School administrators are caught in a squeeze when it comes to the appearance and safety of their school buildings. The demand for clean, healthy school buildings has never been greater. The public is growing more sensitive by the day about the threat of germs, including hepatitis C, HIV, toxic mold and E. coli, at school. School buildings are being used more frequently for extracurricular purposes such as aerobics classes, senior gatherings and club meetings.
Yet, building maintenance and cleaning budgets have been slashed significantly over the last 10 to 15 years. Schools are facing significantly greater cleaning challenges with substantially fewer resources.
What was once a concern only of building and grounds managers now has been elevated to a concern of administrators. The public's perception of how well a school system is run is tied to the appearance of its schools. Unclean schools create a negative impression on parents, teachers, staff and visitors, and may inhibit student learning.
This situation has trapped many school systems in a vicious cycle. They begin the school year in great shape, but deteriorate rapidly after the very first week. The rest of the year is spent playing an expensive game of catch-up. Once behind, a school may find it impossible to recover until summer break. Meanwhile, teachers, students and visitors complain about dirty restrooms, smelly locker rooms, and unclean classrooms, kitchens and cafeterias.
The good news is that over the last several years commercial cleaning products and methods have been developed that can help schools break free of this cycle. These innovations are being adopted by school districts to clean their buildings more effectively and keep them consistently clean throughout the year — without breaking their existing cleaning and maintenance budgets.