Custodial and Maintenance Management Review
Dave Teater will join us by telephone for an overview of the custodail and Maintenance Review that has just been completed.
The Woodland Public Schools engaged the services of Teater Consulting to conduct a review of its facilities services to identify areas to improve in both effectiveness and efficiency. This was motivated, in part, because of the construction of a new high school and the loss of institutional knowledge from inevitable personnel attrition. The consulting firm gathered data for the study from existing District documents, industry standards, and best practices in school facility management. The consulting team interviewed numerous on-site District personnel, conducted focus groups, and gathered additional documents. After the on-site work, the information was analyzed and a final report prepared. It included 37 commendations and recommendations. Recommendations tended to “cluster” around three areas: (1) staffing, (2) standards and procedures, and (3) policy, finance, and organization. Some of the major recommendations topics follow while it is left to the reader of the entire report to glean additional related recommendations.
The District is understaffed in all three areas of facilities services: maintenance, grounds, and custodial. Each maintenance worker should be able to maintain approximately 80,000 square feet. The current maintenance staffing level requires each maintenance worker to maintain approximately 180,000 sq. ft. In order to provide adequate maintenance services, including the cost-saving preventative maintenance, the District should add 2.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) maintenance workers. In a review of grounds work staffing, the current staffing level is one grounds worker for 68 acres. Industry standards are approximately one grounds worker for 20 acres. Two additional grounds workers should enable the District to improve the standard of care for its grounds, parking areas, and beds. Woodland Public Schools’ custodians currently clean 28,403 sq. ft. per FTE while most schools target a ratio of one custodian per 20,000 sq. ft. In order to meet this standard, the District should add four FTE custodians. Of course, there will be additional costs for these additional positions, but the community investment in its schools will receive better care and a longer life.
Woodland Public Schools will better support the facilities services team by establishing clear standards in the areas of maintenance, grounds, and custodial services. Once the standards are adopted, procedures for care must be created that align with the standards. These standards and procedures will help direct all personnel efforts in the direction of clean well maintained buildings and grounds. Evaluation of all facilities services personnel should take the standards and procedures into account. Principals should be included in the evaluation of their building custodians.
Several board policies need to be developed to better support facilities services. These policies should deal with cleanliness, standards of care, and facility inspections. In addition, the finance office should carefully review the cost allocations between Food Services and custodial services. The District will benefit from establishing a “sinking fund” and finance plan for the future replacement of major building equipment and systems. The entire District should commit to a “culture of cleanliness” to support facilities services workers. When everyone in the District values clean, well-maintained facilities and grounds, the entire community benefits and Woodland Public Schools will enjoy even greater community support.