Oct 27, 2012

Pride shows on school campuses

Students, teachers, parents and community volunteers pitched in to tidy up 28 campuses across Orange County during the district’s Fall Spruce-Up. Most schools took Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 to mulch, weed, prune overgrown bushes and clean pavements.
“This effort demonstrates the pride our students have in their schools,” said OCPS Superintendent Barbara Jenkins. “It also demonstrates how teachers, students, and their parents value the facilities paid for by Orange County taxpayers.”
The schools participating in this year’s Fall Spruce-Up include Apopka ES, Apopka Memorial MS, Apopka HS, Edgewater ES, Lockhart MS, Maxey ES, Olympia HS, Piedmont Lakes MS, Walker MS, Wekiva HS and Windermere ES. Due to scheduling conflicts, another 17 schools either have already completed their campus spruce-ups or will do it in November. These include Citrus ES, Clay Springs ES, Dommerich ES, Fern Creek ES, Frangus ES, Gotha MS, Hidden Oaks ES, Jones HS, Lakeville ES, Lake Whitney ES, Meadow Woods ES, Moss Park ES, Pershing ES, Rolling Hills ES, Sunrise ES, Wheatley ES, and Zellwood ES.
“Shrinking budgets have stretched our abilities to maintain school grounds,” explained School Board Chairman Bill Sublette. “Our minimal crews are kept busy with the bare essentials of keeping lawns mowed, trees trimmed and buildings structurally safe. These volunteers appreciate their schools and know a little elbow grease can make the difference in how their neighborhood campus looks.”
Congratulations, Apopka Elementary for winning the spruce-up award in the North Learning Community.
Each year, OCPS Facilities workers maintain 184 campuses. This includes:
·          Mowing an equivalent of 4,000 acres of grass
·          Keeping 450 miles of irrigation pipe running
·          Pruning and arborist work on 38,700 trees
·          Trimming and pruning hundreds of thousands of shrubs
·          Placing 5500 cubic yards of mulch
·          Inspecting, testing and repairing fire hydrants and backflow preventers
·          Maintaining retention ponds and storm-water systems
·          Working with the athletic department to maintain sports fields
While this was the first district-wide Fall Spruce-Up, this coming May will see the school district’s first district-wide Spring Clean when other schools around the county will undertake a similar volunteer effort.