Tracking The Trends – Charter Schools Take The Lead

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Parents in 2017 have several options available to them when it comes to the education of their children. Public schools, traditional and online; privately owned and funded academies; homeschooling; and finally charter and magnet schools, are the options of today. All of these schools are vying for parents’ attention and for available funding. Each have their pros and cons, and although public schools are still the most widely chosen of the options, charter and magnet schools are bright and eager up and comers in the education marketplace. Competition for the mix of public and private funds is stiff, and the pressure is on to perform.

The Pressure Is On For Charter & Magnet Schools To Get High Marks From Parents

Charter and magnet schools, though operated similarly to public schools, are relative newcomers as viable educational venues. They offer specialized curriculum and are often tasked to out-perform traditional public schools in several key areas, including concept and design. Drawing from a mix of public, secure funding as well as private funds, many charter schools now have more options. One of the areas that charter schools can shine is in school design.

You Only Get One Chance To Make That First Impression

As the old adage goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Many parents and visitors are touring your school more than ever, and the impression your school makes can impact your school’s opportunity to gain new students. One of the first areas they view is the hallway, and a bright, modern, clean and open area are all positive elements that help make that first impression a good one.

With their superior aesthetics, Duralife Lockers® are sure to make an impact in your hallways. The sleek, clean, modern design and bright color options such as yellow, red and royal blue instantly make a positive statement about your school, while design details such as flush venting and recessed handles, reinforce the clean, updated look.

Unlike metal lockers, Duralife Lockers® stay attractive throughout their lifetime. Made with solid-core HDPE, Duralife Lockers® are highly resistant to impacts, dents and scratches; graffiti wipes off easily; and the non-porous surface resists bacteria, mold and mildew. Another big plus is that HDPE lockers never need painting, making them the low maintenance, smart “green” choice.  As you can see, Duralife Lockers® impress on many levels, and are fast becoming the choice for the busy hallways of today’s well-designed schools.

View our case study that highlights the reasons why this charter school made the smart decision to install Duralife Lockers® in their school. If you need more information, please contact one of our sales specialists to learn more. https://www.scrantonproducts.com/contact/

Just Say NO – To Germs!

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When it comes to a career in the healthcare industry, fighting against germs is an everyday challenge. Even with the all of the quality control measures hospitals and clinics take on a daily basis, germs still present an ever-present risk to good health. We can’t address all the surfaces healthcare workers and clinicians come in contact with every day, but we do have a solution for storing lab coats, scrubs and uniforms. Tufftec healthcare lockers provide an answer for minimizing MRSA, germs and mold due to its non porous HDPE surface.

 

HDPE – Naturally Germ Resistant Surface

While these lockers are designed to meet the healthcare industry’s needs for storage, Tufftec lockers not only meet that need, but exceeds it by creating lockers built from germ-resistant HDPE. The solid core makeup and properties of HDPE provide that much needed bacteria resistant surface that is impermeable to moisture. Since no moisture can permeate the surface, the locker surface can resist bacteria and provide a clean environment to store clothing.

Testing shows that within 24 hours 98% of MRSA bacteria naturally dies off of Tufftec HDPE Healthcare lockers without the use of any cleaning solutions. *

 

*Testing conducted by SiTU Biosciences LLC by the ISO 22196 methods

 

Heavy Metal Not The Right Choice For Healthcare

Outside of the scientific research that makes the case for using an HDPE product, the low maintenance and sustainability provided by HDPE are clear benefits that a traditional metal locker cannot boast. The lockers are impact and dent resistant, making them a better choice than metal in the busy healthcare industry. The 100% recyclable, HDPE materials withstand the harshest daily use, while remaining virtually maintenance free.

Read more about how Tufftec healthcare lockers were the right choice for a new patient care facility in Missouri.

Relevant Trends Driving School Design

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The technological, virtual and physical landscape of the public school system has changed and advanced in many ways since the beginning of the new millennium. We have seen new products, and changes to the services and standards in the educational space evolve over the last 20 years. Add to that the way a student learns in school, as well as how they interact with their educational environment, and the conditions are ripe for change. Here, we are highlighting a few key trends that are relevant to driving school design and shaping it to fit 21st century learning.

