Summer School Cleaning & Maintenance Plan

, , , , ,

During the typical school year, your building experiences a lot of use. However, performing the maintenance and large-scale cleaning that’s needed isn’t always an option when school is in session. That’s why many educational facilities wait until the summer recess to complete large-scale projects. However, this still leaves two possible conflicts.

The first conflict occurs when a school is still used during the summer months. Some schools, for instance, run summer camp programs, while others serve as pseudo community centers for public meetings or for clubs and organizations. Although it’s terrific that the school is being used by the community throughout the year, it makes it even harder for building officials to perform the needed cleaning and maintenance.

The second conflict arises from the mere effort of trying to complete multiple major projects in such a short span of time. This puts additional pressure on administrators to plan and coordinate with project leaders thoroughly ahead of time to make sure that the maintenance and cleaning can be completed within the time frame before students and faculty return to class.

Cleaning and Maintenance Plan

1.      Clearly define the objective.

The first step to designing a successful cleaning and maintenance plan is to clearly define the object. For instance, “Clean the entire building, top to bottom” isn’t a clear object.

Ambiguity is the enemy of effective planning, so be specific. Do the floors and carpeting on all levels need to be cleaned? Do the lockers need to have graffiti removed or need repairs?

Making a clear plan will also help when determining cost and balancing the school’s budget.

2.      Consider the stages and order of maintenance and cleaning.

You should also consider the order in which the maintenance and cleaning is performed. It’s highly recommended that, in most cases, cleaning is performed after maintenance. This is because some maintenance can leave behind dust and debris.

locker checklist

If the cleaning team came before the maintenance was completed, they would have to come back and perform a second cleaning. This redundancy can result in an inefficient use of the school’s budget and unnecessarily extend project timelines.

3.      Prioritize cleaning and maintenance projects.

Planning major cleaning and maintenance over the summer gives your teams only a few months to complete these projects. As a result, you may need to prioritize which projects are done at the beginning of the summer and which are done later. You may also need to determine which projects should be done right away and which ones, if any, can wait until next summer if time constraints require them to be postponed.

Most experts agree that your primary focus when thinking of cleaning and maintenance should be on areas of safety or health concerns. Many times this involves restrooms, locker rooms, and cafeterias. For example, bathroom partitions or lockers that have been damaged by rust can pose a serious safety risk, as corrosion can weaken the structure and leave sharp edges exposed.

4.      Identify materials that need to be replaced and the timeline needed to replace materials.

When choosing replacement products, be sure to select cost-effective materials that provide adequate durability and low maintenance costs and don’t negatively impact the indoor air quality of the school.

One material that features all of these characteristics and more is HDPE. Used in the making of bathroom vanities, partitions, and lockers, HDPE is a highly versatile and dependable material.

5 Questions You Should Ask When Shopping for School Lockers

, , ,

When you’re shopping for school lockers for your facility, you want to be sure you’re choosing a durable material that can withstand the impact of students unloading their books, gym clothes, sports gear and other belongings. There are many different factors to consider when shopping for lockers for your school. Read on to find out the five questions you should be asking.

school locker room

1. How durable is the material?

School lockers face a lot of harsh wear and tear daily, so it’s important to choose lockers that are made of a durable material that can withstand this use.

The traditional option for hallway lockers is metal but they can come with a lot of drawbacks. They’re prone to dents with minimal impact which can compromise the aesthetics of the lockers and will end up costing a lot of money for repairs and replacement.

A impact test was conducted following ASTM standards that showed Duralife Lockers had 59 times greater resistance to impacts when compared to metal lockers.

2. How much maintenance do they require?

Constantly having to perform maintenance on your school lockers will become expensive in the long wrong. You want to be sure that the lockers you’re choosing are low maintenance to save you from this cost.

Traditional metal lockers have a lower initial cost than plastic lockers, making them an economical choice for schools. However, there are hidden costs such as additional expenses associated with cleaning, painting and the general maintenance of these lockers on an annual or semi-annual basis which may be overlooked.

