Custodial, Building and Grounds Tasks Continue

by Director of Building and Grounds Brad Berghuis

The 2020–2021 school year ended for most students and staff the week of June 4. However, school districts do have staff that work year round. Summers for the buildings and grounds department can be just as busy as during the school year. With the majority of students and staff out of the building for the summer, the district’s custodial and grounds maintenance staff takes advantage of the ability to have access to areas that would otherwise be limited.

Every year, typical summertime tasks include:

  • Deep cleaning every room and every space in each school building to ensure all areas and surfaces are cleaned, sanitized and ready for students and staff when they return for the next school year
  • Moving classroom and building components as needed because of employee changes or student enrollment numbers
  • Maintaining the building exteriors, greenspaces, parking lots, athletic fields and outdoor activities spaces

This summer, the district will complete several additional projects. While some will have a major impact on the appearance of the buildings, others will be behind-the-scenes projects focused on making us a more energy-efficient district.

The Mississippi Heights Elementary roofing rehabilitation project consists of removing the original single-ply rubber roof installed when the building was built in the mid-1990s and replacing that with a built-up four-ply asphalt roof. The hallway carpet on the first floor will also be removed and replaced with a rubber floor that is similar to flooring installed in other areas of the building.

At Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School, Phase One of the exterior brick replacement project will begin. Phase One will encompass sections of brick in and near the Community Arts Center (CAC). The primary area of focus for the brick replacement will be on the late 1980’s building addition as some delamination is occurring. Phase Two of the brick replacement project will take place next summer and will involve work at the Door 4 entrance of the middle school. Due to funding limitations, this work will be a multi-phased project, completed over several years. The ventilation system for the middle school kitchen hoods will also be replaced as equipment repairs have become more prevalent.

This summer at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, the district will finish the two lighting replacement projects which were started this spring. LED lights are being installed in multiple areas of the school including the first floor classroom pod area, the gymnasiums, the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and in hallways throughout the high school, as well as in the high school and district administrative offices. The district will also complete the replacement of the Building Automation System (BAS), which operates the building’s heating and cooling systems. Both of these projects will help reduce the amount of energy the high school uses on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

At Pleasantview Elementary, construction crews have begun to install electrical inside the new building as well as underground plumbing. Throughout the summer, contractors will continue to work on getting the new school building fully enclosed so when the weather turns cold, crews can complete interior projects during the winter and spring. Installation of the roof and exterior brick will begin this summer as well. 

Over the course of the next few summers, the district will be completing additional projects to ensure a safe learning environment for students, staff and families and maintain our community-provided resources. The projects mentioned above, and future projects, will be funded through Facility Maintenance Funds. These are funds limited in scope-of-use and appropriated annually to all Minnesota school districts by the state legislature.