are many occupancy challenges from summer school to summer camps and other community events that make this process difficult at times. Be patient with the Maintenance and Operations teams, as this is a heavy work season for them.

Take time to thank those who are taking the time to clean and repair our district buildings so they are available for use for years to come.