By Eunice Kim, Bailey Julian
Even lingering for a few moments on the school campus of Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) places in full view the uninviting piles of garbage that appear to cover all areas of the campus. Crushed plastic containers are left overturned and spilling with noodles. Countless wrappers, forks, milk cartons, salad boxes decorate the floors. It seems as if the only guests interested in the mess are the ever-present seagulls.
In the morning, however, it seems as if the litter never once touched the floors. The grounds are pristine and the bushes are free of ketchup packets and pieces of plastic. The often unsung heroes who pride themselves and the school with their service are the buildings and grounds keepers, colloquially known as the custodians. And they do more than just do away with pieces of litter.
“This campus is maintained very well. The buildings and grounds keepers are on it right away. You want a clean learning environment. When their job is done right, they don’t get a lot of public praise, but they’re critical to what we do here,” Chief Business Officer Erin Lillibridge said.
As students, we can find it tedious to address our trash, in the midst of other activities we engage in like rushing to our next class. We are often accustomed or oblivious to the changes made on campus for students’ betterment.
According to Cleaning and Maintenance Management (CMM) contributor Nicole Bowman, though there are negative stereotypes that surround custodians, these individuals are vital in protecting building occupants’ health in that they prevent the spread of sickness and infection and even control indoor air quality.
Through these groundskeepers’ investment in the upkeep of our campus and their diligence in maintaining school grounds, they display their strengths as some of the most hardworking people behind the scenes at GHC.
Every day, buildings and groundskeepers work on campus from 6:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.; then, two more come in at 2:00 p.m. and stay until 10:30 p.m. Two groundskeepers pick up in the Quad for an hour after lunch. At 3:00 p.m., other groundskeepers come onto campus to fulfill other duties, which include setting up for and cleaning up after events like graduation ceremonies, Advanced Placement Exams, Club Rush, and more. The grounds specialists and plant and assistant manager oversees such activities.
Groundskeeper Tim Maston, who has worked at GHC for over eighteen years, comes onto campus at 2:00 p.m. and helps clean up on various parts of campus.
“It’s satisfying to know that I’m making it easier for faculty and students to go about their everyday activities. We set up for testing, shows, and anything else we need to do for students. I like working with people and kids, and I like to help them,” Maston said.