Getting the School Buildings Ready for a New School Year is an “All Heart” Effort

Chippens Hill Middle School newly-polished hallway

August 28, 2019

While summer for most is a time to rest and relax, the Bristol Public Schools Facilities Department is hard at work all summer long to make sure the school buildings and grounds are in the best possible shape for students and teachers to begin a new school year.

Chippens Hill Middle School newly-painted cafeteria

The cafeteria at Chippens Hill Middle School received a new coat of paint over the summer.

At Chippens Hill Middle School, the Facilities and Maintenance team of eight, spend the summer cleaning, painting, scrubbing, and polishing floors throughout the 166,000 square foot school building. Each classroom gets a thorough cleaning using cleaning products that are environmentally-friendly. The gym floor gets a new coat of polish, which takes an entire day to do, along with all hallway floors on each of the three levels of the school. In addition, stairway railings and cafeteria walls receive a new coat of paint. At K-8 West Bristol School, the same thing happens throughout the 122,000 square foot school building along with Greene-Hills School the other K-8 school and in each of Bristol’s six K-5 elementary schools, Northeast Middle School, and the two high schools.

Other projects which have taken place this summer include the installation of the new high-efficiency gas-powered hot water heaters at both high schools. This effort was spearheaded by George Chase, a Board of Education employee who is a plumber by trade. Along with the help of Ron Sadecki, a skilled maintenance BOE employee, who installed all the electrical for each of the hot water heaters at both BEHS and BCHS. By utilizing the talents of BOE employees, the City was able to save $25,000 in soft costs and it is estimated that the new systems will save $8,000 annually at each of the high schools with additional rebates with Eversource, which are being pursued.

Two new hot water heaters at Bristol Central High School

The new hot waters heaters at Bristol Central High School which were installed over the summer.

At Northeast Middle School, the Facilities team worked together with the City of Bristol Public Works Department to repair a catch basin. At Greene-Hills School, both the Public Works and Facilities departments are reviewing how to solve a sinkhole issue and several schools will receive new curbing and drainage systems thanks to this partnership, realizing more savings for the City without having to use outside contractors to do the work.

Installation of a new playscape at Mountain View School is also on the summer TO DO list. Mountain View School will be receiving a new playscape thanks to the efforts of many – Colgate, ShopRite, and TerraCycle, a recycling company that specializes in hard-to-recycle waste, ran an online contest in which one school would win a colorful new playscape made from recycled materials, with a retail value of $55,000. The contest ended June 30, with Mountain View at the top of the leaderboard, a position the school occupied for the last few weeks of the contest, thanks to the many from the Bristol community who voted in the online contest.

The Facilities Department not only works diligently all summer long to get the schools ready for the new school year, but all year long in order to keep the schools in the best condition. Their year round responsibilities include maintaining all the buildings with daily cleanings, any repairs needed, and maintenance of all school grounds during all four seasons of the year.

Director of Facilities, Peter Fusco leads the Facilities team and has a staff at Central Office who help him run the day-to-day operation of keeping the schools in the best condition at all times throughout the “All Heart” City. Both Craig Sgro and Tara Landon are administrative assistants who work in Central Office with Peter performing several administrative functions that are vital to the entire Facilities and Maintenance team making sure the department runs smoothly on a daily basis.