By comparing the true cost of a traditional metal hallway locker to a Duralife HDPE locker over a 20 year period a study was done to take into account the initial cost, maintenance, dent and scratch repair, painting cost, graffiti removal and replacing damaged and corroded parts to create a cost of ownership model. Within 2 years, Duralife HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal. In 20 years, the accumulated savings are substantial.

3. How much noise do they produce?

 The noisy clanging that comes from shutting a metal locker can be distracting as it rings throughout the hallways, so look for an option where the sound is muffled.

Duralife Lockers are 3 times quieter than metal lockers and reduce noise in the hallway. This eliminates distractions from the hallways and leads to a better learning environment.  The difference between that is a metal locker noise would be equivalent to an alarm clock 2 feet away where the Duralife locker noise is considered similar to that created by a washing machine.

4. Are the lockers made of sustainable material?

Some major traditional metal locker brands do not meet the strictest standards for air quality and sustainability. These products are not Greenguard Certified. The Greenguard Certification Program gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits. This contributes to the creation of healthy interiors.

Duralife Lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified and meet the strict criteria for products intended for use in schools, as well as other environments where children spend a lot of time. With Duralife Lockers, you can be confident that the lockers are not having a negative effect on your school’s air quality.

5. Are the lockers visually appealing?

It’s also important that the lockers are aesthetically appealing in your facility. You want people to come into your school and see it as a respectable environment. DuraLife Lockers have appealing vents throughout and a clean-looking surface. There are also built in handles and combination locks that are recessed to improve student safety.

To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers for Schools.

10 Things School Facility Managers Should Take Care of During Winter Break

,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year during winter break. The students get a nice vacation from their studies during the holidays. As for the school facility manager, you get to play catch up, thanks to the empty halls and classrooms. Even though the students use this time to relax, sleep in, and get together with friends and family, you need to use this time wisely to make sure everything is in order for the remainder of the winter months.

Here’s 10 things school facility managers should take care of during winter break to make sure their school is in tip-top shape.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Heat is crucial during the frigid winter months, so you’ll need to perform a few audits to make sure everything iscare and maintenace functioning at its best. Look for any components that may need a replacement, so you can take care of it during the break. Any type of issue that can prevent your school from being heated may actually prolong winter break, so be sure to keep the system in great shape.

Winterize Your School to Retain Heat

While properly maintaining your HVAC system is a crucial step on the winter break checklist, you’ll also want to be sure you’re not wasting any heat. Find any weak areas that result in your school losing heat and energy. You’ll want to air seal these areas, so your school doesn’t suffer from drafty rooms or areas that can’t retain heat.

Inspect Your Pipes

Winter brings the cold, and if your school isn’t properly heated, this can cause more problems than just frigid temperatures. If your school suffers from the cold, or loses power, this can have a huge effect on your pipes. These pipes can freeze and burst, so you’ll want to be sure that not only are they in great shape, but they’re getting enough heat to remain at any optimal temperature.

Perform a Test of Your Generator

Due to the snow and ice buildup on tree branches, they can often buckle and break under the tremendous weight and the brisk temperatures, which can be troublesome if there are any nearby powerlines. If you lose power, which is a significant certainty during the winter, you’ll be relying on your backup generator to make sure your school remains at an acceptable temperature, so your pipes don’t freeze and any electronics don’t suffer.

Replace Faulty or Broken Components

On day one of winter break, you’ll want to perform an inspection of your school and its various fixtures and

The doors and fixed panels used in the Eclipse partition system provide both high design and privacy. Here we show how to ensure proper gapping and consistency on all panels and doors in order to achieve the desired sleek lines.

components. This can include lights, water fountains, electrical outlets, or even radiators. Check each of these components to make sure they’re working, or if they need to be replaced before the students and teachers come back to resume the school year.

Inspect the Roof

During the winter, the roof of your school takes quite a beating from the snow, rain, and ice, especially if your roof is flat and doesn’t have any slopes or angles that can help combat the elements. You can work to remove any of the snow and ice build-up with a shovel or rock salt, but you’ll also want to look for any issues or problems that could affect the integrity of your roof. Be sure your drain pipes are free of debris and caulk any noticeable cracks.

