With schools being closed for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have highlighted the work of students and teachers making the best of the situation.
But school custodians, like the ones at DeLong Middle School, are also hard at work taking care of the schools for when kids do eventually come back.
“We were a little surprised but we were somewhat prepared for it because we heard talks that that was a possibility to happen,” said DeLong Middle School Building Services Manager Craig Warren.
When schools first closed, Custodian Bob Peterson said they began deep cleaning the building to prepare for the kids to come back sooner rather than later.
“Primarily we had been sanitizing and cleaning carpets and getting that done, because the initial deal was that they were going to be coming back to school,” Peterson said. “After that got delayed, we started working on where the summer school was going to be.”
But then plans changed and while the school may look empty on the outside, custodians have started their summer cleaning and are hard at work inside making sure the school is ready for when kids come back.
“We go from top to bottom, dusting, sanitizing or disinfecting, moving furniture out of the rooms after we’ve cleaned it so we can get so we can get to extracting the carpets or stripping and waxing the floors,” Warren said.
Warren says he is taking the opportunity to look on the bright side.
“If there is a silver lining in this it’s that we have the ability to not have to hurry through and do what we normally do in two and a half months, now we get almost five months to do that,” said Warren. “We’re going through and painting rooms.”
But he also says he and his staff can’t wait for the day the kids come back to school.
“We’re looking forward to them all coming back and being something normal, we’re sure the normal ain’t going to be what it has been but we’re all learning it as we go,” said Peterson.
“We’re getting it ready for the unknown really, we don’t know what the next school year is going to look like but once school starts we’ll be prepared,” Peterson said.