Includes: exterior pest control, heavy equipment, irrigation, landscaping, paving, playground repair, portable moving, tree trimming and service, weed control.
Jerry Lee Ebner, Acting Manager (16 years with District, appointed Acting Manager in 2012)
Craft shops include Heavy Equipment Operators; Landscape Maintenance which includes Tree Trimming; Weed Control and Exterior Pest Control; Irrigation; Grounds Safety Inspection; Water Resources; Paving; Portable Maintenance; and Playground Maintenance and Repair.
The M&O Grounds Department supports student success and achievement by helping to provide safe, healthy, appealing, and highly functional outdoor common areas, playgrounds, sports fields, and learning environments. In addition, all of the District’s outdoor common areas are preserved — important to APS personnel, visitors, and taxpayers. Enhancing and maintaining of all facilities’ curb appeal also instills a sense of school pride felt by the students, parents, neighboring community, teachers, and staff.
Portable maintenance technicians provide exterior maintenance and access (including special needs access) to approximately 1,600 portable classrooms. Landscape and Irrigation Shops maintain and irrigate the District’s 240+ acres of athletic fields, over 150 playgrounds, and tens of thousands of trees, drought tolerant landscaping, ornamental lawns, and other vegetation. Playground technicians are dedicated to providing safe playground equipment and play space for students, performing inspections and repairs on thousands of pieces of playground equipment. Ground horticultural pest control technicians eradicate pernicious weeds and insects that never take a holiday. The Heavy Equipment Shop provides support to other M&O technicians, such as plumbers and electricians, in performing repairs that would otherwise impede the educational process. They also handle heavy equipment tasks with regards to erosion control and ADA access issues. The Shop is also responsible for maintaining the District’s paved surfaces, grading dirt tracks for student safety, and the collection and delivery of materials—such as sand, wood chips, and fill-dirt—to playgrounds and other areas.
Stayed abreast of West Nile virus outbreak
The Department’s quick attention to the West Nile virus outbreak that swept the nation in 2012 resulted in no reported infections at APS. Inadvertent standing water was immediately pumped and ponds and grass areas were sprayed. All Grounds technicians were alert to standing water and generated work orders to have it and its source attended to straightaway.
Installed new artificial turfs at Milne and Wilson Stadiums
The threadbare artificial turfs at both stadiums were of the first generation of artificial turf; the new turf product has come a long way since artificial grass first replaced natural grass at the stadiums. Providing years of service to the District, the latest generation of synthetic turf is safer, longer lasting, and will better serve the student athletics.
Purchased new crack sealer machine for asphalt repair
As the Department’s old crack sealer was on its last legs, the Department repaired the hazardous cracks while minor cracks were delayed. Now all cracks are immediately repaired in-house, at a substantial cost savings, and the trivial cracks will never become menacing. Paving maintenance is a priority for M&O.
Added responsibility of new field, playground, and parking lot
A new track and athletic field was added to James Monroe Middle School, and Los Padillas Elementary School got a new parking lot. Also, the athletic fields at Los Padillas Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School that were previously joint-use fields with Bernalillo County are now solely the responsibility of the District.
Performing water use audits at high-use sites
The Department is being assisted by an independent contractor hired by the municipal water utility, at no charge to the District, in performing water audits at high water use sites to help determine how to reduce water use and ensuing surcharges.
Performed resurfacing project
Resurfaced tennis courts at Highland High School.
Engaged temporary employment service to aid in weed control
Because as staff shrinks weeds flourish, the Department hired a temporary ten-man crew to aid in winning the war on weeds at most APS schools. The program will resume next year after it is evaluated.
New PM programs
PM programs (on-going)
Special Challenge / Issue
Continued loss of employees resulting in grim consequences
The already lean Department lost four qualified technicians in 2011-12 — one pest control, one irrigation, and two portable maintenance technicians. The staff works hard to stay on top of the District’s ever growing recreational acreage and common area outdoor space. The curb appeal at some school sites is not up to District standards, as plants and trees age, grass fries, and open areas fight weeds — and unfortunately and understandably, it has fueled complaints. In addition, response time has been challenged and the frequency of PM is pushed.
89.3% of the 499 surveyed participated in the Voice of the Customer evaluating M&O’s effectiveness and efficiency in 2011-12.
Voice of the Customer question:
Please rate our M&O work?
from the participants.
Considering all performance questions, M&O received an average grade of
As recounted in the preceding Year End Reports, all of M&O has been hit by drastic budget cuts challenging staff members, from management to technicians, to perform more with less. Personnel have met this challenge by planning better and working smarter. Procedures have been streamlined and tightened throughout M&O and school sites have not borne major consequences — with the exception of the District’s grounds. As dying vegetation and browning lawns don’t cause actual physical harm to anyone, the Grounds Department has been particularly hard hit with fewer technicians. Certainly these issues validate the importance of preventative maintenance in saving manpower, time, costs, and District assets.
Status of 2011-12 Fiscal Year Goals
2012- 13 Goals