Clear the Snow & Ice

Depending on how hard the weather hits your area, this may be a continuous process during winter break. You’ll want to clear the parking lots and designate the snow piles to areas out of the way. Clear the walkways and paths to your school’s entrances, and salt the ground to help reduce any ice buildup.

Invest in New Floor Mats

The floors in your school can take quite a beating during the winter, with students tracking in clumps of snow and even rock salt from the walkways. You’ll want to get some heavy-duty floor mats for the entryways to help reduce the snowy debris from damaging your floors. For the best results, place heavy-duty floor mats outside the entrances to pick up most of the snow and salt, which will reduce the amount actually making it into the school.

Start a Germ & Bacteria Removal Plan

School absences and sickness are rampant during the winter, so one of the best ways to combat this is by focusing on areas with considerable germ and bacteria buildup. The most susceptible areas are the restrooms and the locker rooms. A thorough cleaning can do the trick; however, if there is mold within the components, like your partitions, you may need to find a suitable replacement. HDPE plastic partitions can drastically reduce sickness because they don’t absorb moisture and won’t sprout mold.

Get Your Painting Done

Due to the lack of students filling the hallways and classrooms, now’s the time to get some painting done. If there are components or features in your school that are starting to fade in color, or if they’re chipping, you can get the painting done without having to worry about the VOC emissions affecting student health. Be sure to do this early in the break, so the paint can be dry, ensuring your school is free of the paint smells by the time students and teachers return. You can even invest in HDPE lockers to help avoid any locker painting in the future.

Use your winter break wisely and get these crucial services completed, so you can avoid any major problems that occur throughout the winter.

Want some more tips and tricks on most effective facility maintenance methods? Download this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide for Facility Maintenance & Property Solutions, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

 

Noise Can Negatively Affect Learning

,

How to Improve Your School’s Learning Environment Noise is defined as “a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.”According to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, students had more difficulty learning to read when subjected to continuous noise, such as airplanes taking off, compared to students learning at quieter schools. These findings, as well as similar findings from other studies, support the claim that noise can significantly affect a student’s ability to learn. However, noise doesn’t necessarily have to come from a busy airport or highway. Noise from the cafeteria, gymnasium, or hallways can negatively affect the learning environment of any classroom nearby. In this post, we take a closer look at what you can do to reduce noise and improve the learning environment within your school.

How to Reduce Noise Inside the Classroom

Repair/Maintain Ducts, Fans, and the HVAC System A properly functioning HVAC system should produce only a slight whooshing sound. Meanwhile, ducts and fans should be virtually silent. If any of these are making loud or distracting noises, it could be a sign that they need repairs. Stay up-to-date on building maintenance to keep systems working effectively and sound levels at a minimum. Dampen Noise from Chairs and Desks Depending on the kind of furniture in your classroom, chairs and desks sliding across the floor can create a considerable amount of unwanted noise. To help reduce the noise from these objects, dampeners can be placed on the feet where the chair or desk meets the floor. An old solution was to cut a small slit into a tennis ball and then fit the leg inside to create a type of shoe. Today, much more effective and stylish solutions are available. Install Drapes Over Windows Thick windows do an exceptional job of blocking out unwanted noise, but adding thick drapes can add an extra level of sound protection. Of course, you may not want to cover up windows during the daytime if they offer the primary source of light. Instead you can invest in soundproof windows, plant shrubbery outside the windows, or install lighting fixtures to provide enough light so you can close the drapes. Use Plastic Lockers in Hallways Metal lockers can cause a considerable amount of unwanted noise, which can distract the students in any classroom that might be nearby. Plastic lockers provide a perfect alternative to metal lockers, producing a fraction of the noise. Plastic lockers made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are also much easier to maintain thanks to their natural resistance to rust, dents, and graffiti. locker replacement checklist Soundproof Walls, Floors, and the Ceiling It’s widely known that sound waves easily bound off hard, flat surfaces. Meanwhile, soft surfaces absorb sound. So if you’re looking to limit the amount of noise in your classroom, you might consider using soft carpeting rather than tiles or hardwood flooring. You can also install sound-absorbing panels on the walls. Finally, ensure than any gaps between the ceiling panels are sealed. Although the only quiet classroom may be the one without students, it’s possible to keep noise levels low so you can build a better learning environment for your students. Follow these tips to help reduce the negative effects of noise.

