Maintaining the buildings and grounds within the Washington School District is a major undertaking, officials said.
The district, which spans parts of three counties, Franklin, Warren and St. Charles, is comprised of approximately 245 acres. Of that total, about 165 acres are utilized as school/administration sites and maintained by the buildings and grounds crew.
Currently, the district has approximately 800,000 square feet of floor space under roof to maintain, according to a special report prepared for the school board by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon and Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Hunewill.
The district has 46 full-time custodians, working three shifts, in addition to a nine-person maintenance crew and six staff members handling grounds and delivery.
The district’s vehicle fleet consists of a variety of vehicles and equipment, including five passenger vans; five cargo vans; 12 maintenance utility trucks; one bucket truck; one backhoe; one Bobcat; and several utility trailers.
Hunewill noted the custodial staff helps set up and take down for 113 events outside of regular hours this past year, which includes evening and weekend events throughout the school year and summer.
These events include the Washington Band Festival, district and state athletic events, Relay For Life, Special Olympics, All-Abilities events, ACT testing, Little League football, Scholar Bowl Tournament, band concerts, athletic tournaments, instructional clinics and many other activities.
Some recent larger projects completed include a playground at Augusta Elementary, along with concrete repairs and new seal coating to all wood floors.
At Washington High School, the buildings and grounds staff completed a roof recoat on the west end of the building, shingle replacement on the Nix cafeteria/library building and a new seal coat at the Blue Jay and Little Blue Jay gyms.
The crew also installed a new wall for the JROTC classroom, painted by the theater and resurfaced the track, all at WHS.
The roof was recoated at the Four Rivers Career Center and a new AC system installed in the auto tech room. A new metal storage facility also was constructed at the Technology Learning Center.
Hunewill said his department goals include re-evaluating the four-year plan for roofing; the five-year plan for HVAC and the five-year plan for paving and seal coating districtwide.
The department also will continue to work on current capital projects and to improve the communication and response time on work orders.
Upcoming projects, some of which still require school board approval, include paving the Augusta playground area; renovating the middle school locker rooms; work on the high school gym floors and bleachers; and a variety of flooring work, including carpet at the high school and Washington West Elementary, gym floors at Augusta, Campbellton and Cleariew schools and stairway floor tread at the high school.
Bond issue projects will be discussed in October.