New staff and buildings make cleanliness an issue
SAIT staff are still learning to contend with keeping their massive new home completely tidy. With a total square footage of 2,767,000, operations manager of the SAIT facilities management department Audrey Beadling said it is understandable that the new staff is still learning the “ins and outs” of the monstrous property.
“We are still having some transition difficulties,” she said.
Last year SAIT held a competitive bid for its janitorial services. Sodexo had been the enlisted outfit for the past 17 years, but as a result of the bidding process and regulations for the school to open up services to other companies, BEST Manager Service Pros took over July 1.
Todd Gregory, Alberta Operations of BEST Manager Service Pros said the family-owned company’s goal is continuous improvement and that they are still learning all of the areas of the SAIT buildings.
“We have about three million square feet to learn and there is no dry run or practice. But we have had a great partnership with facilities learning and finding out the different user requirements.”
The new staff has still been learning the best methods to keep areas free of debris, but their efforts so far have generated complaints from students and staff over the past month. Issues include the number of garbage cans and the cleanliness of the washroom facilities.
“I don’t like walking in and seeing dirty stuff floating all over,” said fourth-year plumbing apprentice Mike Winter. “[The washroom’s are] out of paper, and there is just stuff all over the floor.”
Fellow fourth-year plumbing apprentice Mark Weavers said his classroom just had garbage bins placed inside, nearly six weeks into the year. Although he finds campus to be tidy when he arrives each morning, he can’t say the same when he packs up to head home.
“Obviously it’s going to be clean at 8 in the morning, but what is it going to look like at 3:30?” asked Weavers who said overflowing garbage cans near the Stan Grad building are a common sight for him.
Beadling said it isn’t just the new staff becoming completely aware of the buildings, but also a case of bad luck in many situations.
“In the new buildings we have some complications,” she explained.
Water flow problems with the toilets, water pressure (for flushing) has been a concern, proper placement of paper-towel dispensers, and the late arrival of garbage containers have all made this a classic case of the growing pains for Beadling’s new team.
Yet despite the first month not going as planned, Beadling is as optimistic as ever about the new staff. When asked about her goal for the level of cleanliness by this same time next year, her ambition was difficult to conceal.
“My goal is that SAIT will shine. That is my personal goal. SAIT will be clean and welcoming and will actually shine.”