Back 2 School: Checking in with Facilities
Over the summer months, VSB’s Facilities department has been hard at work getting schools ready for the new year. With over one hundred elementary schools, secondary schools, annex buildings and adult education centres across the District, there are plenty of projects to keep them busy.
Much of the work done by Facilities, building engineers and custodial staff is repeated across different schools. After a long year of students and staff coming and going through the halls, the buildings need plenty of routine maintenance and cleaning. Over the summer, staff clean, strip, wash and wax every floor of every building. They also power wash the windows and exterior walls of buildings, maintain the grounds with landscaping, and repair or replace lights.
Other projects are more unique and based on the needs of individual schools. Some schools, like King George Secondary and General Gordon Elementary, are getting new murals and art painted in their gyms or foyers. Other schools, like Simon Fraser Elementary, are getting new lights installed in washrooms and offices.
Exterior work is being done as well. At Grandview Elementary, the storm drainpipes beneath the playground were outdated and leaking. During August, a team dug up the old clay pipes and replaced them with PVC. The new pipes will last longer and better adapt to changing weather and temperature.
Galen Findlay is the Grounds Department foreperson who oversaw the drainage replacement project. He says that the work being done is necessary to ensuring a successful school year. “It’s important to have a place for the kids to play safely,” he says. “Summertime is the best time for big projects like this.”
Facilities keeps busy throughout the summer with dozens of projects across the District. This year, their work will pay off on the first day of school. Classes start on September 5, 2023.