Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Suggestions for use of the...
 Administration of school plant...
 The relationship of school plant...
 Duties of custodian and preparation...
 The planning and care of the school...
 School plant maintenance
 Mechanical systems
 Important safety precautions
 Records and reports relating to...

Group Title: Its Florida program for improvement of schools. Bulletin
Title: School plant operation and maintenance in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080771/00001
 Material Information
Title: School plant operation and maintenance in Florida a handbook. Adapted from the materials produced by the Southern states work-conference on school administrative problems, Edgar L. Morphet, director
Series Title: Its Florida program for improvement of schools. Bulletin
Physical Description: 121, 5 p. incl. diagr., forms. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- State Dept. of Education
Graham, James L
Southern states work-conference on school administrative problems
Publisher: State Dept. of Education
State dept. of education
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1940
Copyright Date: 1940
Subject: Janitors   ( lcsh )
Public schools   ( lcsh )
School buildings   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by the Florida committee on school plant operation and maintenance, James L. Graham, consultant.
General Note: Published also, without series title, under title: School plant operation and maintenance in southern states.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080771
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AHQ4740
oclc - 04880742
alephbibnum - 001629974
lccn - e 41000339

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Suggestions for use of the handbook
        Page 4
    Administration of school plant operation and maintenance services
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The relationship of school plant to operation and maintenance
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Duties of custodian and preparation of a work schedule
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    The planning and care of the school grounds
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    School plant maintenance
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Mechanical systems
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    Important safety precautions
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    Records and reports relating to operation and maintenance
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
Full Text






Florida Program
For Improvement of Schools
September, 1940

Adapted from the Materials Produced by
Edgar L. Morphet, Director

James L. Graham, Consultant

Tallahassee, Florida

3 7,7 00 7 -

F 6JaJ
?ho, /3

John Guy Fowlkes, Professor of Education, University of
James L. Graham, Supervisor of School Plant Planning,
Florida State Department of Education.
Edgar L. Morphet, Director of Administration and Finance,
Florida State Department of Education.

C. W. Isbill, Principal, Lake Mary Elementary School, Lake Mary.
C. M. Phillips, Principal, Disston Junior High School, St. Petersburg.
E. G. Raborn, Principal, Summerfield.
Philip S. Shaw, Assistant Principal, St. Cloud.
H. L. Swick, Principal, Dade City.

D. G. Barnett, Superintendent, De Soto County, Arcadia.
Sam Brammer, Superintendent, Osceola County, Kissimmee.
George W. Marks, Superintendent, Volusia County, DeLand.
J. R. Holbrook, Board Members, Orange County, Orlando.
H. B. Craven, Trustee, Polk County, Lakeland.
Merritt Brown, Principal, St. Andrews Elementary School, Panama City.
Sidney H. Ellison, Supervising Principal, Miami Beach.
W. B. Feagle, Principal, Tarpon Springs.
W. B. Treloar, Principal, Mainland Schools, Daytona Beach.

Alabama: R. L. Johns, Director of Administration and Finance, State
Department of Education, Montgomery.
Arkansas: J. L. Taylor, Director of School Plant Division, Department
of Education, Little Rock.
Florida: See Florida Handbook Committee listed above.
Georgia: J. M. Prance, Supervisor of School House Construction,
Department of Education, Atlanta.
Kentucky: John W. Brooker, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, Frankfort.
Louisiana: Horace R. Brown, State Department of Education,
Baton Rouge.
South Carolina: S. P. Clemons, Director, Division of School House
Planning, State Department of Education, Columbia.
Tennessee: R. Lee Thomas, Elementary School Supervisor, State
Department of Education, Nashville.
West Virginia: H. K. Baer, Supervisor of Elementary Schools, State
Department of Education, Charleston.

Sponsored by
The Research Committee
of the
Florida Education Association

Tallahassee, Florida
September 16, 1940
Many of the basic materials incorporated in this Handbook
were prepared by the School Plant Committee of the Southern
States Work-Conference on School Administrative Problems
at Daytona Beach, Florida, during the first two weeks in
June, 1940. The Florida School Plant Committee which
worked as a part of the Southern States Committee devoted
the ensuing four weeks at the University of Florida at Gaines-
ville, under the direction of J. L. Graham, State Supervisor of
School Plant Panning, to the expansion and adaptation of
these materials for the use of board members, superintend-
ents, principals, and custodians of the schools of Florida. On
two occasions an advisory committee, consisting of county
board members, county superintendents, principals, and trus-
tees, spent a day with the working committee in helping to
shape up the materials and make them more practical. Mr.
James A. Stripling, State Architect, has read and offered con-
structive suggestions on several chapters of this Handbook.
The resulting handbook, therefore, represents the combined
experience and thought of a wide selection of persons who are
in intimate contact with many phases of school plant opera-
tion and maintenance, not only in Florida, but also through-
out the Nation. While this Handbook is intended to be adapt-
ed particularly to the needs of the schools in Florida, most of
the materials are readily applicable to schools in other South-
ern States.
Procedures and practices in operating and maintaining
school plants are being constantly revised and improved.
Those who use this Handbook should evaluate and improve
their own practice in light of these materials and should con-
tinuously evaluate these materials in light of any new evi-
dence which becomes available. Persons who use the Hand-
book are urged to send to the State Department of Education
suggestions on any procedures proposed herein which are
found to be impractical as well as comments and suggestions
for improved procedures based on their own experiences and
observations in the field of school plant planning and opera-

AND MAINTENANCE SERVICES ...................... ........... 7
Need for Adequate Services ........-.............................. --..... 7
Relation of School Administration to the Service ............ 9
The School Custodian .......--..--.........---.. ----............ ..-- 11
Employment of the Custodial Staff .............................-... 14
Personnel Policies Relating to Custodians ..--.......-.............. 15
Training of Custodial Workers .....----....-------..-......-..---....---- 17
Teacher and Pupil Responsibility for School Housekeeping 19
Organization of Maintenance Services ........---................--....... 21

TION AND MAINTENANCE ..........................---...-......... 24
Proper Planning Lowers Maintenance Costs -.......-........... ---24
Advantages from Standardization --.---......--..-.........----- ... 24
Acoustics .............-- ..... ....... .. .. ... .............----- ... 26
Plans and Specifications ....----......-- ------.............. -.. 27

WORK SCHEDULE ..--.......-..........--........................- 28
Importance of Good Housekeeping ........----....................--...... 28
Steps in Preparation of a Work Schedule .....---..............----....... 28
Work Schedules ...--....-.. ......---....--- ---------..... ....-----.... 31
Care of the Flag ..-............-....------------ -- ................. 34

Importance of Proper Selection and Care .......-...................... 35
Grass Areas ................. .....-- ..----. ---------..--.-- 36
Shrub Areas ..--.... --.............. ------..............- ....... 37
Boundary Lines and Corners ...--.................--...........--..... 39
Service Roads, Walkways, and Driveways ........................... 39
Treatment of Special Buildings-Incinerators ...................... 39
Plant Nursery and Garden .......................-.. -- .................- 40
List of Trees and Shrubs .------..............--...................----. 40
Play Areas ....-- .. .......................... ................ 45
Athletic Areas .........--- --............ ---.............................. 48

V. HOUSEKEEPING .....................-.......................-................ 49
Importance of Good Housekeeping ---....--........................--..... 49
Sweeping .-......................-------............---.. 49
Dusting ............---------------................ ..... ............. 51
Damp Mopping ----.... --....... .........-....--.........---- ..........52
Scrubbing ............. .. ... .... .......------ ............... ... 52
Cleaning .......- .........--- --- -.......-..... .......... ...........-... 53
Tools and Equipment ......-------...... ..---...... --....- -............. 58
Preparation of Custodial Supplies ....----............----........-.... 62

VI. SCHOOL PLANT MAINTENANCE .........-....................---...... 68
The Maintenance Program .---........--....----......-----...... 68
Floors ......--......--------... ........-------------......... 69
Stair Treads ......... -- ..... ........-- ---......-----..... 71
Roofs --------..... --.................... --...........-- 72
Exterior W alls ..................... ...-...........-- ........... ........ 73
Interior W lls ........................ ................ ....... .............. 73

