Want to clean up after thousands of kids? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Want to clean up after thousands of kids?

June 21, 2004

Dougherty County- That's exactly what the Dougherty County school maintenance staff does each year. In less than two months, they wax, wash, and make repairs at the county's 26 schools, a tremendous load that couldn't be done without team work.

When the students and teachers leave each summer, the real work begins for the Dougherty County maintenance staff. "We have a lot more to do in the summer than the rest of the school year," said Custodian James English. "Every thing has to come out and go back in."

They call themselves "The Southside Team" - the five custodians at Southside Middle School. The team removes hundreds of pieces of furniture and waxes nearly 50 classrooms.

"We have furniture to take in and out, a lot of lifting, sweating, and hard work," said James English, Custodian.

"We go over this floor five times, so no telling how miles I've waxed," said Head Custodian Willie Mincy. Custodians wax 3,000,000 square feet of floors in the county's schools each summer.

"The facilities department is like a minor construction company," said Facilities Assistant Director Alan Skinner. Skinner says from the floor to the ceiling, there are dozens of repairs to be made and thousands of pieces of gum to be removed from the bottom of desks.

"It's just a tremendous load, and like everybody else we're doing more with less," said Skinner. Budget cuts are buffing down the facilities operating cost. So this year, graffiti covered desks will get a fresh coat of paint rather than be sanded and restained. But despite a tightened budget, the maintenance staff's goal remains the same year after year. "To provide a safe, clean environment for students and teachers," said Skinner.

The clock is ticking as summer flies by inside the empty halls of Southside Middle School. But before the students are welcomed back in August, the maintenance staff promises all the schools will be in perfect condition for learning.

244 custodians, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters people make up the Dougherty County maintenance staff.

posted at 4:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com