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As the warm days of summer wind down, children, parents and teachers begin bracing for a new school year. For those facility managers responsible for K-12 institutions, colleges and universities, however, school is always in session. Summer vacation may get students out of the classrooms, but it also offers an opportunity to address operational issues, equipment upgrades and maintenance programs.
And just as a school provides an environment in which to explore and debate ideas, it also provides facility managers a similar space in which initiatives can be tested, refined and successfully applied throughout the facility management universe.
Take, for example, the development of an innovation called Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools, or PCHS. It all started about 10 years ago, when Rex Morrison, housekeeping training coordinator for Washoe County School District in Reno, Nev., received a mandate from the superintendent to provide cleaner, more germ-free student and staff spaces — all at a savings to taxpayers.
Morrison and his team went to work, experimenting with various products and methods such as pacing their cleaning times against the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) standards. The team crafted a three-step program that cut cleaning costs by $880,000 annually, and, Morrison says, the program allowed him to keep the operation in-house.
"The alternative to privatization, outsourcing and broken budgets is doing more with less," says Morrison, who will detail the PCHS approach to cleaning in a presentation at the Facility Decisions Conference and Expo, taking place Oct. 11 and 12 at the Mirage Event Center in Las Vegas.
Morrison adds that PCHS isn't limited to the classroom; facilities throughout the commercial building landscape can implement the strategy and see improvements as well. "My challenge was to take a system designed around a 10-story office building and make it fit a school environment, using the most modern tools and techniques," he says. "Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools has brought us into a new and exciting age of specialization, systems application, technical advancement and scientific measurement."
More information on the PCHS session and other scheduled events at Facility Decisions can be found at www.facilitydecisions.com. The conference is free to attend; advance registration is required.