Furniture .........-..........-....--.----. .........-------- -- 74
Hardware -................-- ..-----------------..-----. 75
Blackboards ....--......-..--- ---------------........----- 75
W windows .................. -------. --- ....------------ 77
Painting ..................... ------------------ --------- 77

VII. MECHANICAL SYSTEMS ......--....---------.......... .---.........--...-. 81
Heating Systems ...............--------.... .. ...---.--------.-------- 81
Recognizing Needs of a Heating System .....................----....... 81
General Methods Used in Heating ........................................ 81
Operation of the Independent-Individual Room System 83
Operation of Central Heating System .....---..------......................... 84
Coal as Fuel .-..--......-..-- .. --..-.....-..-. -- -------- 89
Oil as Fuel .....................---...-----------------......-- -...-.---..--.. 93
Rules and Regulations Governing the Operation of
H eating Plants ............................................ ........... ....... 93
Ventilation ...................-------------------------.............. 95
Plum bing .......................................... ............... ... 96
Rough Plumbing ....................------- ................. 96
Septic Tank ..-.------.....---..........---------- 97
Finished Plumbing Equipment .............................................. 97
Operation of the Plumbing System ...................................... 99
Good Plumbing Conditions .............--- ......-.. ....-----..... 100
Electrical Facilities ..................................... .............. ......... 101
W hiring .......................... ............. ..... ..... ................... 101
Lighting ........-.......----..--......-------- ........ ....... 103
Care of Equipment .-.. ------ --------.......................... 105
Suggestions for a Satisfactory Electrical System .............. 107

VIII. IMPORTANT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS .................................... 108
Safety Precautions Are Essential ........................................... 108
Suggested Safety Regulations ........................ ...................... 108

AND M AINTENANCE ........................................................... 117
Custodial Records and Reports ........................................... 117
Teacher Records and Reports ............................................. 118
School Office Records and Reports ....................................... 118
Maintenance Service and Records ....................................... 119
Central Warehouse Records ........................ ................. 119
Sam ple Record Form s .. .................................................... 120
County Office Records ................................... .. ................. 120

The broad term School Plant Operation and Maintenance
describes a field which touches the work of everyone in the
school system. This handbook covering the field should be
especially useful to county board members, county superin-
tendents, school maintenance men, custodians, principals, and
teachers. It contains much information which will be bene-
ficial only to the extent that it is understood and put into
practical application. In other words, the handbook will be
useful only to the extent that it is studied and actually used.
County Superintendents. This book should be serviceable
to county superintendents in making recommendations for the
adoption of policies by county boards, in the organization of
maintenance services and in the selection and recommenda-
tion for appointment of personnel for operation and main-
tenance of school plants. It will prove helpful to them also in
determining budget requirements, preparation of contracts
for and purchasing of equipment and custodial supplies and in
the evaluation of operation and maintenance services.
Principals. The handbook may be used to good advantage
by principals in the preparation of custodial work schedules
and in delegating responsibilities. It should indirectly enable
principals to improve the entire instructional program of the
school. The improved physical condition of the school plant
made possible by reference to and use of the suggestions in
the handbook should result in corresponding improvement in
the comfort, efficiency, safety, and attitudes of the pupils and
staff. It will help principals to recognize deficiencies more
readily and suggest methods of correcting them.
Custodians. The handbook will serve as a guide to good
practices and methods which will enable custodians to select
the most effective procedure for each job and enable them to
save time and materials. It will also aid them to judge the
quality of their own work. They should gain from the study
of the handbook a realization of the importance of their work
and a higher regard for the position which they hold. Stand-
ards of cleanliness, sanitation, and safety will take on a new
importance to them.



A well organized and properly functioning service for the
operation and maintenance of the school plant is an essential
factor in efficient school administration.
Protection of Investment. The school plant represents an
investment that should be protected. It is poor business to
fail to protect this investment by neglecting to provide an
adequate program for major and minor repairs, or by employ-
ing incompetent and physically unfit men and women to
care for it.
Prevention of Misuse. The school plant should be safe-
guarded against vandalism, misuse, and undue depreciation.
An adequate and well organized maintenance service will
facilitate the detection and reporting of such abuses either
through the building staff or by periodic summer-time inspec-
tion. Buildings should be kept locked when not in use and
strict supervision exercised over all keys.
Cleanliness and Attractiveness. Custodial service is essen-
tial in every school regardless of size. Cleanliness, tidiness,
and sanitation in and around the school plant create an en-
vironment conducive to the wholesome and healthful growth
and development of children. A clean and attractive school
plant not only contributes to the health, happiness, and char-
acter development of children, but also helps create a favor-
able attitude toward the school in the community and
engenders respect for school property.
Heating and Ventilation. School buildings must be prop-
erly heated and ventilated in order that satisfactory health
conditions may be established. These factors are vital to an
environment in which satisfactory living and learning can
take place.


Sanitation and Safety. Schools should set high stand-
ards of sanitation and safety:

1. In order to overcome, insofar as possible, the
dangers inherent in assembling large groups of
2. Because they are the logical centers for the dis-
semination of much health information to the
3. Because actual performance by pupils is the most
effective method of teaching good health habits
and practices such as:
a. Washing hands.
b. Proper use of toilet fixtures, laboratories, and
drinking fountains.
c. Sanitary housekeeping practices.
d. Proper light and posture for reading and study.
Some Essential Steps. In order to provide a well or-
ganized and functioning service, those charged with the
responsibility for the operation and the maintenance of the
school plants of any system should:
1. Determine probable needs for repairs, replace-
ments, and improvements by an annual survey of
each school plant, preliminary to the preparation
of the budget.
2. Cause to be set up in the budget funds for opera-
tion and maintenance based upon the needs as
revealed in the survey.
3. Employ competent maintenance crews to take care
of major repairs and minor repairs which cannot
be made by the staff of each building.
4. Allocate the labor and materials in the light of
existing and future needs to prevent many costly
emergency repairs.
5. Set up a definite understanding of what consti-
tutes "minor repairs," give the principal of the
school authority to have them done by members
of the custodial staff, teachers, or pupils, and sup-
ply the materials in advance of need or as prompt-
ly as is practical.
6. Insofar as practical use all standardized materials
in construction. The same standards should apply
to materials used in repairs.


Prompt attention to repairs makes possible minimum
maintenance costs and optimum use of the school plant. An
alert custodian can detect needs and make necessary minor
repairs if given the authority and materials with which to
Care of School Plant a Multiple Responsibility. The school
plant is provided for the benefit of the children of the com-
munity. It is the joint property of the pupils, teachers, cus-
todians, principal, county school officials and citizens. Simi-
larly, its care is a multiple responsibility. Efficient school
operation is a cooperative enterprise combining the efforts
of administrators, teachers, pupils, patrons, and custodians.
It is a continuous process which can never become fixed.
Lines of Authority. The county superintendent is the
executive officer of the county board. As such, all employees
in the school system should be responsible to him. In the
case of the school custodian the line of authority should begin
with the county superintendent and extend through desig-
nated administrative heads to the principal. It is essential
that the custodian work under the immediate direction of
the principal. It is recommended that sound administrative
jurisdiction be shown by an appropriate administrative flow
chart as indicated below:

Board of,
Public Instruction

Superintendent of
Building & Grounds


The school plant planning section of the State Department
of Education is prepared to assist and advise in matters of
school plant operation and maintenance when requested.
Plans for buildings or alterations costing five hundred dollars
or more are required to be submitted to the State Superin-
tendent for approval.
The Principal's Relation to Building Employees. The
principal, as responsible head of the building, has immediate
charge of all employees in the building. Should any order
interfere with the safety of the plant or be in conflict with
the other orders prescribed for the safe operation of heating
plants, the custodian should report such conflict immediately
to the principal. If agreement is not reached, the principal
should report the matter to the person in charge of the main-
tenance and operation of buildings.
The principal should see that the custodian has every op-
portunity to perform his work efficiently and to improve
himself as a custodian. If there are deficiencies in service,
the principal should see that they are called to the attention
of the custodian and are remedied.
Cooperative Planning. The principal should enlist the
cooperation of the teachers and custodians in determining
policies of school plant operation. The policies thus deter-
mined should be administered by the principal and he should
also assign responsibilities and duties accordingly. (See
Chapter III).
Related Departments and Organizations. Governmental
departments and, other organizations having services or in-
formation that contribute to the care, safety, and usefulness
of the school plant should be utilized. Such organizations
include local police and fire departments, state and local
health, safety, agriculture and conservation departments, the
American Red Cross, automobile clubs and the State Depart-
ment of Education.
Board May Help Secure Cooperation. In order that a spirit
of cooperation and a willingness to share the responsibility
for keeping the school plant in good condition be built up in
the school and community, it is absolutely essential that the
county board take a firm stand toward reporting theft and
vandalism. The irresponsible few who are guilty of these


offenses, if allowed to go unchecked, block attempts to estab-
lish proper attitudes toward property. They should be appre-
hended and compelled to make complete restitution.

