Behind the scenes with Heights High's head custodian

Heights High tradesman Greg Jakab repairs a classroom heating unit.

A conversation with Dennis Dadich, head custodian, Cleveland Heights High School:

What we do: There are two teams in our department—maintenance and cleaning. The maintenance staff includes three custodians, two laborers and one utility tradesman, who work in two shifts, maintaining and repairing equipment in the building. We operate and maintain the heating system with five boilers. We maintain and repair just about everything in the building: doors, windows, floors, walls, plumbing, furniture, electrical and the swimming pool. In the winter, snow removal is a big part of our job.

The cleaning crew includes 14 staff members who work in two shifts to keep our building safe and looking good. During lunch periods, two cleaners help students keep the cafeteria and social room looking good and, when not in the lunchroom, they clean the hallways and any section of the building that needs attention. The evening shift cleans every classroom, office and hallway.

A few numbers: The department is responsible for maintaining and cleaning 249 rooms in more than 400,000 square feet of floor space. We also maintain many heating and cooling rooftop units and exhaust fans.

Strength of the team: Our six-member maintenance crew can fix almost anything. Together we have quite a bank of skills. When we get in a real jam, we call the tradesmen crew—they have even more specialized skills. Our cleaning crew is so important to student achievement. Considering that we have a very old building, they do a great job of making it look good.

Thoughts on a new building: I can’t wait to be in a new building! This building is old; we never know what will break. So much of our time is spent on emergency fixes. It will be nice to just focus on maintenance and not the emergency situations when something big breaks.

Joy Henderson

Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison for Heights High.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:26 AM, 03.31.2015