How to Choose Lockers for Your School

, ,

Whether you plan on building from the ground up or you’re performing some much-needed renovations at your school, you should consider a wide array of factors when selecting your building materials. However, while the foundation may be strong and reliable, you may want to consider changing some of the interior materials, like your lockers.

As a facility manager, you should consider all your options, not just for cost, but also for longevity. When it comes to choosing lockers, you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the right decision.

Determining Locker Life Cycles

When you’re looking at the costs related to new lockers, their life span should be considered. Ordering a new set of lockers is a major investment for your school, so you want to be sure that the lockers will last for a long time without having to be replaced soon after installation or repaired extensively.

During your research, you should look at products at both ends of the cost spectrum. While cheaper materials may seem to be the better option, they may actually end up costing you a lot more by wearing out sooner than expected. Sometimes, spending more upfront on higher-quality materials can be the most cost-efficient decision down the line, as the lockers may hold up better, while the cheaper alternatives may require extensive maintenance and repairs.

Choosing the Right Materials

After you’ve found some great locker options, you’ll want to compare them as far as durability and longevity to see which locker material is the best choice for your school.

Metal is the most popular material used for lockers due to its strong construction and easy installation. However, there are some issues with metal lockers that may alter your choice of this material.

Rust is a major factor to consider. This is more common in locker rooms, but once present, rust removal can be time-consuming and painstaking. Metal lockers also require a fresh coat of paint every so often, which can lead to harmful VOC emissions.

A material that some facility managers use instead of metal is HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is a highly durable solid plastic. Choosing HDPE over standard metal has many advantages. The number one advantage is that HDPE lockers have a greater impact resistance than metal, resulting in fewer dents and surface damage than normal metal lockers.

And since HDPE is a performance plastic, it isn’t susceptible to rust growth. It can even stand up to mold growth due to its solid plastic construction.

Maintaining Your Lockers

Keeping up with locker maintenance is important. Whether the lockers endure heavy damage or some light scratches, it’s important to address the issues early on.

After about five years, metal lockers will require paint, maintenance, and of course, cleaning. However, when you choose HDPE as your locker material, you only have to perform some light cleaning, as heavy maintenance and repainting aren’t necessary.

After 10 years of use, HDPE lockers will require some minor maintenance, while metal lockers will probably need multiple paint jobs, as well as more involved maintenance to ensure that the lockers are in good shape to continue serving their storage purposes.

Why HDPE is the Better Choice

While metal lockers may seem to be cost-effective during installation, they can become more costly over time when they require a lot of attention and maintenance. HDPE locker materials, on the other hand, require little maintenance and no paint touch-ups.

You don’t have to hire crews to conduct extensive maintenance on the lockers due to their solid construction and their material that’s resistant to most locker-related issues. They mainly require sporadic cleaning rather than an entire time-consuming and costly repainting process. Choosing HDPE material over metal is a smart choice when factoring in the total costs of the lockers and their maintenance.

Taking the Next Step

When it comes to making the final decision of which type of lockers to use at your school, you’ve seen here that there are a lot of factors to consider to make the best choice for your school and budget. You learned that metal can be a useful material for your lockers, but it’s not without its flaws.

But determining which material you inevitably go with shouldn’t be too hard once you look at the projected life span of each material while factoring in the expected maintenance and repair costs. You’ll see which option is better for your school in term of quality, longevity, and sustainability.

