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By Dan Hounsell, Editor
Paints & Coatings Article Use Policy
Despite the careful planning and a long-term outlook, White and his crews face additional challenges related to shifting demands from customers and changing conditions in the field.
For example, due to the condition and age of some district buildings, painting crews often have to perform small repairs in facilities, including repairing drywall and covering or removing graffiti, before they can begin painting. In some cases, crews have to tailor their projects based on time and resources, despite the specific requests of customers.
For example, if a school principal requests that crews paint all doorways in a building in an effort to improve the building's overall appearance, workers have the authority to paint only those surfaces that actually require repainting.
"We do it to conserve funds, and it still gives them a nice product to live with once we're done," White says.
Crews also have had to incorporate the maintenance needs created by portable classrooms into their workloads. Many school districts use the structures to accommodate growing enrollments without having to build new schools they might not need when enrollments shrink. But in many cases, the structures become permanent parts of the building stock.
White's district uses 284 portable classrooms — some from the 1960s — containing 250,000 square feet. In terms of their impact on maintenance, workers often have to reconstruct portions of the classrooms by, for example, repairing walls and resetting sheetrock.
"They are constant work," White says. "Over the past years, they've been diminishing, but now enrollment is on the rise again, so we'll see." The district has seen its share of enrollment changes over the years, creating uncertainties when it comes to staffing and workload decisions.
"We're a military town, and our population is a little dynamic," White says. "We never know what's going to happen. Now, they're talking about moving an aircraft carrier (out of the area), so that will change the enrollment."
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