Technology And Learning

Many public schools are repurposing the additional space within classrooms that used to house bulky computers and wiring. With the advancements in wireless technology, the PCs are replaced with slimmer laptops and devices that students can easily transport inside and outside the classroom. Desks with power ports are being installed to better access the technology. This additional mobility allows for more versatility in how and where a student learns.

 

Converting Corridors Into Public Spaces

Where hallways were once the main thoroughfares, in some public schools those corridors are being modernized to make way for common seating areas. These areas are proving to be a positive addition to the social and educational behavior of the students.

Flexible Configurations In The Classroom

The traditional square classroom with uniform desk setup is evolving as well. No longer are students and teachers relegated to a desk and chair in a set matrix. Many schools are opting for a flexible learning area where the layout allows for an easier flow into adjoining spaces. Having the ability to rearrange the configuration in a classroom is allowing teachers to foster collaboration and encourage group learning.

Goal to Go Green

Many schools across the country have committed to using sustainable products and making smart use of resources. They are also selecting materials that support excellent air quality and a healthy indoor environment for students. Many schools are taking their commitment very seriously and are working towards a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.

Sustainable Solutions

Scranton Products Duralife Lockers® are the sustainable solution for schools looking to support a healthier environment. Our HDPE products are made in part from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable, helping to reduce environmental impact. The solid color needs no painting, so our products have a zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions rating, offering initial and long-term improvements to the indoor air quality of your projects. Duralife Lockers® are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which meet the strict certification requirements for use in schools and can contribute to LEED certification.

Click to see where you can buy the right sustainable products near you. https://www.scrantonproducts.com/

5 Types of Locker Materials Compared

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Designing a facility and choosing the right materials is never an easy process. There are a lot of factors to be considered before ultimately deciding on the materials. This is especially important when it comes to choosing your facility’s lockers and storage compartments. Choosing the wrong material can be costly due to the poor quality or the overall weakness of the material.

Here are five different types of locker materials and how they compare.

Metal Lockers

Metal Lockers, or more specifically, cold-rolled steel, have been the standard for high schools for generations. They’re easily paintable to choose the optimal color for your facility’s décor, and they’re strong and reliable. But while metal lockers are widely popular and very common, it doesn’t mean that they’re the best choice for your facility.

The sad truth is that metal lockers appear to be a great option on the surface. However, down the road, they can be a costly choice. The metal can easily dent and scratch, and if located near a water source, they can even rust. The maintenance alone can outweigh the cost of the lockers. Not to mention, the sound of these lockers opening and closing isn’t the easiest on the ears.

Phenolic Lockers

Phenolic plastic lockers have proven to have their advantages when put to the test against metal in that they’re a little more durable and easier to clean. However, most phenolic plastic features a kraft paper core that’s susceptible to mold growth. Once the interior is compromised, a costly replacement is required.

Wood Lockers

Nothing beats the rustic aesthetic of wood. This material has been utilized for centuries and is still widely used today. But when it comes to locker materials, wood doesn’t rank high on the list of quality. Of course, wood has its classic appearance, but unfortunately, man-made products outweigh wood in durability. Wood can chip, or worse, become water logged. In order to prevent the wear and tear, it’s best to avoid wood altogether when it comes to locker materials.

Laminate Lockers

Laminate is one of the stronger materials in this list because it’s proven itself to be more durable than metal and wood. It doesn’t dent like metal or become water logged like wood. However, depending on their location, it can delaminate and become susceptible to a variety of wear and tear. In that case, maintenance and repairs can become costly.

HDPE Plastic Lockers

HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a solid plastic that’s highly durable. It’s impact-, dent-, scratch-, and graffiti-resistant. Due to the solid plastic construction, it can even resist mold growth. Another huge item in the pros column is that this material features a homogenous color that doesn’t require any repainting, making this one of the more sustainable and low-maintenance materials available.

