How to Choose Lockers for Your School

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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

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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 […]

Setting New Year Goals for Your School Faculty Members

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Starting the New Year off with a few goals in mind is always a good idea because it allows you to move forward and improve yourself and your work. However, you can also inspire your school’s faculty members to do the same. Some of these goals can be self-improvement, but a few should revolve around the students and the school. Setting New Year’s goals for your school faculty members can help invigorate a team spirit, especially when the goals are aligned.

Here are a few tips and suggestions for New Year goals for your school faculty members:

Improve Your Work/Life Balance

Stress is always a great thing to avoid and being overworked is one of the major causes of stress. Instead, you can take steps to improve the balance of work and home life in a few easy steps. If you bring work home with you, plan out a schedule that has a stopping point so you can relax. A happy teacher almost always leads to happy students.

Be More Accessible to Your Students

It’s important to be available to your students, especially if they have any questions about the material, class, or the assignments. Some students may have anxiety about raising their hand or asking questions during class time, so be available for a few minutes after class to address any questions or concerns about the material you just covered, so they can prepare for any tests, quizzes, or upcoming assignments.

Lead Your Students by Example

Setting a good example for your students is necessary to help them aspire to be better. This can cover a variety of topics on the importance of self-reliance, working together, or even self-improvement. Whether it’s maintaining a healthy diet, being active, or going green, it’s important to set good examples for students to follow so they can do the same.

Create a Fun & Nurturing Environment

Environment has shown to have an effect on student’s ability to learn. There are plenty of ways that you can make your classroom more inviting and nurturing. You can include some indoor plants, which can help purify the air in your class room. You’ll also want to make class fun and exciting. Laughter helps release serotonin and endorphins, which can improve blood flow to the brain and improve engagement, memory, and concentration. When the classroom is fun and engaging, you’ll see improvement in participation, test scores, and overall grades.

Inspire Students to Get Involved

School is where students start to formulate their plans for the future, whether it’s the career path they want, where they want to go to school, and even develop their passions and interests. Encourage students to get involved somehow. Highlight some of the interesting after-school clubs that are in line with students’ interests, so they can further develop their skills to achieve their goals for their future.

Want to learn more about how to improve your school environment for students and faculty? Check out this blog post, Issues Impacting School Administration: Issues & Solutions, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Issues Impacting School Administration: Issues & Solutions

There are a few issues to be expected throughout the school year that an administrator must act in order to find and implement the solution. These issues cover a variety of factors within the school, and as an administrator, you’ll need to do everything within your power to correct them. Some of these issues may be out of your control, but adapting and learning how to solve these problems can be beneficial to you and your school.

Creating a Safe Learning Environment

As the administrator of a school, it’s your job to make sure that you’re proving a safe and secure learning environment for the students. A student’s environment can affect the ability to learn and retain information. Take the time to transform the uninspiring hallways and classrooms into a location that a student can not only thrive in, but one they’ll look forward to attending every day. They’ll be excited and ready to learn.

Bracing for an Enrollment Boom

A sudden and noticeable increase in students can make any administrator nervous, but the important thing is to remain calm and simply keep your head high and roll with the punches. When budgets are cut and schools close down, students get transferred to the next closest school. If that happens to be your school, you’ll want to find ways of bracing for the congested hallways and crowded classrooms. This could include hiring more teachers and administrators, as well as investing for mobile classrooms.

Combatting Absenteeism

When the winter comes, so do the colds, flu, and other ailments that keep students from coming to school. You can help reduce absenteeism by including hand sanitizer stations throughout the school’s entryways to combat the spread of germs. Most germs are spread in bathroom, so you can help reduce the spread of germs by executing a disinfectant cleaning plan, and installing stronger materials like HDPE plastic partitions, which ward off mold and bacteria growth.

Dealing with Student Vandalism

When you walk down the halls and see instances of vandalism, it’s never fun, especially when there’s graffiti all over the walls and lockers. You can combat graffiti in a few ways. Utilizing HDPE plastic lockers and toilet partitions can help because this material doesn’t absorb paint. When there’s graffiti present, all it takes is a light cleaning to rid the locker of unwanted graffiti.

Facility Maintenance & Operations

Depending on how old your school building is, you may want to institute a maintenance plan of action. Check the HVAC systems before the weather becomes more severe, and inspect your water system to make sure the water pressure is suitable. Be sure that these systems are operating at their most efficient, so no major issues will occur throughout the school year.

