Salisbury Press

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
PRESS PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOSTwo tiles of hallway in Salisbury High School show the difference in finish. The front panel has not yet been refinished, while the far panel sparkles. PRESS PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOSTwo tiles of hallway in Salisbury High School show the difference in finish. The front panel has not yet been refinished, while the far panel sparkles.
PRESS PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOSCustodian Betty Engle and maintenance worker Wayne Kuscan, two veterans of Salisbury’s maintenance team, have worked for a combined 31 years keeping the schools clean and safe for students. PRESS PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOSCustodian Betty Engle and maintenance worker Wayne Kuscan, two veterans of Salisbury’s maintenance team, have worked for a combined 31 years keeping the schools clean and safe for students.
Just some of the tools of the trade for the custodial team. Just some of the tools of the trade for the custodial team.

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by CHRISTOPHER DRYFOOS Special to The Press in Local News

Summer maintenance prepares facilities for students

While its students and teachers take time off for the summer, Salisbury’s schools are anything but dormant.

Behind the scenes, Salisbury Township School District’s maintenance team is at its busiest, preparing the schools for the new year ahead.

The team of 20 – including a number of long-serving employees – has no simple task at hand. Each hallway’s finish is removed and five new coats of finish are added. The crews strip classrooms bare to wash and repaint walls, fix damages and refinish the floors. The rooms are regularly cleaned to prevent excessive dust buildup.

“We go in from the top down,” William Brackett, Salisbury’s director of facilities over the past decade, said. “Every room, every summer, is essentially rebuilt.”

In addition to the overhauls of the rooms and hallways, the crew also works on a variety of tasks, including lawn and asphalt maintenance as well as specialty projects.

“Nothing’s typical in Salisbury,” Wayne Kucsan, a 20-year veteran of the maintenance team, said. In a single day, employees can go from running electrical wires to grooming the Astroturf to tearing down and rebuilding walls.

Several major projects have occurred throughout the summer.

In the high school, a recently installed door lock system replaces traditional keys with dots on iPhone cases. Staff members scan the dot onto the door pad for entry. If the dot becomes lost or stolen, it can be deactivated – an easier and safer process than if a traditional master key is lost. Its fire and burglary systems were also recently upgraded.

At Salisbury Middle School, the main office received a major makeover, removing old furniture and materials dating as far back as the 1970s. New furniture was also added to seven classrooms in the middle school.

“The flexibility in those classes is now excellent,” Brackett said, adding the new changes will create a positive effect on the students and faculty.

SMS’s tennis courts also received an overhaul. The courts, which became unusable in recent years due to wear, would have cost the district over $1 million to replace. However, Brackett and the school board were able to come up with a solution to fix the courts at a fraction of the cost.

“We retrofitted the existing tennis courts,” Brackett said. “And we have a beautiful system out there now.”

Betty Engle, an employee at Salisbury High School for 11 years, knows both the rigors and the rewards of her custodial work, which includes “waxing the kitchen, taking furniture out [and] cleaning from top to bottom.”

“It’s exercise,” she says with a laugh. But a worthwhile pursuit.

Despite increasingly shorter summers and a constant work flow, Salisbury’s maintenance team continuously succeeds and excels under the pressure.

During the school year, crew members work nights to make sure the buildings are spotless for the next day.

“Summers are the hardest part of the year [because] everything has to be done,” Brackett said. “[But] every year, these guys step up to the plate and get it done.”