The choice of locker materials in your facility is entirely your call. However, you know the benefits and drawbacks of each of these materials, so make your choice wisely.

Would you like to learn more about the benefits of choosing HDPE lockers? Check out this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Pathway To Privacy – A Brief History Of Bathroom Partitions

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Most of us take bathroom convenience and privacy for granted but people haven’t always had the level of bathroom luxury that we enjoy today. In ancient Roman and Asian societies for example, bathing and toilet facilities were shared. For the poor and middle classes, these facilities left much to be desired. The wealthy enjoyed cleaner and more pleasant facilities but the bathroom experience was still communal. You got to know your neighbors very well. When the Roman Empire fell, the bathroom experience only got worse. Eventually public facilities had to be closed down somewhere in the 16th century, blamed for widespread sickness.

It wasn’t until  the end of the 16th century that the first flushing toilet was invented in England. It was installed in a separate room in the castle to allow the Queen of England privacy but, unfortunately, the toilet didn’t flush well and wasn’t a big hit with the queen.

During the Industrial Revolution, toilet enclosures were built for use on city streets to accommodate workforce needs in the big cities. Some public toilets went underground during the Victorian era as less space became available at street level. These facilities were held to a high standard by the local health boards and provided a higher level of privacy.

The bathroom evolved further during the Industrial Revolution and early 20th century. As more and more women shopped and worked out of the home, private retiring rooms with partitions were developed to accommodate their needs and afford additional privacy.

In 1904, Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect and innovator came up with an innovative way to make it easier to keep toilet enclosures clean. While working on the design of the Larkin Building in Buffalo, NY, he designed the first ceiling hung toilet partitions as well as suspended toilet bowls and sinks.

Partitions Allow For Greater Privacy

It certainly has taken a while to evolve the concept of the modern restroom that allows for individual privacy, and provides a pleasant and sanitary space. In the last century, toilet partitions have played an important role in ensuring bathroom privacy. Over time they too have evolved, starting with the first, basic partitions made of wood or powder-coated steel, to a range of partitions developed over the last 40 years, such as baked enamel, laminate, phenolic, and stainless steel. Unfortunately, these materials don’t stand up to the wear and tear of today’s public bathroom and present many disadvantages:

  • They are prone to scratches and dents
  • Graffiti is not easily removed
  • They are susceptible to moisture and humidity
  • The core materials can be a breeding place for mold and bacteria
  • Maintenance issues outweigh any initial cost benefits

A more innovative approach to partitions has solved these problems while creating modern partitions that are extremely durable, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable.

Partitions for the 21st Century

Made from HDPE Plastic, Scranton Products restroom partitions offer a unique combination of sophisticated aesthetics, innovative design, superior privacy and outstanding durability. A solid-core and non-porous surface makes HDPE partitions highly resistant to moisture and humidity, therefore, these partitions never rust, corrode or need painting. They are resistant to mold and bacteria, resist dents and scratches, and graffiti easily wipes off.

Public restrooms have come  long way since the “communal experience.” Today, we expect public restrooms to provide a high degree of privacy, cleanliness, as well as high design. With its Eclipse® and Hiny Hiders® product lines, Scranton Products offers a range of options that include sleek, modern design and the ultimate in privacy, making them the best choice for today’s public bathroom environments.

To learn more about Scranton Products bathroom partitions options, contact our sales specialists today. You can also download one of our product brochures for more detailed information.

Are You Prepared for Flooding?

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No one wants to think about a flood, but they are a very real part of the phenomenon that is nature. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. During the early weeks of spring, as the temperatures start to warm up and the snow starts to melt, the ground may still be frozen in spots, while other ground surfaces become saturated. Along with the snow melts, drenching rains and ground saturation, streams and rivers become swollen and spill over onto roadways, and into cities and towns. In other areas, burst dams, hurricanes and storm surges can cause catastrophic flooding.

Flooding can have serious consequences to buildings and what’s inside them, causing structural damage; affecting electrical wiring, as well as heating and cooling systems; saturating walls and floors, leading to mold growth and contamination; and damaging and contaminating furnishing and equipment.

