Portage Schools has 17 facilities, 8,229 students and 1,250 faculty members that are cared for each day by 95 custodians and 15 maintenance staff members.
The custodial department is responsible for the cleanliness of the classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, athletic areas and the other facilities necessary to keep a school operational while providing for an optimal learning environment. The maintenance department is responsible for maintaining all lawns, athletic fields and all lawn and playground equipment. Our school district is dedicated to keeping students and staff healthy and safe while moving towards cleaning with supplies that are green and environmentally friendly.
The Portage Township Schools Maintenance Department strives to complete all building and ground repairs within the PTS maintenance department. Our current staff consists of 15 people from electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, small motor repair, general maintenance, interschool mail delivery, and office staff.
The complexities of the maintenance programs in the district continue to change as regulations of all types come into existence. From pesticide application requirements, indoor air quality regulations, forklift and aerial lift certifications and the certified playground tech, Portage Schools is dedicated to continually providing our maintenance staff with training to better serve the students and staff within the district. We also have five staff members CPO certified to perform applications to the swimming pools at Portage High School.
Since the implementation of a web-based work order system, the maintenance staff completes more than 3,500 per year. This number doesn’t include the number of verbal requests received daily from all 17 facilities that require immediate attention. Our department works 52 weeks a year, and sometimes it is necessary to work above and beyond our eight hours to maintain safe and operational facilities.
With snow season quickly approaching the maintenance department is in full swing preparing for the change of seasons. Plow blades are coming off the shelves to be inspected and tested. The tractor deck is being removed and the snow plow installed. With a winter season projection of heavy snow fall the staff in the maintenance department is busy delivering large amounts of salt to the buildings throughout the district.
Our snow crew leader is continually monitoring the weather radar to be prepared and prepare the snow crew as to when they may need to be called to come in and plow. At 2 a.m. the crew leader is woken by the sound of a weather alert that lake effect snow is moving in at a rapid rate of speed. Shortly thereafter, the phone rings in 10 other homes and the snow removal procedure begins. In the winter months this is how a typical winter morning can begin for the maintenance and custodial staff of the Portage Township School Corporation.
The maintenance staff understands that sometimes their day might not go as originally planned. Emergencies do arise and emergencies are top priority. All of this hard work requires constant dedication and teamwork from the entire department. It would be impossible to capture all the miscellaneous jobs the entire staff completes on a daily basis. Having such a talented group of individuals ready and willing to provide services in a timely manner with safety also at the forefront allows the students of Portage to go about the business of learning and achieving.