Cambrian: Opinion

Summer vacation? Not for the Coast Unified facilities crew

A decorative fence in the garden area at Coast Union High school, where facilities crews will be busy this summer with projects ranging from a library access ramp to a new coat of paint for the stadium restrooms and ticket booth.
A decorative fence in the garden area at Coast Union High school, where facilities crews will be busy this summer with projects ranging from a library access ramp to a new coat of paint for the stadium restrooms and ticket booth. Special to The Cambrian

When most of us think about the academic calendar, long summer holidays come to mind. That is, unless you’re Lee Wight. Wight is the director of facilities for Coast Unified High School. 

“I’m planning to take a few days off in November,” he said when asked about his vacation schedule.

Santa Lucia Middle School will see the largest upgrade over the summer. The efforts will include a sand volleyball court, and artificial turf installations around the flagpole and in an open courtyard behind the classrooms. Since the campus has severely cut back irrigation, the new turf areas will provide attractive places for students to gather, while also saving water. 

But the Santa Lucia project is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Every year Wight’s staff of 13 lightly sands and refinishes the gymnasium floors at the middle and high schools. They remove the furniture from each classroom and strip and rewax floors, steam clean carpets and completely clean every nook and cranny. They will sand and repaint the lockers at Santa Lucia. And they will replace all the filters in the heating and air conditioning systems. 

They plan to tackle projects that will save energy. This includes replacing old heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment with newer, more energy efficient models. (State funding for new equipment was made available through Proposition 39.) They will also replace light fixtures with LED versions that use far less power.

At Cambria Grammar School, the crew will install large-screen televisions to help teachers enrich lesson plans with more technical content.

At the district office, Wight’s team will make room to extend Head Start to 2-year-olds. First, this will involve moving high school drama department supplies to the CUHS campus from a storage room behind the district office. Next, the crew will shift records storage into the vacated area and upgrade the former records storage space. Then one room rented to the community will move to this new space, and the vacated classroom will go to Head Start. 

There are also plans for pickleball courts.

At the high school, the facilities crew members plan to paint the ticket booth and bathrooms at the stadium. Inside the gym they will install remote-controlled winches to raise and lower basketball baskets, saving climbs up tall ladders. They also will maintain the 

gardens that students planted this spring. But the largest project will be installing an access ramp in front of the library to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

At the middle school, each classroom will get new white boards, and the roof panels over the lunch shelter area will be replaced.

Throughout the district, all the facilities are used, either by the district or community organizations such as the Allied Arts Association. This makes summer scheduling imperative: There’s no slack in the system. So while the students and teachers are enjoying a break, the facilities staff will be hard at work making sure everything’s ready for their return in August. Ah, yes — the lazy days of summer.

  Comments