No matter where your school is located, be prepared for flooding. This is particularly critical if your school is in a low-lying or coastal area, near water, or downstream from a dam – areas that can be in the pathway for raging floodwaters.

Mitigate Damages After A Flood

You may not be able to stay out of the path of those waters, but you can prepare your school facility for the aftermath and mitigate long-term cleanup

According to the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, the following measures may help mitigate the impact of a flood on your school building:

  • Improve site drainage
  • Provide sump pump back-up power
  • Maintain or replace check valves in sewer lines
  • Provide off-site computer backup
  • Elevate or flood-proof mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Consider locating library facilities on a second story or higher level if possible

Select Furnishings Materials Carefully

In addition to these recommendations, to avoid damage to furnishings, consider selecting materials that are impervious to water and that can easily be cleaned and decontaminated.

School lockers, for example, can become a total loss to the school or require extensive repair and maintenance if they are not made of a strong, durable water resistant material. Currently, the only school hallway locker material that is not affected by water damage is Scranton Products high performance HDPE lockers.

Fully-fire rated for use in school hallways, Scranton Products Duralife Lockers® are manufactured from solid core high performance HDPE (high density polyethylene) and are impermeable to moisture. The solid core construction and non-porous surface means that no mold or mildew will grow inside or outside the lockers, and the lockers will never rust, corrode or delaminate. When cleanup is required, Duralife Lockers® are fully power-washable and steam-cleanable. In addition, Duralife Lockers® are GREENGUARD Gold Certified for use in school facilities, and are manufactured using recycled materials and are 100% recyclable, supporting a healthier environment both inside and outside of your school facility.

For more information on how Scranton Products Duralife Lockers® can help mitigate your school’s response to a serious flooding event, contact us today. To learn more about the sustainable and bacteria resistant properties of HDPE, click here to view our Continuing Education Center.

Give Your Janitor A Break This Summer – Install Duralife Lockers®

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Lets talk about janitors, you know, those guys and gals, who are always there, on the ready with a sponge, broom or mop, just when you need them. They are in our schools all year long, available for any size clean up, taking care of the spills our kids make in the lunchroom, classroom and hallways. They go about their business undetected, coming out when needed. But do you know one of the ways they spend their summer (that coveted time of the year when your kids are home with you)? We do – they clean what they couldn’t clean during the year, the student’s lockers!

Making The Move Away From Metal

While we are spending our 3 months of summer relaxing at the beach, and eating ice cream, the school janitorial staff is cleaning up from the previous 9 months while school was in session. Schools with metal lockers have a regularly scheduled task associated with those lockers during the summer months, debridement of rust, dent repairs, chemical cleaning of graffiti and surface repainting. Lockers take a beating during the school year, with books being banged around, food deposits and spills, and not to mention, the dreaded odors of smelly, sweaty gym clothes. The labor-intensive cleanup task is costly to the school district, in several areas including labor, materials, and air & surface quality. As you can see, traditional metal lockers require extensive care and maintenance, and still don’t meet the needs of the busy school environment. But, we have a solution, Duralife Lockers® made with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene).

Duralife Lockers® are specifically designed to meet the durability and environmental demands of today’s busy schools. Made with solid-core HDPE, these lockers are impact, scratch and dent resistant, and hold up to the toughest student use. Graffiti readily wipes off the non-porous surface, and because they are impervious to moisture, Duralife Lockers® will never rust, corrode or delaminate. In addition, the HDPE surface does not harbor mold, mildew or bacterial growth, and the lockers can be fully power-washed or steam-cleaned. In short, with Duralife Lockers® you can say goodbye to rust, mold, graffiti, scratches, dents, and worrisome bacteria, and say hello to years of worry-free, low maintenance.

 

Robert Gannon, High School Facilities Director, on the benefits of HDPE lockers.

