WILMINGTON — In a briefing for the Board of Selectmen on June 24, Public Buildings Superintendent George Hooper explained that summer is not a time of vacation for his department.
“As school comes to a close for the summer, that’s when we really ramp up and a lot of our things get going,” said Hooper.
Hooper explained that the process begins with graduations and band concerts, for which the Public Buildings Department helps set up. Following that, the department begins its summer process for caring for the school buildings. Hooper explained that this process involves removing and washing the furniture in a classroom, washing the walls, and then stripping and waxing the floor. Once the floor is complete, furniture is replaced and the department moves on to the next room.
In addition to general school building cleaning and refurbishment, public buildings staff will coordinate updates for cleaning ventilators, air systems, and lighting fixtures. The heating system, which is out of season, will also be serviced (air conditioning will be serviced in the colder months, when it is not in use). The West Intermediate LED lighting retrofit will also take place this summer.
The department also has a long list of responsibilities outside of the school buildings. Staff are responsible for the bathhouse at Silver Lake, buildings-related issues for the Fourth of July festivities, and the structures at Yentile Park, including the concession stand. The department will also coordinate with the Sheriff’s department for inmate painting assistance at the food pantry, Harnden Tavern, and little West Schoolhouse.
Hooper explained that the summer schedule has a 10-week window for completion, “so it keeps us relatively busy.”
“It’s an unbelievable amount of work that you guys do in a 10- or 12- week period,” said Selectman Kevin Caira.
Caira also asked if there were any scheduled projects or maintenance taking place at the Senior Center. Hooper responded that public buildings had recently coordinated light fixture replacement and the installation of a new refrigerator-freezer, and that his department would be working with Terry Marciello on other kitchen upgrades.