District 65 Personnel, Building and Grounds and Finance Committee hears facilities updates


Daily file photo by Patrick Svitek

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Education Center at 1500 McDaniel Ave. District 65’s Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee heard COVID-19 mitigation updates on Monday.

Olivia Alexander, Assistant City Editor

Evanston/Skokie School District 65’s Personnel, Building and Grounds and Finance Committee met Monday to hear facilities updates about COVID-19 mitigation measures. 

Tierre Brunson, District 65 director of buildings and grounds, said the district placed an order for 20,000 adult and 20,000 childrens KN95 masks . 

Brunson said the shipment arrived on Jan. 14. His team formed a distribution plan servicing all district schools. The district’s goal is for all students, adults and staff to have access to KN95s, according to his presentation slides at the meeting. 

“We’re really diligent about staying current with the research to make sure that we’re providing all the mitigations, all the support and everything that is needed to make sure that we are safe,” Brunson said. 

Brunson said the district will continue to ensure deep cleaning continues in all facilities. 

As students returned to school this semester, Brunson said District 65 increased its daily cleaning protocols in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Each building also has two newly-purchased electrostatic sanitizing machines, which will be used to clean bathrooms, carpets and other surfaces. Special attention will be given to high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and classroom desks and chairs.

“We’re in the midst of a pandemic,” Brunson said. “Our top priority is to make sure facilities are safe, facilities are disinfected (and) they’re clean and they’re prepared.” 

In December, the district renovated bathrooms at the Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Education Center and repaired windows at Orrington Elementary School, Brunson said. District 65’s maintenance plans include routine checks on building equipment and preparation for cold winter days. 

Brunson said District 65 completed building safety walkthrough inspections at all schools in December. The district then completed a safety audit and found a need for updated evacuation maps. 

For the sake of accountability, Brunson said each building’s lead custodian will ensure custodial staff follow the updated cleaning checklists. 

District 65 Board Member and Committee Chair Joseph Hailpern said everyone — no matter their staff position — has a responsibility to ensure a safe environment at school. 

“Right now, we need leadership from everybody to take care of business,” Hailpern said. “Especially when it comes to cleaning the buildings, that accountability and that intrinsic motivation to get the job done is really important.” 

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Twitter: @oliviagalex

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