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About the Grounds Department

Fred Montaño, Acting Manager
(36 years with APS, one year as acting manager) 45 technicians and support personnel

Grounds Craft shops include Heavy Equipment Operators; Landscape Maintenance which includes Tree Trimming; Weed and Exterior Pest Control; Irrigation; Grounds Safety Inspection; Water Resources; Paving; Portable Maintenance; and Playground Maintenance and Repair.

The M&O Grounds Department supports students’ full potential for academic success by delivering safe, healthy, appealing, and purposeful outdoor common areas, playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, running tracks, and outdoor learning spaces. And in meeting this need for students, Grounds maintenance concurrently contributes to the preservation of APS’ real estate. Lastly, the upkeep of all facilities’ curb appeal and outdoor aesthetics inspires a sense of school pride felt by the students and their parents, teachers and staff, and the neighboring residents.

Heavy equipment operator assists in replacing a water line

Portable maintenance technicians provide exterior maintenance and access (including ADA access) for over 1,400 portable classrooms. The Landscape and Irrigation Shops maintain and irrigate the District’s 360 plus acres of athletic fields; over 150 and multiplying playgrounds; and thousands of native trees, drought tolerant plants, shrubs, and ornamental grasses; lawns; school summer gardens; and other open space vegetation.

Playground technicians are dedicated to providing the safest possible playground equipment and play areas for the enjoyment and recreation of kindergarten and elementary school kids. Regularly scheduled inspections and repairs are performed on a wide assortment of thousands of pieces of playground equipment certified by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA). And as the Shop’s technicians are all skilled and licensed welders, they are frequently called upon to support other M&O Departments’ welding needs.

Trained and licensed by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), the Department’s horticultural pest control technicians safely exterminate unremitting weeds and insects that are annoying at minimum and a serious health hazard if left to propagate. Infinitely more than simple weed eradicators and bug exterminators, the horticulturalists are knowledgeable in all areas of both approved and restricted chemical use. These include applicator certification and state licensing; worker protection and safety; pesticide registration; protection of water and endangered species from pesticides; and complaint investigation. The NMDA ensures compliance with both federal and state laws related to agricultural and horticultural pesticides use. The technicians stay up-to-date regarding newly introduced chemical products and their proper application through continuing education curricula conducted by the NMDA. A consistent labor of record keeping and database are required by federal regulations and NMDA.

The Heavy Equipment Shop provides support to other M&O technicians, most often plumbers and electricians, in performing repairs with minimal if any disruption to classroom instruction. In addition, they perform heavy equipment-required jobs with regards to erosion control, ADA access, and snow/ ice removal. Lastly, heavy equipment operators are responsible for maintaining the District’s paved surfaces, grading dirt tracks and open playground spaces for student safety, and the collection and delivery of materials (sand, wood chips, and fill-dirt) to playgrounds and other areas.