School’s Out

But the work doesn’t stop when the last bell rings

As seasons change, so do the needs of ministries. This holds especially true for schools in the summertime.

Preventative Priorities

Summer is a significant time for schools to update, repair, and maintain equipment, buildings, and property. General maintenance during the summer assures proper operation during the school year, says Stephen Yeckley, risk control specialist at Brotherhood Mutual.

“School maintenance is not unlike church maintenance, or any other type of building maintenance,” says Yeckley, “except that schools have down-time over the summer that allows them time to make needed repairs and upgrades.”

Making good use of time during the summer benefits the school further than the initial benefits of repairs or updates and lessens the risk of equipment failure during the school year.

To determine what the focus for the school should be, Norm Cender, maintenance director of Bethany Christian School in Goshen, Indiana, says, “We look at things that need to be done and the long-term effects if they don’t get done.”  Making good use of time during the summer benefits the school further than the initial benefits of repairs or updates and lessens the risk of equipment failure during the school year.

So before the days cool down and the kids shuffle to their desks once again, what maintenance activities would help you this summer?

Tasks and Tips for Top-notch Facilities

Equipment: Summer is a perfect time to take a closer look at equipment used in the year-round functioning of the school. Maintenance and routine care throughout the school year are beneficial, but the extra effort in the summer can stretch the life of the operation of a school’s equipment. This includes everything from boilers, HVAC systems, sprinklers, lights, drains, and more.

  • Boiler Safety Quick Tip: Check your valves. It’s a good idea to be aware of safety valves and controls that can alert staff to malfunctions and other problems. Professional maintenance and increased awareness can help decrease the risk of expensive and catastrophic accidents. Learn more about Boiler Maintenance Safety.

Building: Concentrated cleaning and repairs are possible without the usual daily traffic from students. Building maintenance in the summertime not only benefits the look of a school, but also takes care of foundational projects that would hinder classroom learning during the normal school year.

Maintenance on the building could include anything inside or outside, from the roof, ceilings, and floors to desks, and bathroom stall doors. The key is targeting the areas in the school that need the most attention and addressing the need as efficiently as possible.

  • Roof Safety Quick Tip: Don't wait until it's too late. By periodically inspecting and repairing the roof, you could prevent heavy damage later. Even something as simple as cleaning the gutters can add a longer life to a “high” priority. Learn more about Roof Maintenance.

Property: Playground areas, landscaping, windows, outdoor lights, and outdoor sporting equipment could all use a check-up after the classrooms have emptied. The grounds are just as important as the building, as they hold just as many opportunities for injuries as they do attraction.

  • Playground Safety Quick Tip: Clean and inspect regularly. Falls are the primary cause of playground injuries.  Making sure the structure and materials underneath are as safe as they can be goes a long way in injury prevention. Learn more about Playground Safety.

Other: The possibilities for a summer maintenance focus are virtually endless. In addition to building and grounds, a preventative mindset extends to any vehicles the school might own, or any training and safety measures taken for seasonal help.

Additional Resources

Brotherhood Mutual has many resources to help you assess your maintenance issues. Check out the Buildings & Property section of our library for additional articles and checklists.