The operation and maintenance of the school plant is the
joint responsibility of administrators, teachers, pupils, and
all others who use it. It is necessary, however, to designate
some agent to perform custodial services, just as it is essen-
tial to provide an instructional staff, in order to achieve a
functional school program that will meet the needs of the
Qualifications of the Custodian
The school custodian or janitor as he is often called comes
in close contact with teachers, pupils, and the public. He also
has many important responsibilities and duties. The physi-
cal condition of the school plant and the well being of every
individual who uses it are affected by the manner in which
the custodian measures up to his responsibilities and by his
efficiency in the performance of his duties. It is important,
therefore, in the selection of the school custodian that atten-
tion be given to his personal qualifications, training, experi-
ence, and general fitness for the position.
Determining Custodial Staff Needs
A detailed survey should be made of the school plant and
its operating equipment in order to determine the custodial
staff needs. This procedure eliminates guess work and
chance. It encourages efficient, economical, and planned
operation. The survey should include the following:
1. Size of plant.
2. Heating.
3. Plumbing.
4. Electrical wiring and equipment.
5. Floors-type and finish.
6. Lighting-natural and artificial.
7. Special rooms such as shops, lunch rooms, etc.
8. Types of furniture.
9. Grounds, landscaping, lawns, playgrounds, etc.
10. Transportation. (In some situations better opera-
tion and maintenance may be achieved by includ-
ing transportation men under operation and main-


tenance departments and by using some bus driv-
ers during off hours for carpentry, landscaping,
painting, and other such work.)
11. Types of equipment available for use by the cus-
todial staff.
12. Tools, equipment, and supplies necessary for per-
forming efficient custodial work. (It is impossible
for a capable custodial staff to maintain a high
grade of service with a low grade of material, poor
tools and poor equipment. It is estimated that 90
per cent of the cost of cleaning is for labor and 10
per cent is for equipment and supplies. Therefore,
with proper tools, equipment, and supplies, a maxi-
mum amount of custodial service can be had at
minimum cost.)
13. Work shop and storage room facilities should be
provided. These should be well equipped, conven-
iently arranged, and centrally located.

Criteria for Selection

The qualifications listed below are suggested as criteria to
guide principals, superintendents, county boards, and trustees
in the selection and appointment of school custodians:
1. He shall be able-bodied and of good character.
2. He shall be able to read, write, and speak English.
3. He shall be clean and neat in appearance.
4. He shall not be addicted to the use of habit-
forming drugs or intoxicating liquors.
5. He shall be qualified to perform in a proficient
manner the duties of the position he may be
employed to fill.
6. Applicants without previous experience should be
over 21 and under 45 years of age.
7. He shall be a citizen of the United States. He
need not be a resident of the community.
8. He shall be in position to devote his entire time
within the hours of employment to the discharge
of the duties assigned to him.
9. He shall be required to pass a physical examina-
tion by a physician designated by the administer-
ing body and be examined at least annually
10. He shall possess the qualifications of a general
handy man.


11. Although his authority shall come through proper
channels, he should have a cooperative attitude
toward teachers, pupils, and patrons.
12. He shall be willing to learn and improve himself
in service.
13. He shall demonstrate in his home environment his
fitness for the position.
Custodian and the Public
The custodian is closely associated with a part of the
public as well as with teachers and pupils. It is important
that his relationships with the people be such that he be-
comes a valuable contact agent between the school and the
public. The custodian should promote good will and under-
standing between the school and home at all times. He should
avoid gossiping, handle criticism properly with his superiors,
and render faithful public service.
Custodial Load
Survey. Analysis of the work to be done as revealed by
the survey of the school plant and operating equipment indi-
cates the custodial assignments and load.
Criteria. There is a wide variation in the type and condi-
tion of school plants. It is impossible, therefore, to state
definitely the custodial load in terms of classrooms, floor
space, or enrollment. It is suggested that, in general, one
full-time custodian is needed for each ten to twelve class-
rooms, ten to twelve thousand square feet of floor space, or
three hundred pupils.
Part-Time. School plants not large enough to require the
services of a full-time custodian should employ a part-time
custodian. The same care should be exercised in the selec-
tion of part-time custodians and full-time custodians.
Group Assignments. Under certain conditions it may be
practical to have the same custodian serve more than one
school plant. This procedure should be followed if it brings
more efficient custodians into service.
Custodial Residence. In schools where a full-time custo-
dian is employed, living quarters should be provided on the
grounds if practicable. It may be advisable to employ a night
watchman for large school plants. He should be prTided


with a watchman's punch clock. Lights placed at strategic
points about the building provide additional protection.
The school custodian should be selected solely on the basis
of training, experience, and personal fitness. He should be
nominated by the trustees and be appointed by the county
board only upon the recommendation of the superintendent
and the approval of the principal or building supervisor under
whose immediate direction the custodian is to work. Political
or other outside influences should not become factors in the
selection and appointment of the custodian.
Custodial Work as a Career
Custodial work should be considered an important and dig-
nified vocation or career. School authorities and the public
should recognize it as such by providing adequate compen-
sation for meritorius service.
Women Needed in Custodial Service
Both men and women are needed on the custodial staff.
As a rule women are more meticulous housekeepers than men.
It is recommended that women be employed to perform clean-
ing and dusting operations. In many instances this may be
effectively achieved by employing a larger number of women
for a shorter period in the day outside of the regular school-
hour day. This plan will not only be more efficient, but more
economical. It will also help to solve the problem of varying
seasonal loads due to increased enrollments in resort centers
during the winter months.
Pupil Assistants
The assignments of pupil custodial assistants provided
through governmental agencies should be given careful con-
sideration. Regulations state that they may be assigned to
extra custodial work only. Their assignments need to be
quite specific and sufficient supervision given them to assure
that they master the proper methods and procedures at the
beginning. The use of pupil assistants can be made very
valuable. It will make available for the custodian more time
for making the minor repairs and improvements. After the
worksheet is accepted, those assigned to the custodian should


be placed in his charge and he should be designated as time-
keeper for them.

Applications for custodial positions should be made in
writing on forms prepared by the administrative officer in
charge of custodial personnel. Below is a suggested form
to be used for this purpose.
Board of Public Instruction .............................---- ................... County
Office of the County Superintendent ..................-----.--.............. Florida

(Fill out completely in your own handwriting.)
Name ---................. ------.. ..........-.--.. Sex ........ Date ...............
Last First Middle
Present address --- ----............... ... ... ............. Phone.... ....
Previous addresses .------------
(last 5 years) -.---- ---...-- --------

Place of birth -----....................................... .....--- Date of birth........... ............
American citizen ........ If naturalized, give date ........ Nationality .........
Height ...................... W eight ...................... Physical defects ......................

Do you own your home?.......................Rent? .......................
Landlord ....----.............. ............... Address ...........-----.....
Are you married? --.......-...... If so give number of children ............
Last school grade completed ..............................
Previous experience
Type of Work ............................ Employer .... ............

