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In 2005 I was hired by SchoolDude as a Client Adviser. Growing up in the tech support and implementation side of the business, I gained a unique appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing facility operations professionals at schools. In 2009 the Dude created a Success Management team, where I was fortunate to lead a small team responsible for engaging clients, assessing their opportunities, and helping to maximize their investment. In 2012 started wearing two big hats - Community Engagement Manager and Chief Data Dude. Today I'm very excited to be managing our Client Support team. My passion lies in leading this team of legendary support professionals, connecting peers in SchoolDude Nation, creating a valuable Community experience, and telling stories with data that inspire success in Facility Operations.
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In the flurry of critical tasks that administrators need to address on a daily basis, it's possible for some less immediate jobs to take a back seat. After all, while classrooms and cafeterias are used all day every day, what about a specialized area such as a locker room?
It's true that locker rooms serve a primarily utilitarian purpose, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have a spot on your planned maintenance checklist. If left to languish on a deferred maintenance list, your locker room can go on to create bigger problems down the road that end up costing you more money.
Properly maintaining and updating your locker room is essential for your school's overall aesthetic, as well as student safety. Here are four tips to keep in mind.
1. Flooring The flooring you install in your locker room may be one of the most important aspects from a maintenance standpoint. The two major considerations you'll likely want to keep in mind when choosing a flooring option are safety and cleanliness. It's important to install a surface that will prevent slips that also doesn't soak up water, which can cause unpleasant smells and mold.
Unfortunately, this can be a hard balance to strike. According to Athletic Business, non-slip surfaces tend to be harder to clean and maintain than their older counterparts. As the source noted, the same texturing that protects against slips makes the floors more likely to trap dirt. Many facility managers and administrators wax these non-slip floors to give them an appealing sheen and make them easier to clean, though this can lead to a buildup of the substances that may damage the floor over time.
"Proactive cleaning plays an important role in locker room hygiene."
2. Cleaning Keeping your locker room clean is essential, as water and sweat can build up over time and lead to unwanted effects. Designing your locker room to be easy to clean is an important consideration. If you use an automatic floor cleaning machine, ensure your aisles are wide enough to accommodate the machine.
Proactive cleaning also plays an important role in locker room hygiene. Many modern materials are designed to repel water, preventing standing water or sweat from becoming a problem. Similarly, ensure your lockers are properly ventilated to allow the contents to air out rather than sitting in their own humidity.
3. Lockers The eponymous features of your facility warrant their own consideration. Metal lockers are by far the most common, though they can be prone to rust, especially in high-humidity environments like a locker room. Athletic Business noted that both plastic and phenolic lockers provide viable alternatives to metal. Neither material will rust, and they can withstand the heat, pressure and humidity of a locker room without warping or buckling. As an added bonus, the materials are resilient enough to stand up to chemical cleaners without being damaged.
4. Restroom facilities and fixtures Maintaining your plumbing is a crucial part of managing your school effectively, and it takes on extra significance in your locker room. Choosing which fixtures you use can make a big difference from a maintenance and a budget perspective. For example, many administrators prefer independent sinks without countertops, as the additional surface of a counter provides additional cleaning responsibility. Not to mention the fact that countertops make excellent places for water to collect.