The Importance of School Maintenance: A Guide for Administrators
Schools are institutions of great importance for the entire community, and they hence need to be treated with exceptional attention. From the very moment the school administrators set off for the day until the moment they finish the work, they are dealing with situations in which they need to act immediately. As a result of this, the issue of regular building maintenance is typically an underestimated one and is found at the bottom of the school’s list of priorities. We can all agree that this is not ideal. So, we have decided to explain the importance of school maintenance and what to do when it comes to this question.
What Is the Essence of the School Upkeep?
School maintenance is the term for the tasks that are usually part of general maintenance and are done on the school grounds to keep the equipment and buildings in good shape. School management and maintenance are very similar to some much higher levels of organisation, such as campus management and maintenance. In addition to some other things, school maintenance aims to ensure the safety and conducive conditions for all of the stakeholders, from the students and teachers to the parents and guardians. The goal is to create a physical setting where adequate teaching and learning will take place.
There Is a Broad List of Elements Involving School Maintenance?
Just as with any other type of building, school maintenance involves a whole variety of tasks. This scope mainly depends on the size of the school and the variety of equipment that needs to be maintained. Some of the typical maintenance procedures include:
- cleaning of the common areas and trash removal
- repairing, inspecting, maintenance of the electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems maintenance, elevators maintenance, and upkeep of all other systems included
- items repairing such as broken equipment, windows, furniture, etc.
- servicing and maintenance of the fire fighting equipment
- waste removal
- recycling procedures
- school grounds maintenance
- water treatment
- maintaining and repairing the school’s interior and exterior.
Previously mentioned instances are just the basic ones while there might be some other based on the type of school and the area it takes.
Vendors and Contractors Management
For the schools that take up larger areas with a couple of buildings within the complex, there is a high possibility that they might need external support to fulfil their maintenance obligations. One of the most effective ways for this to be done is to use the services of subcontractors, outsourced service providers, and suppliers, which may even include a leading supplier of school maintenance parts as the specialised supplier for the school’s maintenance needs. For this to be managed, it requires:
- a good maintenance contract
- vendor information
- tracking progress and issuing work orders from start to finish
- tracking the vendor performance as well as all of the costs associated with the vendors.
General Maintenance Activities
There are general maintenance and repair activities that are an integral part of the school maintenance protocol. The first thing parents, children, or guardians will notice about the school when they set foot in is its physical state, appearance, and neatness. Keeping the great neatness of the school includes:
- planning out preventive maintenance tasks such as servicing and repairs, painting and cleaning, etc.
- carrying out surveys about the visual inspections, evaluation of the equipment state, and assessment of the service qualities.
- maintenance of the school surrounding grounds such as trees, shrubs, lawns, and flowers.
Health and Safety Regulations
The top priority of every school, besides education, is the safety of children on the school grounds. Hence, every school needs to make sure that there is compliance with health and safety regulations. The reason for this is that schools indeed have a lot of different things that may be considered hazards within their commercial and residential buildings. Most typically, the health and safety in schools are regulated by the so-called state department of education. State and local authorities are the ones that are using the resources that are provided for safety improvement on their own grounds. Some of these include:
- monitoring the risks and needs for reparations
- undertaking the evaluation of the risk
- prohibiting the use of unsafe equipment and eliminating it for the time being
- providing treated water
- providing adequate ventilation
- appropriate waste disposal and effective recycling procedures.
There is a specialised department within Homeland Security as well as some other agencies that are responsible for providing regular guidance for security in the schools. Within the context of maintenance, the key instances to be included are suitable security methods such as barriers, CCTV cameras, guards, and others. In addition, alarms and emergency lighting are mandatory for ensuring the safety of the entire place.
Emergency Protocols Are Essential
When we say school maintenance, it does not only refer to good windows and pretty flower banks; it is also connected with all the different types of protocols integrated into the functioning of this educational institution. Emergency protocols are just one of the many essential elements, and they may highly depend on the district regulations and details differing based on the district, but some of the core elements of these are always the same. These elements include a written emergency program, frequently tested alarm systems, equipment checks, and practicing drills in emergency situations.
The Most Common Challenges in the School Maintenance
Students and staff are enabled to do much better when they are dwelling in a clean, orderly, and safe environment. However, there are still some challenges the staff can face when it comes to handling their job. Some of these are excessive wear and tear on the facilities, challenges in maintaining proper hygiene, issues with maintaining IAQ, and some other problems depending on the facility.
Schools are one of the most important institutions, as they are the place where your child is provided with the education they deserve. On the other hand, for your child to be safe in the school, the place and entire area need to be maintained. The previously mentioned instances showed why it is essential for all of the regulations to be respected.