R eferences:................................... .... .......


The elevation of the position of custodian to its true value
and worth to the school system can best be done by estab-
lishing equitable policies in reference to salaries, tenure, and


Salaries. Salaries of custodians should be sufficient to
attract desirable and capable personnel who will look upon
this service as a career.
A salary schedule should be established and maintained.
Provisions should be made in this schedule for training and
successful experience.
Sick Leave. All regulations relative to sick leave in a
school system should include the custodial staff.
Continuity in Service. Newly appointed custodians should
be placed on a one to three year probationary period, con-
tingent upon quality of service rendered. Upon the com-
pletion of the probationary period the custodian should be
issued a continuing contract. This contract should be effec-
tive during satisfactory service.
The tenure and retirement regulations in any school sys-
tem should include the custodians.
Clubs. Clubs for custodial workers which offer opportuni-
ties for fellowship and exchange of ideas with men doing
similar work in other schools and systems are to be encour-
aged. One worth while project for such a club would be the
formation and adoption of a code of ethics by the application
of ethical practice to the special responsibilities, duties,
rights, and privileges of their position.
Discussion of actual situations which arise in some of the
following connections would produce results:
1. Method of securing employment.
2. Relations to other maintenance employees.
3. Relations to teaching staff.
4. Relations to administrative officers.
5. Relations to pupils.
6. Relations to the public.

A Code of Ethics
The custodial staff should be encouraged to formulate
and adopt a code of ethics or best practice that will govern
his procedures and relationships in his position.
Basic ethical practices which could be included in a code
of ethics for custodial workers assume that:
The Custodian will seek employment and advancement on
merit rather than through political connection.


His attitude toward his position will be such that he con-
siders personal appearance of great importance.
The custodian will be especially cautious at all times not
to make statements which may tend to lessen the morale of
the organization.
He will be certain that any statements made are based
upon fact.
He will discuss differences of opinion or questions of prop-
er procedure with his immediate superior only.
The custodian will realize that when he criticises the school
of which he is a part he criticises himself.
He will have a respectful and cooperative attitude toward
the administrative staff.
He will realize that the educational program comes first
and that his convenience at times must be sacrificed.
The custodian will be quiet and courteous in the perform-
ance of his duties.
His conduct will be such that he will have the respect of
the pupils.
He will cooperate in matters of discipline, but will not
assume authority for punishment of pupils.
The custodian will attempt to promote good will and under-
standing between the school and home at all times.
He will exercise kindness, consideration, and alertness to
be of service.
Because of the great number and variety of the duties he
is called upon to perform, the custodian is expected to possess
many of the abilities of an economist, a sanitarian, a faultless
housekeeper, a safety engineer, a moralist, and a general
handyman. So exacting are these varied duties that in order
to become proficient he must find a means of improving in
the service. It is obvious also that if the custodian knows
nothing of the good results to be obtained by the best meth-
ods and newer procedures, he has no standards for compari-
son of the results he gets in his work.
In order to meet these needs, schools for custodial workers
have been organized and conducted in many systems. In
some states, the State Department of Education, in coopera-


tion with the state university, has held a short course dur-
ing the summer for custodians. The success and standing
of custodial schools has been well enough established that a
few general principles concerning them may be stated:

1. The school for custodians should be organized to
draw from an area large enough that the attend-
ance will justify the expense. In Florida several
counties may join in the enterprise together.
2. The cost involved to the students should be small.
The expense may be shared by the school systems,
possibly as a part-time vocational class in a Trades
and Industry program.
3. Classes should not be conducted at night. This
practice encroaches upon the custodian's leisure
time and may cause him to be late for work the
next morning.
4. The course should be well planned and continuous.
5. The training should comprise a careful balance
between class work, demonstration, lecture, and
home study.
6. Practical demonstrations with the students actual-
ly performing the operations in housekeeping, etc.,
are highly valuable activities.
7. Lectures which precede or follow demonstrations
may well be illustrated with slides, diagrams, or
motion pictures.
8. Lecture periods may profitably be followed by
discussion periods in order that students might be
encouraged to ask questions.
9. Persons selected to lecture on the economic, social,
and moral aspects should have unquestioned abili-
ty to speak on these subjects.
Uniformity of training of custodial workers is a valuable
asset to the administration of the service as it permits shift-
ing of workers to the best advantage.
The Florida State Department of Education is prepared
to assist in county-wide or district meetings with custodians
and principals to help solve operation and maintenance prob-
lems and to assist in planning and organizing training courses
for custodians. An appropriate time for an organizational and
informational meeting would be before or near the opening
of the fall term of school.



The custodian cannot properly care for the building with-
out the cooperation of teachers and pupils. The teacher is
looked upon as the leader and should take advantage of every
opportunity to study the principles of school housekeeping
and the practices to be followed in the care of the building.

Teacher Relationship
In the assignment of responsibilities and duties, it should
be remembered that the classroom teacher occupies the key
position in establishing proper habits and attitudes concern-
ing good housekeeping among the children. The function
of the teacher is that of guide and counselor to children in
their growth and development. She is responsible if pupils
are wasteful with supplies, untidy in housekeeping practices,
and indifferent in the care of the school buildings and
grounds. Suggestions such as those listed below are helpful
in evaluating the efficiency of the class in housekeeping:
1. Expect no better housekeeping by the pupils than
that found around the teacher's desk.
2. Have a thermometer and know the proper temper-
ature for health and comfort. (68o-70 F.)
3. See that ventilation is provided without a draft.
4. Have and use a wastebasket.
5. See that wraps are hung in proper places.
6. Have a place for everything. Teach pupils to
keep in an orderly manner books and supplies
arranged in desks and lockers.
7. Use window shades for best control of light.
8. Erase writing on the blackboard when through
with it.
9. Leave desk and table tops free of books and papers
so that they may be dusted.
10. Teach pupils not to cut across lawns or hedges,
and not to throw paper on the grounds.
11. Don't paste stickers on blackboards or windows,
and don't drive nails into plaster.
12. Cooperate with the custodian and assist him in
teaching pupils proper care of lavatory and toilet


Pupil Relationship

Boys and girls learn by doing. It is highly desirable that
the experiences in which the children participate be real life
situations and that they have practical educational value.
One important outcome of pupil participation in school house-
keeping is the development of desirable habits, attitudes, and
appreciations toward the care and use of property-both pub-
lic and private. It is recommended, therefore, that many
housekeeping duties be shared by pupils in such a way that
they become desirable learning experiences. The custodian
should have the building and grounds clean and comfortable
when the children arrive in the morning, but the condition
at the close of the day is largely the responsibility of the

Delegation of responsibility and authority for the per-
formance of many duties in connection with the care of the
plant may best be made by the grade teacher or by the home
room teacher in the high school with the approval of the
principal. Such appointments which have proved to be
valuable are:

1. Flag Committee to raise and lower the flag each
day, become conversant with the flag code and act
in all matters pertaining to the care and use of the

2. Locker Committee to inspect lockers and remind
pupils when their lockers are not properly kept.

3. Housekeeping Committee to inspect room and
grounds outside windows, remind pupils of untidy
habits in disposal of paper, keep pencil sharpener
emptied, consult with teacher on room decoration,

4. Heat and Ventilation Committee to adjust win-
dows, breeze sash, doors, and heating elements to
secure the most satisfactory room conditions.
5. Lighting Committee to adjust shades for best
natural light and operate control of artificial light
under direction of teacher.

6. Grounds Committee to help keep the school
grounds clean and attractive.


7. Traffic Squads, Sanitation Committees, and Safety
Patrols for the school at large have proved to be
of such value that they are now considered indis-
pensable in pupil organization programs.
The resourceful principal or teacher will find many other
worth-while assignments to make when the attitude of shar-
ing the responsibility becomes prevalent in the school.


The aim of maintenance is to keep the school plant in a
satisfactory state of repair. Deferred maintenance or neg-
lect is one of the primary causes of depreciation. For this
reason every effort should be made to give timely attention
to minor repair needs to prevent them from growing into
major repair items.

