USD 475 cleaning service provider implements new cleaning techniques, helps employ those in need

GEARY CO., Kan. — As Geary County Schools USD 475 students return to their classrooms for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the district’s cleaning service provider, ABM, is taking extra steps to ensure they are providing the safest learning environment for the staff and students.

This includes implementing multiple different techniques and materials, including making the switch from cotton towels and mop pads to microfiber.

“[Microfiber] is created from recycled bottles, so it’s very, very microscopic plastic instead of cotton, which absorbs. So, after a while the rags are dirty and the mops are dirty,” said Kurt Hauschild, regional director of operations for ABM and acting account manager for Geary County Schools USD 475. “Microfiber doesn’t absorb, it just traps. You can put microfiber pads in a bucket with chemicals and then you can change out a pad every room versus having to go back every three rooms and empty your bucket and refill it.”

Additionally, ABM will be incorporating a touchless Kaivac restroom cleaning machine for every school, as well as an Unger window cleaner that can reach the windows at each school.

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the area, ABM has continued the intense cleaning techniques put in place last school year, including using almost exclusively disinfectant to combat and clean the high-touch areas around the schools and facilities.

“Our staff is doing everything we’ve been taught to do to keep everybody as safe as we can,” Hauschild said. “We enjoy being here, and we enjoy the partnership we have with USD 475. We were very pleased with the success last year, looking forward to seeing that again this year.”

Last school year, ABM partnered with Sterling Job Services to provide career opportunities for their clients with special needs or who are having difficulty finding a job.

“We considered it a success to the point where this year we’re going to try to incorporate more of their people,” Hauschild said. “They do the job really well, and it provides them with a place to go and a community. The schools have kind of taken that in and incorporated it, and it just creates an even better environment in the schools. It gives those folks an opportunity to have a job they may not be able to have.”

Hauschild is continuing the partnership with Sterling for this school year and hopes to expand and work with other local companies to further this opportunity to other community members.

“Last year we were very successful,” Hauschild said. “The district, ABM, the partnership with all of the folks, made last year a successful year, so I’m very excited to do that again this year.”

For media inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Geary County Schools USD 475 media and marketing specialist, at lindleylund@usd475.org.