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Summer Projects Abound In School District Facilities
OHS halls 009
Some restrooms on the OHS campus have had to be shut down due to acts of vandalism. - photo by COURTESY OF DAN CASEY

School is out for summer, but maintenance workers are busy in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District getting the schools ready for the return of students.

Dan Casey, the OJUSD Director of Maintenance and Operations, reported that a number of projects are completed, in progress, and planned. Along with the special projects, there is the standard top-to-bottom cleaning at each school. This includes cleaning blinds, windows, tops and bottoms of all desks and tables, waxing floors, cleaning carpets, removing cobwebs, and pressure washing the exteriors of the buildings.

Starting with the special projects at the elementary schools, four trees were removed at Cloverland between two classroom wings because they were causing trip hazards by buckling the asphalt. That asphalt was repaired and the entire asphalt playground area was slurry coated and re-striped.

Casey said that in 1991, Cloverland had received some remodeling and at that time the cabinets inside the classrooms and the insides of the classroom doors were painted pink and blue. Recently, the cabinet faces, bookshelves, and interior class doors were repainted neutral beige.

At Sierra View, the back play field never grew grass very well and there were soil compaction issues, Casey reported. So they’ve started a project there that includes aeration, then adding gypsum, compost, and re-seeding.

“We’re trying to loosen that soil up so roots can establish themselves better,” he said.

Also at Sierra View, the kindergarten play area was covered with rubber mats that had deteriorated from UV rays, he noted. The mats will be removed and the concrete underneath will be jackhammered and removed. Rubber bark or rubber mulch will be installed in that area and under the play equipment. Another part of that play area will get grass, Casey said, which will also help in cooling the area.

At Magnolia, he reported that his team just completed a project that had been going on over the course of the school year. They replaced 22-year-old HVAC (heating and air conditioning) units with high efficiency units that will result in energy savings. Also slated is a fire suppression system installation in the school cafeteria.

Casey said that at Fair Oaks, approximately 20 new SMART Boards have been installed and the previously exposed cords, which were also trip hazards, are now corralled behind conduit. Yet another job is dealing with two accordion partitions that separated four classrooms. They were removed and permanent walls are being erected.

Also at Fair Oaks, a tree that was lifting sidewalks and asphalt has been removed. Casey said that they will also replace sidewalks near the school’s baseball field and remove some mulberry trees in that area that have roots causing problems as well.

Casey added that there’s a lot of “little stuff” at Fair Oaks, such as various types of flooring repairs. One flooring project involves replacing asbestos mastic (glue) floor tile with new tiles in one hallway. A similar project is also under way at Oakdale High School.

At OHS, Casey said they are doing Phase II of a facelift in the main hallway, which includes tile replacement, painting paneling, painting lockers, and spray-on acoustics. He noted that they are working on the I, K, and L wings and the main center hallway. Part of this project was done last summer.

Casey also said they are replacing the wrestling room (old library) windows at OHS due to condensation issues. He said that the old blinds are gone, and the three windows at the top were replaced with a type of paneling to fill in the glass area, which will also help with energy savings. Wall pads will also be added to the room.

One more thing, if time allows, he said, is that the metal roof on the office building at Oakdale Junior High School will get a fresh coat of paint. Students start back to school on Aug. 14.