The Maintenance Program
It is advisable to organize the custodians of a school sys-
tem into work crews according to their training and experi-
ence in carpentry, plumbing, painting, etc., for summer-time
maintenance of buildings. This permits the year round em-
ployment of custodians and takes care of many necessary

Where a county owns its school buses, some of the drivers
may be organized for part-time repair and maintenance work
during the school term and full-time during the summer. In
order to make such a program work efficiently, some of the
drivers must be chosen partly because of previous experience
in a necessary trade.

Most schools will have need for more repairs than can be
made by custodians or part-time crews. Such repairs may
be made by a maintenance crew composed of skilled mechanics
employed by the board in addition to the regular employees.
The board, in many cases, should let large maintenance jobs
by competitive bids to private contractors.

One study by Almack* lists the following order in which
repairs and replacements are required.

Womrath, George F. "Efficient Ad -linistration of Public Schools," P. 395,
Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Outside Painting ........................ ... ...------. 1
R oof ................. ..... ... ................. 2
Entrances ......................... ... ..-- ..-- 3
Outside Doors ......................--.......... ..------- 4
Foundations ...................-------------------... 5
Corridor Walls ..................... ....... ......... 6
W windows, Exterior ........................................- 7
Corridor Floors .....-.................------------------. 8
Siding ........................ ....... ............. 9
Stairways ....................... ...... ................. 10

The rate of depreciation of school plants varies with cli-
mate, type of materials, workmanship, and usage. The de-
termination of the rate of depreciation is in one sense a
matter of opinion, yet accountants agree that a rate should
be fixed, otherwise maintenance costs may become excessive
in some years or be neglected until emergency repairs are

The American Institute of Architects* -makes a tentative

proposal for annual depreciation rates
ings as follows:

A building constructed of fire resistive
materials throughout ....................
A building of fire resistive materials in
walls, floors, stairs and ceilings, but
with wood finish, wood or composition
floor surface and wood roof construc-
tion .--.......--......--...------------
A building of fire resistive corridors,
masonry walls, but with ordinary wood
construction otherwise .......... ...-.....
A building with masonry walls but other-
wise ordinary or joist construction with
wood finish ........................- ............
A frame building constructed with wood
above foundation with or without slate
or other semi-fireproof materials on
roof .............................. ............

on five types of build-

Estimated Annual
Life Depreciation

60 years 1 2-3%

60 years 1 2-3%

40 years 2 1-2%

30 years 3 1-3%

20 years

Reeder, Ward G., "The Business Administration of a School System," Ginn
and Company.


Some appropriate depreciation allowance should be set up
and budgeted annually. A revolving fund equal in amount to
the depreciation allowance of all existing buildings which is
kept in use for building purposes has been advocated as a wise
practice. Such a financial provision makes possible the
organization of an adequate maintenance service and meets
the objection to the creation of idle funds.
In 1937-38 Florida schools reported an average of .8 of
one per cent of the original cost of buildings spent for main-
tenance. More adequate provisions need to be made for
maintenance of school buildings. It is recommended that
from 3 to 4 per cent of the original cost of buildings be bud-
geted annually for this purpose.



School plant planning and maintenance, while closely re-
lated, are separate fields. This Handbook is designed pri-
marily for guidance in solving problems of maintenance and
operation. However, throughout its chapters are found rec-
ommendations on materials, equipment, and methods which
are important for new construction. The problem of main-
tenance begins with the judicious selection of materials and
equipment best suited to the purpose. The biggest step to-
ward reducing maintenance costs is in better planning and
construction of new school buildings.
Recommendations relating to types, materials, and meth-
ods of construction have been included intentionally in this
Handbook as a first step in reducing maintenance costs. A
careful study of these chapters should, therefore, prove help-
ful in designing and equipping new school buildings which
will have low maintenance costs.
Standardization of materials, equipment, and methods,
where it can be effected, and the careful selection of equip-
ment for utility, design and performance will become a big
factor in the reduction of maintenance costs. Some items
that should be given consideration for standardization and
service are as follows:
Glass. Economy in maintenance and repair may be effect-
ed by standardizing glass sizes in windows throughout the
building or system. This makes possible an ample stock of
repair glass at a minimum cost through quantity purchases.
It also facilitates prompt replacement and avoids waste in
cutting to size. Small size glass (10 inches by 14 inches to
14 inches by 16 inches) reduces the cost when replacement
is necessary.
Doors. Doors for classrooms, exits, closets, etc., should
be grouped, and each group standardized as to size, design,


etc. Solid doors are preferable to panel doors. As a safety
measure, avoid raised thresholds. All inside doors should
open 180 degrees toward the nearest exit. Outside doors
should be recessed or at least protected by porches or hoods.
Blackboards. Blackboards will give longer service if so
installed that panels may be reversed or interchanged, there-
by moving worn areas to less frequently used areas.
Hardware. Such hardware as locks, hinges, door checks,
etc., if standardized, will enable the salvaging of good parts
from damaged sets making possible the assembling of service-
able units from partially worn out units. Door checks save
their cost many times over by preventing damage to doors,
glass, and hardware.
Floors. The cost of maintenance and upkeep should be
considered in selecting materials for floors. Maintenance
costs and upkeep are as important factors to consider in the
purchase of floors as their first cost. Best types of materials
are discussed in Chapter VI.
Outside Walls. All outside walls should be properly furred
or waterproofed. When walls are improperly constructed or
protected, moisture seeps through and does much damage.
Termite Protection. Termite protection is of major im-
portance and failure to take the proper precautions common-
ly results in much damage and expense later. The founda-
tion timber should not come within 18 inches of the ground.
Provision should be made to keep space beneath buildings
from becoming damp. This space should be well ventilated.
All timbers used in the foundation or in other places access-
ible to termites should be treated with a good preservative.
Interior Wall and Ceiling Finishes. Interior wall finishes
may be standardized as to material and still allow for varia-
tions of color schemes in decoration. Glossy finishes are to
be avoided. Casein paints are satisfactory above wainscot-
ing. Acoustical properties of wall finishes are to be con-
sidered, especially in corridors, auditoriums, libraries, and
gymnasiums. The use of plaster for ceilings is sometimes
questionable. Plaster is unsuited to the smaller and more
economically constructed buildings of a less permanent type.
In such buildings where roofs are more likely to become a


problem, plastered ceilings may even become a safety hazard.
Ceilings of wood, fibre board, or like material are frequently
more satisfactory.
Plumbing. Standardization of plumbing systems and fix-
tures to permit quantity buying will effect economies in re-
placement. All plumbing should be so installed that it is
accessible for repair.
Outlets. Electrical outlets should be on a vertical plane.
Floor outlets should be avoided. They constitute a fire and
safety hazard. Outlets should be at least 6 inches from the
floor. Stage footlights should be installed to preclude the
possibility of short circuits caused from pins, paper clips,
or other conductors falling into the receptacles or sockets.
Fixtures should be of a type that are easily cleaned.
Heating. Standardization of heating systems, to permit
quantity buying of fittings, valves, radiators, etc., will effect
economy in stocking replacements.
Stairways. Non-abrasive materials, such as tile, cast iron,
or similar products should be used for stair treads. Where
hard woods are used metal nosings should be provided.
Roofs. Flat roofs and parapet walls have been found gen-
erally unsatisfactory in regions of extreme heat and heavy
rainfall. It is recommended that only pitched roofs with suf-
ficient overhang be used. Special attention should be given
to roofing materials and application to prevent leaky roofs.
Cheap roofing material and poor roof construction will cause
serious maintenance problems.
Acoustical disturbances in many cases have been found to
be due to poor planning and the using of improper wall and
ceiling finishes. By using some of the various types of acous-
tical fibre board, acoustical plaster or similar material on
ceilings and walls, this problem can be virtually eliminated.
A study of the sound reflecting and absorbing qualities of
various materials and finishes should be made before con-
structing auditoriums and stage sets, cafeterias, and other
rooms, corridors, and music rooms where acoustical proper-
ties are important.