Want to learn more about how to choose the right lockers for your school? Check out this blog post, School Lockers Ranked by Durability, Longevity & More, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Renovating Your School’s Locker Room: Your Go-To Guide

, , ,

An outdated locker room isn’t just an eyesore. It can be downright dangerous for students and faculty depending on the materials used and the overall condition of the facility. Although, completely renovating your school’s locker room is no small task, as any superintendent or school board member can tell you. So to help you make sense of the renovation process, we’ve created this custom guide!

Follow the steps of this guide so you can easily renovate your school’s locker room!

Understanding Your Renovation from Start to Finish

Depending on the scale of your renovation project, planning, and construction can take months or even years. To make sure that your plan goes off without a hitch, it’s important to understand each stage of the renovation process. Equally as important, you’ll want to spend adequate time at each stage to see the process through completely. Trying to rush through a stage could result in extended projected timelines and going over budget.

Steps Toward Getting Started on Your Locker Room Renovation

Step 1: Fundraising

Having the money to pay for your renovation is probably the most important step. Most schools acquire these funds through fundraising or by selling a school bond. A school bond is kind of like a mortgage for a house, where a lender agrees to give you a certain amount of money with the understanding that you’ll make regular payments plus interest to repay the loan.

Step 2: Pre-Planning

During the pre-planning stage, you’ll want to establish a planning committee. If possible, it’s best to form your committee with people from a diverse set of disciplines and backgrounds. At this stage, the planning committee will be primarily responsible for determining what the goals are for the facility.

Step 3: Programming

Defining the types of activities and requirements of the space you’re designing is known as programming, a term borrowed from architectural planning. This is one of the most crucial stages of the renovation project and needs to be completed early on. Otherwise, you could end up delaying the project or, even worse, creating a facility that doesn’t meet your original expectations.

Check out Scranton Product’s Tufftec Lockers Product Kit Now!

Step 4: Schematic Design & Development

Now that you’ve completed your programming and come up with project budgets, you’re ready to talk to an architect and have them begin designing your facility. Review these designs with your planning committee and check in periodically so you can fine-tune the design as the architect works on diagramming the locker room.

Once the schematics are approved, the architect will get to work creating blueprints. These blueprints will also be used during the bidding stage and for estimating construction costs, so it’s important that your planning committee reviews the blueprints closely and makes sure they’re exactly what you want.

Step 5: Bidding

Once the architect has prepared all the proper documents, you’re ready to start taking bids for your project. During this stage, you’ll show your blueprints and other paperwork to general contractors, electricians, carpenters, and other needed subcontractors. They’ll in turn bid on the project (offer you a price to complete the project).

Step 6: Construction

The planning process is officially over! Now, you’re ready to break ground, so to speak, and start with the actual renovation of your locker room. During this time, you should plan to visit the locker room regularly to make sure that the renovations are being carried out according to your specifications. Any issues should be brought to the attention of the architect and project administrators.

Step 7: Purchasing Equipment/Furniture/Materials

Now’s the time to start finding the right equipment and materials to help get the job done. Look out for any low-cost maintenance materials, such as lockers, partitions, and even benches. Once you’ve reviewed all of your options, choose the materials that are guaranteed to last you for a considerable amount of time. Metal lockers are the usual choice for locker rooms, however, HDPE plastic lockers have proven to outlast metal lockers and they even provide a more durable structure.

Check out Scranton Product’s Duralife Lockers Product Kit Now!

Step 8: Debut Your New Locker Room

Once the crew has made the finishing touches on your locker room with installing the materials and having painted the walls, you’re ready to unveil the newly renovated locker room!

Renovating Your School’s Locker Room

Now that you’re aware of the crucial steps towards renovating your locker room, you’re ready to get started! Remember that a renovation project of this magnitude requires considerable funds, the best materials, and the right crew to get the job done. A project like this takes time, but after it’s finished, you’ll have a newly renovated locker room that you can be proud of.

Want to learn more about choosing the right materials for your locker room renovation? Check out this blog post, Lockers That Can Save Your School Money, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Why Work With An Industry Leader?

, , , , , ,

Industry leaders offer a unique value to their clients.