*Testing conducted by SiTU Biosciences LLC by the ISO 22196 methods

 

Sleek Modern Design For The School Hallways Of Tomorrow

When it comes to design, the modern sleek, simple lines of the Duralife® Locker line, make them a polished and aesthetically pleasing addition to any school hallway. They can really kick it up with their color options that bring high style to any atmosphere. The sustainability and durability stand up over time, making them a smart investment for today and tomorrow.

So Show Your Janitors Some Love This Summer – Invest In The Smart Choice – Duralife Lockers®

Download our sales sheet and see for yourself how HDPE Duralife Lockers® compare to traditional metal lockers – and Show Your Janitor Some Love This Summer!

Determining the Lifecycle Cost of Lockers: Metal vs HDPE

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When you’re choosing the lockers for your school or facility, there are a variety of factors at play that you need to consider, not just for the immediate future, but for the long term. Choosing the right material for your lockers is crucial if you want to have functional storage compartments, but you’ll also want durable lockers that’ll last the years so you can get the most out of them without having to ensure a costly replacement years down the line. Making the right decision can end up saving you the costs for replacements and even maintenance. Learn more about the lifecycle cost of your lockers and the difference in cost between metal and HDPE lockers over time.

Choosing the Right Materials

Metal lockers have been the standard for a long time due to their durability, but they’ve received some criticism over the years because of the constant upkeep and maintenance that they require. Lately, some facility managers have been gravitating toward HDPE (high-density polyethylene) lockers because of the low-cost maintenance, durability, and their longevity. But in order to make the decision, you need to learn the benefits of both materials.

Metal Lockers vs HDPE Lockers

Both metal and HDPE lockers provide a strong construct that can last a long time and perform effectively for years. However, as most facility managers have learned, metal lockers are actually susceptible to a variety of factors and issues that can result in costly and recurring maintenance. HDPE requires very little maintenance over the years, resulting in less costs and a longer lasting material.

Metal lockers are susceptible to mold growth. Whether it’s in the locker room, or a lengthy corridor, moisture and humidity will cling to the metal. Over time, unsightly mildew will begin to sprout, resulting in a foul smell and a drop in air quality. Ridding the lockers of mold and mildew can be a costly and repetitive endeavor.

HDPE materials, on the other hand, are made of solid plastic. Mold can’t penetrate its thick construction, and its exterior is impervious to humidity and moisture. HDPE lockers are also resistant to impacts, scratches, and dents, and even graffiti can be eradicated with a simple wipe.

Benefits of HDPE Lockers

There are numerous benefits to choosing HDPE lockers over metal ones. The most obvious is cost. Metal lockers require a lot of maintenance and upkeep over the years, whereas HDPE lockers don’t require extensive repairs of cleaning. In a study conducted over 20 years, HDPE has been proven to not only last longer, but require less maintenance. Within two years, HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal lockers.

Because of the low cost of maintenance with HDPE lockers, you don’t have to repaint them. This has the added benefit of keeping VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emissions out of your facility’s air. HDPE lockers are also less noisy than metal lockers, without the loud clanging whenever the lockers are shut. If you’re looking for low-maintenance, cost-effective, and long-lasting lockers, then HDPE is one of your best options.

 

Want to learn more about the benefits of HDPE lockers? Read The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Reducing Theft in Your School & Locker Rooms

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Thievery is a problem that occurs in every school, regardless of location. If you’re managing an educational facility, you’re surely aware of the reports of theft from lockers and locker rooms in your school. There are various ways that you can reduce theft in your school and locker rooms, but choosing the most effective route is important to reduce the risk of students or faculty losing personal belongings or valuables to an unknown perpetrator.

Beefing Up Security Can Reduce Theft in Your School

Many schools that need an action plan to reduce theft in their school and locker rooms tend to upgrade their security systems. This mainly includes cameras, strategically positioned in locker corridors. This can have two beneficial outcomes. The first being that the perpetrator will be caught in the act on camera. The other benefit is that it can actually ward off anyone from breaking into the locker because there are eyes watching. However, utilizing security cameras can be ineffective when it comes to theft in locker rooms.