A complete set of plans and specifications for each build-
ing project should be filed in the office of the principal and
a set in the office of the County Superintendent. Such rec-
ords are invaluable when repairs, alterations, or additions
to a plant are necessary. One set of plans and specifications
must be filed with the State Department of Education if the
cost of the proposed project is to exceed five hundred dollars.

The custodian should understand his relationship to the
school program just as fully as does the superintendent, the
principal, or the teacher. He should have a reasonable train-
ing for his job, constantly seek ways and means of doing his
job more efficiently, keep the administrative staff of the
school informed concerning needed major repairs, carry out
instructions promptly and effectively, exercise a wholesome
influence over pupils, and have a cooperative attitude toward
Too often school officials overlook the importance of school
housekeeping as a potent factor in the education of the child.
The child will carry through life the impressions of his sur-
roundings. In fact, the surroundings may out-teach the
teacher. Careless housekeeping habits on the part of the
custodian are likely to demoralize the development of good
housekeeping habits on the part of the children. With proper
guidance from the teacher and with proper example from the
custodian, pupils will cooperate with the custodian in keep-
ing the building clean and neat. More and more the school
plant is being used as a community center, and the house-
keeping standards of the school are, therefore, well known
by a large percentage of the community.
Each custodian should have his own work schedule for no
two school plants are exactly alike. They differ in shape,
size, equipment and conditions. However, these differences
do not mean that one custodian's schedule is of no value in
determining the schedule of the custodian of another build-
ing. Schedules already made out may be used as a check
and a guide.
Table of Duties
The first step in making a schedule is to list all the duties
to be performed by the custodian for whom the schedule is
being prepared. These duties should be placed under head-


ings that indicate the frequency of performance, as twice
daily, daily, weekly, etc. The following is a suggested list:


Unlock and lock
up building.
Start fires in
morning, when
Keep building
properly heat-
Open and close
Clean toilets,
.fountains, etc.
Sweep corridors
and stairs
twice daily.
Sweep class-
rooms and
special rooms.

Sweep lunch
Sweep boiler
Sweep walks.
Raise and lower

Empty pencil
sharpeners and
waste baskets.
Bale or burn
waste paper.
Remove trash
from grounds.
Clean chalk
Remove ashes,
when fire is
Clean erasers.



Clean b 1 ac k- Clean tile walls.
boards. Dust pictures.
Minor repairs. Polish brass and
Inspect building other metals.
for fire haz- Necessary scrub-
ards. bing.

Inspect play-
ground appar-
Drain and refill
boiler, when in
Wash doorknobs
and handrails.
Inspect and care
for all me-
chanical units.
Clean doormats.
Clean under and
behind radia-

tors, cabinets,
Check consum
able supplies.

Dust and clean
electric f i x-
tures, trophy
cases, cabinets,
etc., and wood-

When Needed

Fire boiler.
Repair furniture.
Trim shrubs.
Tighten seats.
Mow lawn.
Water lawn.
Refinish floors,
seats, and fur-
Minor repairs.
Care for floors.
Make necessary
records and
Supervise bo y s
toilet if re-
Receive and
check supplies.


Table of Time Required
The next step is to keep for each duty a record of the time
required for a number of performances. By computing an
average of the time required for the various performances,
a reasonably accurate estimate of the time to be allowed for
future performances of duties of that type may be deter-
mined. A survey of the schools of Pasadena, California, in
1935* revealed the following, which may suggest a plan:

Light fires in boiler
Raise flag and set out traffic signs
Dust classrooms
Dust miscellaneous rooms
Dust corridors
Dust auditorium and stage
Check boiler room
Blow down boilers
Open doors and gates
Sweep sidewalks
Sweep steps
Sweep classrooms
Sweep corridors (linoleum)
Sweep cafeteria
Sweep stage, band room, etc.
Clean drinking fountains (twice
Mop toilet rooms
Clean toilet fixtures
Fill containers, dispensers, empty
Clean and mop janitor's closet
Police grounds
Burn paper
Empty garbage cans
Take in flag and traffic signs
Office or principal's calls
Lock and secure building


850 sq. ft. (each)
60 linear ft.
180 sq. ft.
each visit

200 sq. ft.
40 sq. ft.
80 sq. ft.
200 sq. ft.
90 sq. ft.
80 sq. ft.

35 sq. ft.

each room
4,000 sq. ft.

each classroom

Scheduling Duties
The time of day each duty is best performed should next
be noted. Such duties as unlocking the building, firing the
boiler, opening windows, and dusting are done before school

*Cook, Samuel A. The Allocation of Man-Power to School Buildings. American
School Board Journal, August 1935.

3 to 5


opens in the morning. Cleaning toilets must be done either
early in the morning or after school closes in the afternoon.
Corridors should be swept after school opens in the morn-
ing. Cleaning boiler rooms, carrying out ashes, and other
similar duties may be performed when the custodian is not
otherwise occupied. The lunch room should be cleaned im-
mediately after it has been used. The various classrooms
may be cleaned as soon after noon as they are vacated for
the day. The kindergarten room is generally the first to be
vacated. Erasers and chalk rail should be cleaned daily.
Blackboards may be cleaned either after school or on Satur-
day. Repairs should be made during vacant periods or on
Saturday. Windows should be washed inside at least once
a month. A portion of this work can be done each week.
The amount of time required for firing, cleaning boilers,
etc., will depend largely upon the type of heating plant. The
frequency of trimming shrubs, mowing the lawns, watering
the lawns, and cleaning the walks depends upon so many
variable factors that a fixed schedule is not possible. Time
should be allowed in the schedule for such duties.
Certain other duties of the custodial staff such as refin-
ishing and treating floors, refinishing furniture, making ma-
jor repairs, etc., will come during the summer months and
will require a different schedule from that used during the
regular school year.
Having determined the duties to be performed, how often
they are to be performed, the time required for the perform-
ance, and the time of day each duty is best performed, the
schedule can then be prepared. The specimen schedules that
follow are those used in a 22 room school requiring the ser-
vice of one part-time and two full-time custodians. These
schedules are worked out from the survey mentioned earlier
in this chapter. A careful study will reveal many ideas and
facts that may be used generally.
Head Custodian
(44 hours per week)
6:30 6:45 Light boiler, lubricate machinery, light gas radiators.
6:45 7:25 Dust 10 classrooms.


TIME SCHEDULE (Head Custodian) -Continued.

7:25 7:30 Check boiler room.
7:30 7:40 Raise flag, put out crossing signs.
7:40 8:12 Dust 6 classrooms.
8:12 8:32 Dust kindergarten, offices, clinic, rest rooms.
8:32 8:37 Check boiler room.
8:37 9:00 Dust corridors, stairs, cafeteria, auditorium, stage.
9:00 9:20 Clean 7 drinking fountains.
9:20 9:30 Mop janitor's closet.
9:30 9:35 Check boiler room.
9:35 10:00 Clean 5 drinking fountains.
10:00 10:35 Buffer time period to allow for miscellaneous calls.
10:35 10:40 Check boiler room.
10:40 10:55 Arrange chairs in auditorium.
10:55 11:10 Turn on sprinklers, spot clean glass on doors, turn off
11:10 11:35 Sweep part of sidewalks, platform, exterior steps.
11:35 11:55 Dry mop kindergarten.
11:55 12:00 Check boiler room.
12:00 1:00 Lunch.
1:00 1:05 Check boiler room.
1:05 1:20 Clean 7 drinking fountains.
1:20 1:40 Clean 5 exterior fountains.
1:40 2:30 Clean toilet fixtures, boys' toilet.
2:30 2:35 Check boiler room.
2:35 3:30 Sweep 5 classrooms.
Saturday (1st and 3rd)
7:30 8:05 Clean boiler flues.
8:05 8:10 Clean boiler room.
8:10 8:15 Fill batteries.
8:15 8:20 Test fire alarm.
8:20 8:40 Prepare dust cloths.
8:40 10:20 Hose exterior glass.
10:20 10:30 Mop clinic.
10:30 10:40 Sweep dressing room.
10:40 10:55 Clean store rooms.
10:55 11:25 Dust transoms and ledges.
11:25 11:30 Secure building.
Saturday (2nd and 4th)
7:30 8:05 Wash furniture.
8:05 8:15 Clean boiler room.
8:15 8:20 Test fire alarm.
8:20 8:40 Prepare dust cloths.
8:40 10:20 Hose exterior glass.
10:20 10:30 Mop clinic.