Are you looking for more ways to combat the common issues facing your school? Check out this blog post, Where School Facilities Are Falling Behind: Improve Your Infrastructure Report Card, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Graffiti: How to Channel Self Expression in a Positive Way

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Nurturing the artistic side in students is important. However, when that art becomes graffiti, it can become a major issue for a variety of reasons. Not only can graffiti be vulgar and offensive, but it can also cost your school in repairs and maintenance. The important thing is to find a middle ground to help students channel self-expression in a positive way while reducing the amount of graffiti popping up.

Focus on the Arts

While it’s important for students to express themselves creatively, they need to do so on paper and leave the walls, lockers, and toilet stalls alone. Some of these “graffiti artists” may be enrolled in art classes, but sometimes, that’s not enough to help contain their creativity. After-school art programs can be very beneficial at keeping these students focused on creating artwork rather than vandalizing school property. When students have a creative outlet that they can focus on, they’re less likely to damage school property in an attempt of expressing themselves.

Meet Them in the Middle

There’s nothing more unsettling to a school facility manager or principal than to see a wall in a high-traffic area coated in spray paint or permanent marker. Regardless of what the image depicts or says, it wasn’t cleared to go up on the wall and constitutes as vandalism and destruction of property. However, you can meet them in a middle by instituting a mural arts project for the school.

Get an art teacher to oversee the project and help the students come up with an approved image. They’ll be able to work together and put it up on a wall in your school. Not only will this channel their self-expression in a positive way, but they’ll learn while working in a team-oriented environment. The end result is a beautiful display in your school that can be appreciated by the students and faculty and invoke school spirit and pride.

Taking Preventative Measures

There are a number of ways that you can prevent students from painting graffiti in your school. If there are areas in the hall that see a lot of unapproved artwork popping up, positioning a security camera towards the wall can help reduce graffiti from popping up. Students won’t want to risk getting caught to face the punishment for their artistic expression.

Lockers and toilet stalls are also frequent targets for graffiti. Luckily, you can replace your lockers and partitions with HDPE solid plastic. This durable material features an exterior coating that can prevent the plastic from absorbing the paint. Should graffiti appear on these lockers and toilet partitions, you won’t have to repaint any of them because graffiti can be easily wiped away. Installing HPDE plastic in your school can greatly reduce the risk of graffiti showing up on your lockers and toilet stalls.

Want to learn more about how to handle graffiti in your school? Check out this blog post, How to Implement a Zero-Tolerance Policy to Graffiti Vandalism, from your friends at Scranton Products.

How to Implement a Zero-Tolerance Policy to Graffiti Vandalism

As a facility manager of a school, nothing is as stressful as ridding an area in the school of recently applied graffiti. There can be debates of what constitutes as art, but there’s no denying that graffiti is vandalism. While art should be left in the classroom with washable materials being used, you’re tasked with finding ways to combat this problem and ensure that it doesn’t continue. You’ll need to implement a zero-tolerance policy to graffiti vandalism in your school.

Here are a few steps on how to work towards stopping graffiti from popping up in your school.

Communicate with School Administrators About the Costs

As the facility manager of the school, you don’t have any disciplinary sway with the students, so you’ll need to address these issues to the administrators and/or principals. Remind them that graffiti is not only an act of vandalism, but it’s costing you money and time with maintenance. If they can come up with a disciplinary plan that can thwart students from marking up the walls and other components in your school, you’ll begin to see a drop in “artwork” from appearing in your school.

Focus on the Problem Areas

The most common place that you’ll find graffiti is on the toilet partitions. Students with graffiti aspirations use these stalls as their springboard because it’s enclosed and private. However, you can stop graffiti in its tracks by utilizing the right materials for your bathroom.

HDPE plastic toilet partitions are resistant to graffiti. They won’t absorb any paint or permanent marker. Once any mark is made, it can easily be wiped away without having to invest in some fresh paint to coat over the graffiti.

Take Away the Graffiti Hotspots

This step requires you to think like a graffiti artist. You need to look out for easy targets, like blank walls, and even elevated areas that can be viewed by everyone in the school. To combat the students’ desire to tag these spots, beat them to the punch and paint the walls with a darker color that makes it less appealing to spray an image or phrase on.

Update Your Lockers

Lockers are another target area for students to mark up. Since most lockers are made from steel, you’ll have to repaint them once graffiti pops up. However, HDPE plastic can also be used for lockers. This will save you the cost and time that goes into painting, all while updating your schools lockers with a strong, durable, and graffiti-resistant material.

Utilizing HDPE plastic materials has a wide variety of benefits. When it comes to combatting graffiti, these lockers will help you save money and time on maintenance because they resist paint. Once graffiti appears on any HDPE locker or partition, it can easily be wiped away. Want to learn more about HDPE plastic and the many benefits there are to choosing it for your school? Check out this blog post, Why HDPE is a Super Material, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

 

 

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

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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.