There’s no legal way that security cameras can be placed in locker rooms because it would be an unlawful invasion of privacy. As a result, due to the lack of surveillance, the locker room turns into an open market where a person could get away with stealing personal belongings without getting caught. But, there are effective ways to reduce theft in locker rooms through innovative lockers.

Reducing Locker Room Theft Through Updating Lockers

While the security camera scenario does indeed have its pros and cons, there’s a better option available. If your school has the traditional metal lockers, it may be time for an upgrade. Metal lockers are susceptible to moisture, and when in use for many years, will begin to rust, and the integrity of the locker’s security can be compromised. Students will even use various methods to discover the weakness in the locker, which then provides easy access for theft.

Some schools have taken action against the weakness of their original lockers, and have replaced them with HDPE (high-density polyethylene) lockers. HDPE is a solid plastic that’s proven to be highly durable, as it’s resistant to scratches, dents, and even graffiti. These HDPE lockers are a big step in combating theft in your schools.

HDPE Lockers: Secure & Durable

HDPE lockers have numerous benefits. Their highly durable construction prevents them from cracking, denting, and scratching. A thief would have a difficult time trying to break into the locker due to the solid construction and the built-in locks, and would probably deem the task unworthy of the effort.

Another major benefit of these lockers is that they can be used in locker rooms. They’re resistant to moisture and humidity, which is abundant in locker rooms. Mold won’t sprout on the lockers, resulting in higher air quality in your school. The moisture won’t affect the integrity of the lockers, so you can rest assured knowing your locker room has great security without compromising the privacy of the students.

 

Would you like to learn more about how HDPE lockers can benefit you and your school? Check out our Duralife Lockers Product Kit to learn more about how these durable lockers can help reduce theft in your school.

Choosing the Most Secure Lock for Your School Lockers

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Lockers are meant to store valuable and extra materials, but whenever the actual lock isn’t functioning properly, these materials are left undefended against thievery. As a facility manager, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that the lockers in your school can perform their function. It all depends on choosing the right lock and locker for your school to reduce theft while providing the right storage security for students and faculty.

Identifying Weaknesses in Your Lockers

When you’re assessing the weak points with your lockers, take notice of any prior damage that could make it easier for a thief to gain easy access. This could include any dents that can weaken the structural integrity of the locker. Another common weak point with lockers is the lock itself. Depending on which type of lock you choose, you may be making it easier for people to gain entry.

Any motivated thief will find a way in. They can utilize paper clips as a lock pick that’ll allow them to fiddle with the inner mechanisms of the lock until it snaps open. Even a persistent perpetrator will go to lengths of further damaging the locker if they feel the prize inside is worth the effort. But, while choosing the right lock is important, choosing the right locker could actually make more of a difference.

Benefits of Choosing HDPE Lockers

Metal lockers seem like the obvious choice of storage, but they’re not as durable as you might expect. They can be damaged, and even dented to the point of intrusion. Some schools have begun implementing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic lockers like Duralife and Tufftec, which has yielded positive results. The solid plastic construction provides a durability that surpasses metal. It’s impervious to graffiti, scratches, dents, and any type of damage that would render it useless as a locking mechanism.

Duralife & Tufftec Lock Options

Both Duralife and Tufftec Lockers come with a variety of locking options to choose from. Duralife Lockers offer two types of locking mechanisms. The inset combination lock is secure and only students with the specific combination can gain entry. Duralife Lockers also offer the option of hasps. The benefit is that the student can choose a lock of their choice, whether a combination lock or a key.

Tufftec Lockers, on the other hand, offer a number of different locking options. You can choose the standard padlock, a key, or a coin key. The Tufftec Lockers also feature numerous in-set options like the in-door combination lock, a digilock keypad, or the digilock RFID (radio frequency identification). The RFID lock provides easy access without the need for a key or a combination. The RFID lock uses a proximity card for the locker owner to gain entry, and it’ll only open with the exact proximity card, adding an extra sense of security when leaving valuables inside.

 

Would you like to learn more about how to take the necessary steps to ensure that your lockers are up to snuff? Check out these free eBooks: Locker Replacement Checklistand The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, courtesy of Scranton Products.