10:30 10:40 Sweep dressing rooms.
10:40 10:55 Clean store rooms.
10:55 11:25 Dust transoms and ledges.
11:25 11:30 Secure building.
Assistant Custodian-Full-Time
(44 hours per week)
6:30 7:40 Clean toilet fixtures in girls' toilet, clean sinks.
7:40 7:50 Clean toilet walls and partitions, all toilets (complete
7:50 7:55 Take in cafeteria supplies.
7:55 8:15 Dust radiators (complete weekly).
12:00 12:35 Clean glass and light fixtures (Complete every 6 weeks).
12:35 1:10 Sweep parts of walks, platforms, steps.
1:10 1:35 Police grounds.
1:35 1:40 Empty garbage cans.
1:40 1:55 Sweep cafeteria.
1:55 2:35 Sweep corridors and stairs.
2:35 2:57 Sweep two classrooms.
2:57 3:52 Sweep five classrooms.
3:52 4:00 Take in flag and crossing signs.
4:00 4:50 Fill paper containers, soap dispensers, empty receptacles,
all toilets.
4:50 6:10 Mop all toilets daily except Friday.
6:10 6:15 Secure building.
4:50 5:10 Clean and treat linoleum floors.
5:10 6:10 Clean and distribute erasers.
7:30 7:55 Scrub cafeteria.
7:55 8:05 Scrub garbage cans.
8:05 9:35 Scrub toilets.
9:35 9:45 Vacuum rugs.
9:45 10:45 Clean blackboards.
10:45 11:15 Fill inkwells.
11:15 11:25 Dust standing woodwork.
11:25 11:30 Secure building.

Assistant Custodian-Part-Time
(10 hours per week)
3:00 4:05 Sweep 6 classrooms.
4:05 4:30 Sweep kindergarten and group rooms.
4:30 4:40 Sweep office, clinic, rest rooms.
4:40 5:00 Sweep auditorium and stage.
No Saturday Work.



One of the important duties of the custodian which requires
little time, but which carries many significant implications
is care of the National Flag. The custodian should be fa-
miliar with and should scrupulously observe commonly
accepted regulations. Some of the most important are as

Care of the National Flag
1. The flag should be displayed on a schedule of hours determined by
the principal, but never before sunrise or after sunset.
2. Hoist the flag briskly and lower it slowly.
3. Do not let the flag drag on the ground.
4. Fly a small flag during stormy weather. Save the large ones for
fair weather.
5. Never place another flag above the National Flag.
6. If flying the flag at half-mast, first hoist it to the top of the staff
and then lower it to a point about one-third of the way down the
staff from the top.
7. On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-mast until noon
and then at full mast from noon to sunset.
8. Never use the flag for decoration or as drapery. Use bunting in-
stead, with the blue at the top.
9. Any flag used on a float should be flown from a staff.
10. When flags are worn or faded, be careful to see that they are dis-
posed of properly and not placed where they may be accidently
used for any other purpose.
11. It is the duty of the custodian to see that the flag is properly dis-
played and preserved.


In every community, many people see the school grounds
who will never have an opportunity to see the inside of the
building. The only impression of the school obtained by these
people, therefore, is that obtained by glancing at the building
and at the lawn and trees surrounding the building. If these
present a pleasing appearance, the impression is likely to be
The grounds surrounding any school should be an outstand-
ing beauty spot in the community-a place in which the en-
tire community can take pride. However, school grounds
must first of all meet the needs of the children. This means
that the grounds must be ample in size; and must have care-
fully developed play areas as well as grass and shrub areas,
and other desirable features.
The administrative officials can make this possible by
selecting a site which is well adapted to the present and future
needs of the school and which provides the necessary areas
and surface needed. However, even a well selected site will
neither be attractive nor satisfactory for school usage unless
the school officials prepare a plan for the proper development
and provide custodial service necessary for its maintenance.
The suggestions given below, while by no means complete,
will serve as a guide to administrative officials and the cus-
todial staff in developing and maintaining attractive and use-
ful school grounds. School officials as well as custodians will
from time to time need special information on landscaping,
care of lawns, plants and shrubs, arrangement and surfacing
of play areas, and equipment needed. This information should
be obtained as needed from such agencies as the State Depart-
ment of Agriculture, the State Department of Education, and
the National Recreation Association.
Size. Each new site selected shall be adequate in size to
meet the needs of the school to be served. As far as prac-
ticable, any present sites which are not adequate shall be in-


creased to conform to minimum standards for new sites. Each
school site shall contain a minimum of two acres for a one-
teacher school. At least one acre shall be added to this mini-
mum size of the site for each fifty pupils enrolled in the school
after the first fifty pupils and until the enrollment reaches
five hundred pupils: Provided that this requirement may be
waived in the discretion of the State Superintendent under
regulations of the State Board when any County Board files
evidence showing that a school site of that size is impractic-
able in any given situation. (Florida School Code, Section 920.)
Location. The location should be carefully determined. Any
dangerous areas should be avoided. Such potential danger
items as high voltage wires, creeks, ponds, highways, etc.,
should be well guarded.
Sources of disturbing noises or odors such as railroads, fac-
tories, mills, and warehouses of certain types should not be
near the school. The school should be accessible to the popu-
lation which it is to serve. A well drained area is necessary
for good maintenance of the grounds, as well as to meet the
needs of the pupils. If this area can also be fertile land, the
problem of landscaping maintenance is greatly simplified.

Location. Grass areas are usually located in front and per-
haps at the sides of the building. They should be planned to
add attractiveness, yet not interfere with the use of grounds
needed for play purposes. Their size and location should be
determined largely by the size of the site, size and arrange-
ment of the building, and other similar factors.
Soil. The soil necessary for the growth of grass, must con-
tain an abundance of organic matter. This may be secured
by cover cropping over a period of years or by adding a good
layer of top soil containing humus.
Kind of Grass. Bermuda grass will give satisfactory re-
sults in most sections though a mixture of Bermuda, St.
Augustine, and carpet grass is probably adapted to a wider
variety of conditions than any one grass.
In very shady areas, centipede grass will probably give the
most satisfaction, though it must be remembered that no
grass will grow without some sunlight. Rye grass may be


sown directly on the other sod for a green winter lawn, but
it must be kept well mowed.
Watering. Even the most fertile soil must be watered in
dry weather. It is necessary that the ground be Soaked. DO
NOT SPRINKLE. Sprinkling brings the roots to the surface
and does more harm than good.
Mowing. Lawns should be mowed frequently. During the
growing season, once every four days is usually sufficient.
Once a week will be enough during the rest of the year. Lawns
should never be mowed closer than one inch.
Fertilizing. Complete commercial fertilizers containing
about 4 per cent nitrogen, 7 per cent phosphoric acid, and 5
per cent potash are good all-around fertilizers for lawns and
shrubs. They should be applied in the spring and through the
summer as needed, usually about 17 pounds to one thousand
(1,000) square feet.
The fertilizer should be applied evenly before a steady rain
or should be soaked into the ground immediately after apply-
ing. It is well to remember that the best grade of commercial
fertilizer is worthless unless there is an abundance of humus
to support it.
Bare spots in the lawn should be replanted as soon as vaca-
tion begins. This will enable the grass to get a good root
system built up before school starts.


