CUYAHOGA FALLS — The maintenance staff have a full schedule ahead of them before students come back to school.
Vince Spitali, buildings and grounds supervisor with the Woodridge schools, said his staff of 14 full-time and three part-time employees have kept busy this summer, getting the buildings ready for the new school year.
"One of the big projects we are working on is the dugout," said Spitali in a June 12 interview. Spitali said the Woodridge schools and the city of Cuyahoga Falls parks and recreation department have been working together to repair the structure.
A challenge for Spitali’s crews working outdoors on the grounds has been the weather.
"Right now, we’ve been dodging raindrops," he said.
The field in front of the middle school is prepared over the summer so the school band can practice.
"They can’t use the regular field," Spitali said. "We have wait out the winter and do repair work starting in the spring."
Spitali said the middle school field "will be lined like the football field so they know where to go."
The main football field is the spot for 70 to 80 events per school year, Spitali said.
"It gets pretty beat up, between football and soccer and other things," Spitali said. The field needs to be aerated, reseeded and repaired each summer, he added. "Every day it’s not raining, we are down there doing something. We make sure the bleachers are safe, we clean out the press box, the jump pads need cleaned."
For the jump pads, Spitali said they need "to get a week of nice, warm, sunny weather so we can air everything out."
The Woodridge Local Schools have seven fields, including the area the band practices on, Spitali said. As well as the high school stadium, there’s the high school practice football field and a baseball field. At the middle school, there’s a soccer field, football field and softball field.
When the school year ends, the custodians and maintenance crews swing into action to get the buildings ready for the upcoming school year.
"We pull everything out of the classrooms," Spitali said. "There isn’t an item in the classrooms we don’t pull out. We make sure everything is clean and safe, so when the teachers come back, they are ready to go.
"We start with the light fixtures, we clean those. We do the walls, we sand and wax the floors. Also, if something like a light fixture needs repair, we will do that."
They also will go through the classrooms to do any touch-up painting. The district will probably purchase around 40 gallons of paint for touch up work, he added.
Spitali said the custodians and maintenance crews make sure the plumbing, bathrooms, urinals, faucets, "even the paper towel dispensers" work properly.
"I don’t know how many people realize how many moving parts there are," Spitali said. "This is all done within about two months."
In addition, the new elementary school hosts several summer programs, so the maintenance crews work around that, he said.
The first days back for staff are Aug. 12 and 13; the first day back for students is Aug. 14.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC