Many people use the holiday season as a time to rest and catch up on relaxation, but for campus recreation centers it can be a vital time for maintenance staff to take advantage of an empty facility.
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Division of Recreational Sports manages and maintains four recreational facilities. With over 680,000 square feet of indoor space and approximately 60 acres of outdoor areas there is a lot of space to work on during the holiday season. Their two largest facilities, the Southeast Recreation Facility (SERF) and the Natatorium are typically closed the week in between Christmas and New Year’s.
Jeff Dvorak, associate director of projects and maintenance at the Division of Recreational Sports, said the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a vital time for his staff. “This is a great time for us to get some deep cleaning and projects done that would be impossible to complete when the facilities are open with thousands of students using them during the school year.”
Projects like deep cleaning the tile surface of the pool, cleaning and painting the inside of the locker rooms, deep cleaning the spin studio and cardio rooms, rebuilding platforms and more are all done during this time. When school is in session, it can be hectic to drain the pool or shut down the locker rooms, but with the students gone the staff can ensure everything gets the cleaning it deserves.
Usually the University of Wisconsin-Madison has the Physical Plant staff do the majority of the deep cleaning on their campus, but because of changes beyond their control, Dvorak’s staff has been needed to step in and take on the role.“On this campus the Physical Plant handles all custodial operations for all our facilities,” said Dvorak. “However, due to layoffs and budget cutbacks the custodial staff isn’t fully staffed. So we help them out by taking it upon ourselves to deep clean most of the flooring and tile in our facilities when needed.”
While the holiday break is nearing a close, it isn’t too late to start implementing a few extra cleaning session at your rec. It also is never too early to start planning the cleaning schedule for next year’s holiday break.