Dell City School Maintenance Staff Is Hard at Work During School Closure
In the seven weeks since the coronavirus pandemic prompted the closure of the Dell City School, most of our staff have been working from home. But a few employees have been on campus every day. Our maintenance and custodial staffers are certainly among our “essential workers,” and they're dedicated to maintaining the school and its grounds. They're working hard, and enthusiastically, to ensure that when Cougar students do return to campus, they find it a better place than when they left it.
It's a three-person group tasked with keeping up the Dell City School campus: Angelica Galvan is custodial supervisor, as well as the school's security officer; José Cabral is maintenance; and Chris Czubinski is school custodian. But, as Angie says, all three are “jacks-of-all-trades,” and you can't miss their team spirit.
“There are different titles and different roles,” Chris said, “but it's all a group effort. What matters is that we work together, and that we're always in good communication.”
The team is on the job each weekday at 7 a.m. – keeping the campus clean and maintaining the grounds. Amidst coronavirus concerns, there are extra precautions taken to disinfect “high-traffic” areas. And as spring passes into summer, there's more work to be done on the school grounds. Chris said that Dell City is an “island of green” in the desert – and that the school is an important part of that. Keeping the grounds watered and mowed helps create a school “that any parent would want to send their kids to,” Chris said.
And in addition to the typical tasks, the crew is also trying to make the most of the strange and difficult time of school closure.
“If there's a good part to all the kids being at home, it's that it makes it easier for us to catch up on a lot of other things around here,” Chris said.
The team has tackled a number of projects around campus.
Angie and José led the effort to clean out the school's bus barn. And recently they've been opening up the maintenance barn on campus, which had essentially become a storage place for “what you might call... 'collectables,'” Angie said. Across many years, equipment and other discarded items had piled up in the barn. Principal Carlos A. Contreras has been helping with this project.
The goal, Angie said, is to make better use of the building, and to create an orderly space where José and the rest of the crew can store materials and tools and do their work.
“Whatever wasn't working was thrown in here,” Angie said, “until it was completely full.” Cleaning it out and hauling items to the dump “has been quite a journey,” she said, “and it's been keeping us busy.”
“But I go home very happy,” Angie said, “because I know we're doing something good. It's for us – if we have a working area that's open and clean, we'll be happy when we're working.”
The team also plans to brighten up and improve the classrooms. Angie said Chris “has done an amazing job” of cleaning the classrooms – so that the crew can go in and wax the floors, and repaint areas that need it. And Angie said she's optimistic those improvements will be completed before next school year.
“The way we're going, we'll have everything done when the kids come home,” she said.
The team works till 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and has recently been taking half-days on Friday, “so that we get a nice rest for Monday – because we've been working hard,” Angie said. The crew will be on the job through the end of May – and then should get a summer break.
“They deserve it,” Angie said of her coworkers. “I want to get as much as we can done, so at the end of the school year we can relax and take some time off -- to start the new year fresh.”
Thank you, José, Chris and Angie, for all the work you're doing during school closure – we're so grateful!