It starts with a razor-sharp focus on their clients’ most important issues. Industry leaders dig deep into these issues and come up with innovative ways to solve them. They also know that innovation is more than coming up with great ideas. Industry leaders know how to innovate. They excel in operational execution and have the methodologies and processes in place to deliver value consistently to their customers.

As North America’s leading manufacturer of HDPE bathroom partitions and lockers, Scranton Products is a proven industry leader, focused on responsive innovation, and offering our customers quality products that are built and tested to the highest standards.

What drives innovation at Scranton Products? It is understanding the needs of our customers – the need for high-value

As a market leader, our products are built to stand up to the harshest environments and are backed by Scranton Products’ industry-leading warranties, so you can rest easy that your investment is protected for years to come.

As a market leader, we are committed to sustainability. All of our products are made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. They are also free of VOC emissions and are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. In addition, throughout our manufacturing process, we’re conscious of our impact on the environment and practice factory-responsible recycling.

As a market leader, we are a true partner to our clients, offering responsive innovation, cutting edge solutions, unsurpassed product quality, excellent customer support, and one of the largest distribution networks in the industry.

To learn more about Scranton Products and the unique value we offer our clients, please visit: https://www.scrantonproducts.com/products/

 

Quick Guide: Choosing the Right Bathroom Partitions for Your School

, ,

Conducting renovations and remodels in your school is important when you need to replace certain materials, fixtures, or components. When it comes to your bathroom, you’ll need to use the right materials to ensure that they’ll be able to last in the sometimes-hostile environment that a school restroom can be due to the moisture and […]

How to Tell When It’s Time to Update Your School’s Lockers

,

The lockers in your school are important because students need a space to keep the materials for their studies. It helps to have a designated storage space to house these materials when they’re not being used. If the lockers in your school are starting to show signs of wear and damage, it may be time […]

Indoor Air Quality Solutions for Your School

, ,

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside your facility may have two to five times more pollutants than the air outside. In some cases, that number is over 100 times more. Given the fact that most people will spend roughly 90% of their lives indoors, it’s important to make sure that indoor air quality remains high.

There are few places where indoor air quality is more important than inside educational institutions. That’s why, in this post, we explore the importance of indoor air quality and how it can be improved inside your school.

How Serious Are Indoor Air Quality Issues?

The EPA, in conjunction with its Science Advisory Board, has named indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to the public’s health. Maintaining good indoor air quality is an important factor in helping schools to achieve their primary goal of educating students.

Pollutants that affect indoor air quality can also lead to long- and short-term health problems for both students and faculty. This can include anything from headaches and coughing to, in rare cases, dangerous conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning.

But even allergens such as dust or pollen can lead to medical issues, especially for those suffering from asthma. According to the EPA, asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness.

To keep attendance and performance high, it’s important that your school has a good indoor air quality.

Solutions for Indoor Air Quality Issues

Having a quality HVAC system is vital for maintaining good indoor air quality inside your school. However, that’s not the only solution for your indoor air quality issues. There may be other factors contributing to the level of pollution inside your school, and unless these issues are dealt with, you’ll only be solving part of the problem.

One common cause of poor indoor air quality is the thoughtless selection of products and materials to be used in the school. Synthetic building materials, for example, can increase the level of indoor air pollutants, as can housekeeping supplies like cleaners and other chemicals.

To limit the number of air pollutants, you should use products that have limited effects on the environment as well as human health. Products that use recycled materials are good as well as products that strive to conserve water and energy.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a great option when selecting building materials because of its zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions rate.

Using HDPE to Improve Air Quality in Your School

HDPE is a strong material that resists scratches, dents, rust, corrosion, mold, mildew, and graffiti. It can be used in a wide variety of applications, including bathroom partitions, lockers, shower stalls, and bathroom vanities. However, the main benefit that schools can gain from using HDPE is improved indoor air quality.

At Scranton Products, our HDPE products are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning they’ve been rigorously tested and proven to exhibit important safety factors, making them suitable for use in schools and healthcare facilities. They’re made from recycled materials and contain no harmful VOCs.

Learn more about our HDPE and why it’s the best material choice for bathrooms and lockers.