A school facility should offer students an environment that gives them an opportunity to learn and grow. But even with the most skilled teachers and comprehensive curriculum, a school may have difficulty meeting those ideals if the conditions of its facilities are inadequate.
School facilities have many elements that, if they are not properly cleaned and maintained, can lead to injuries and illnesses. Here are 10 areas school administrators should keep in mind as they try to make sure their buildings are a safe and healthy setting for students and teachers:
Depending on the area of a school, carpet, tile or another type of flooring might be appropriate. In all cases, schools must be vigilant that the flooring is maintained properly to assure the health and safety of students and staff.
Carpet generally is considered more comfortable than resilient flooring, provides better sound control and retains heat longer. But carpeting typically requires more effort to clean. The U.S. Department of Energy's Best Practices Manual for Building High Performance Schools says that to maintain good air quality, schools should clean regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-performance filtration bag. Spills must be cleaned up immediately and thoroughly. If carpet becomes saturated and water is not quickly removed, carpeting probably will have to be discarded.
Resilient flooring is a good choice for heavily traveled areas that need a durable surface that can be cleaned easily and that don't need the acoustic benefits of carpeting. For all kinds of flooring surfaces, walk-off mats placed at entrances and exits will absorb dirt and prevent it from getting tracked through the school.