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Maintenance crew integral to clean campus, student health

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 – Mr. Mark Radolinski hangs a painting from an art class in the Eller staircase. The maintenance staff is an important piece to keeping campus safe for student health.

By Anthony Cardellini ’17

When students think about their health, what often comes to mind is the food they eat, the exercising they do and the sleep they get.

However, many other factors are important in keeping students healthy, especially at schools.

“Schools are full of ‘hot zones’ for germs,” said University of Colorado professor Dr. Harley Rotbart in a CNN article.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency explains that maintenance crews are crucial in preventing the spread of pathogens at schools.

“Regular and thorough cleaning and building maintenance can prevent pest problems, minimize irritants and allergens and create healthier learning and working environments for children and staff,” an EPA article stated.

Director of Facilities and Food Service Mrs. Sherri Stephens said the maintenance crew works hard to keep students healthy.

She also highlighted the specific roles of the staff members.

“The Brophy maintenance staff cleans Romley, the gym and the Great Hall,” she said.

“We have a janitorial service called ACE that comes in in the evenings. It’s a crew of five ladies and they clean Piper, Eller, Brophy Hall, the Innovation Commons and Keating Hall,” she said.

Mrs. Stephens said that Brophy employs so many staff members because “It takes a group of us to clean this place at night because there’s not that much time.”

One member of the maintenance crew, Mr. Julian Reyes, explained what a typical day looks like for the staff.

“We start off getting here opening all the gates for the students and turning on the power. The daily routine is basic maintenance such as checking garbage cans.”

He said the crew employed by Brophy numbers eight members and works to keep students safe.

Mr. Reyes said that the two most important areas for maintaining student health are the trash cans and the bathrooms. He said the maintenance staff spends most of its time at these locations.

He said that other than basic chemicals for cleaning bathrooms, the staff uses blowers for walkways and pressure washers to get stains out of floors.

Mrs. Stephens said that the maintenance staff also spends lots of time making repairs and setting up for school events.

As to what students can do to prevent spreading germs and helping the crew, Mrs. Stephens had a few suggestions.

She said students can constantly wash their hands and pick up any trash they see to make sure the school is as healthy as possible for everyone.

Mr. Reyes said students can “clean up after themselves and not leave trash around.”