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Introduction

About the Mechanical Department

Frank Maes, Manager
(24 years with Department, 15 years as manager) 44 technicians and support personnel

Mechanical Craft Shops include HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning); Sheet Metal (duct work, exhaust vents, venting hot water heaters, installing ceiling grills and air conditioning units, and locker repair); and Plumbing (domestic water, gas, and sewer maintenance).

Indisputably every M&O service department delivers needed repairs, replacements, refurbishing, or otherwise improvement services to the schools and administrative facilities; none could be deemed superfluous or eliminated. That specified, weeds on the playground, a door that does not close properly, or a damaged ceiling tile does not put the brakes on the instructional day or adversely affect even one student. No, these seemingly small issues are never ignored to worsen, but rather are attended to as soon as possible. Conversely, a malfunctioning cooling system in August lulls students to sleep and a conked-out heating system in December fully wakes them, but not in a good way! These mechanical issues require and receive attention now; as soon as possible is not quick enough. Simply stated, schools do not meet their purpose of educating students without mechanical and plumbing systems functioning properly every minute of every day year round; mechanical maintenance is the nucleus of facilities management.

The Department concentrates on observing scheduled preventive maintenance inspections and maintenance of systems in staying ahead of equipment glitches before they become costly and urgent events. Unlike the damaged ceiling tile, a failed mechanical or plumbing system is pricey and urgent with the potential to shut down the instructional day. Mechanical technicians apply their preventive maintenance and emergency skills expertly in guaranteeing that classroom or entire school closures do not occur.

The Department’s comprehensive PM program ensures that HVAC systems are inspected on schedule depending on usage (monthly, quarterly, or annually). Systems’ “smart” controls — rapidly becoming more and more cutting-edge — allow for optimal learning conditions and comfort and are continually monitored via the Internet. Safety inspections are conducted monthly on all fire protection sprinkler systems, kitchen hood fire suppressant systems, and boiler systems. The one-man Locker Repair Shop is the only craft not on a PM program as senseless vandalism is the sole cause of needed locker repairs.

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