Planting. It is important not to plant shrubs too close to-
gether. Under ordinary circumstances they should never be
closer than five feet each way. The building should have a
sloping area surrounding it, not less than eight feet wide and
about six inches above grade at the wall and tapering to grade
level. This sloping area is a good location for the shrubs and
plants that are used to accent the building and give it an air
of distinction. A heavy planting of shrubs close to the build-
ing will not allow proper light to classrooms nor allow the air
to circulate around the wall at grade.
In planting shrubs, a hole should be dug large enough to
contain the roots, and to allow them to be spread out without
unnecessary cramping. Humus may be added to the bottom
of the hole, and a plentiful supply of water placed in the hole.


The plant is then put in, the roots spread out, and dirt added
until the opening is about half full. More water should be
added, and the dirt and water "puddled" until all air bubbles
have been removed from around the roots. The hole can then
be filled and a stake erected to support the plant temporarily.
Arrangement. The architecture of the building as well as
the size and color of a plant will govern its location. In
general, it is safe to say that fairly tall, conical, narrow leaf
evergreens can be used as accent plants between windows and
at corners. Low growing plants should be placed under win-
dows. The foliage should be varied informally.
Pruning. Pruning is a most important item in the care of
shrubbery. There are various ways of pruning, depending on
the type of shrub. In general, all dead and diseased branches
should be removed. For this purpose, sharp shears and clip-
pers, as well as a narrow bladed saw are necessary. Undesir-
able growth should be removed in drder to control the shape
of the shrub. DO NOT BOX shrubbery. Instead, cut the
longest terminal stems (leaders) to control the height, and
cut the longest laterals (side shoots) in such a way as to
encourage the plant to fill in the bare spots. Boxing destroys
most of the blossoms and the attractiveness of the plant.
Evergreens should be pruned only in the spring and should
be pruned sparingly. Trees need to be pruned carefully. The
large branches usually require three cuts if they are to be
pruned without splitting. The first cut should be made on the
underside of the branch about six inches from the trunk. The
second cut should be made directly above the first until the
limb breaks off. The last cut should be made as close to the
tree as possible, and the cut place should be covered with
waterproof paint to prevent infection and decay.
Fertilizing. Fertilizer for large trees and shrubs may be
applied by punching holes in the ground around the tree, and
just inside the end of the branches. These holes may be filled
with fertilizer and then the whole area well watered. Small
trees and shrubs may have the fertilizer applied directly to
the ground around them. However, it must always be re-
membered that fertilizer should not be applied too close to the
tree, and that all fertilizer must be soaked into the ground
before it can take effect.


Boxed hedges are too formal for school grounds. A hedge
is necessary in many locations, but it should be allowed to
grow naturally. The height should be controlled by careful
pruning and dwarfing rather than by boxing. In the north
section of the State, cherry laurel is very satisfactory. Abelia
is good in the north and central sections, surinam cherry in
the central and south, and Australian pine in the south. Amur
river privet is a host of the white fly and should NEVER be
Pyramid shrubbery in all corners of the lot. Plant the tall
shrubs in the center and grade down to the small shrubs at
each side. The low growing shrubs should, in general, be in
the front of the grounds and the larger trees toward the back,
except for one or two choice trees that might be brought to
the foreground. Do not plant trees or shrubs in line, but
stagger them over a strip approximately fifteen feet wide to
give an air of informality.
Since the school plant and grounds are intended for a defi-
nite purpose, the walks and drives surrounding it should also
be functional. All drives and walks should lead to a definite
place and, in general, take the most direct route. It might be
well not to place many walks for one or two years after the
school has been used, and then put the walks down where the
children actually go. Do not put a flower garden or border
along the walks.
A fire-resistant small building for boiler, coal, or storage of
floor oils, sweeping compounds, oil mops, paints, etc., should
be erected in the rear of the building in some safe, suitable
place. Tall shrubbery can be planted around it in order to
conceal any unsightliness.
School buses and bicycles can be stored under a neat shed
screened with large evergreen shrubs.
One or two incinerators should be built. They cost little,
and can easily be built by some class as an educational project.
The plans of a simple incinerator, which is adapted to the
small school situation, may be obtained from the State Depart-
ment of Education.


A small fertile area should be set aside for growing shrubs
and flowers. It is quite possible to grow all of the shrubs
needed for the school grounds, and with proper planning have
flowers in abundance for stage decorations on important occa-
sions. There are always some children interested in this type
of work. Let them, under supervision, care for the plant nur-
sery. Cuttings can be rooted, shrubs transplanted and recon-
ditioned, and flower seed planted and tended by students in
the elementary or high schools. Surplus plants should be
given to members of this group for their own use.
It should usually be possible for the vocational agricultural
department either to maintain or supervise a nursery which
would furnish shrubs and trees for an entire school system.
This practice should be encouraged by the administrative of-
ficials. The agricultural department should be allowed the
actual cost of growing the trees and shrubs in order to enable
them to finance their work.
Below is a list of trees and shrubs that are adapted to
Florida. They have been placed in the following three groups
according to suitability, North Florida, Central Florida, and
South Florida. The trees and shrubs listed have been chosen
for their ease of culture, and general usefulness. They repre-
sent the hardiest and most cosmopolitan available. In each
case, the average height of the full-grown plant is given.
These figures can be used for guidance in selecting the proper
type shrub for any location. Shrubs and trees whose botanical
names are followed by an asterisk are those having outstand-
ing merit. Spp. following the botanical name denotes more
than one species within a genus is often seen. Where (d)
follows the common name, it indicates the plant is deciduous,
and (e.v.) indicates an evergreen vine.

Type Height
Botanical Name Common Name In Feet

Abelia grandiflora Abelia Shrub 6
Acer rubrum Red Maple (d) Tree 120
Azalea canescens* Wild Azalea (d) Shrub 15


Botanical Name

Azalea indica
Azalea obtusa japon*
Baccharis halmifolia
Batodendron arboreum
Butia australis*
Callicarpa americana*
Cercis canadensis
Cornus florida*
Elaeagnus pungens*
Feijoa sellowiana
Ficus pumila
Gordonia lasianthus
Hemerocallia spp.
Ilex opaca
Ilex vomitoria
Jasthinum spp.*
Juniperus chinensis
Juniperus lucayana*
Juniperus pfitzeriana
Lagerstroemia indica
Lantana sellowiana
Ligistrum spp.
Liquidambar styracif.
Livistona chinensis
Magnolia spp.*
Myrica cerifera
Nandina domestic
Nerium Oleander
Osmanthus spp.
Phoenix canariensis
Phoenix sylvestris
Podocarpus maki*
Prunus caroliniana*
Quercus virginiana*
Sabal palmetto*
Salvia farinacea
Severinia buxifolia*
Spirea spp.
Viburnum odoratissium
Viburnum suspensum*
Washingtonia robusta
Zamia integrifolia

Comman Name

Indian Azalea
Kurume Azalea
Salt Bush
Pindo Palm
Beauty Bush (d)
Red Bud (d)
Dogwood (d)
Silver thorn
Creeping fig (e.v.)
Sweet bay

Jap. juniper
Red cedar
Pfitzer juniper
Crepe myrtle (d)
Weeping lantana
Sweet gum (d)
Fan palm
Wax myrtle
Heavenly bamboo
Sweet Olive
Canary Island Date

Plum yew
Cherry laurel
Live Oak
Cabbage palm
Blue Sage
Spirea (d)
Washington palm




In Feet

3 to 4

Tree 60
Tree 50
Tree or Shrub 20
Shrub 3
Tree 140
Tree 20 to 30
Shrub 35
Shrub 8
Shrub 20
Shrub 6 to 45
Tree 50
Tree 50
Tree or Shrub 40
Tree 60
Tree 60
Herb 3
Shrub 10
Shrub 6
Shrub 1I



Botanical Name

Abelia grandiflora
Acalypha spp.
Allamanda spp.
Agave spp.
Azalea indica*
Azalea obtusa jap.*
Baccharis halmifolia
Buddleia officinalis
Buginvillaea spp.
Callicarpa americana
Callistemon spp.
Casuarina cunningh.
Casuarina lepidophloia
Cestrum spp.
Citrus spp.*
Cornus florida
Cocoloba uvifera
Cocos plumosa
Duranta plumieri
Elaeagnus pungens*
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Ficus pumila
Gordonia lasianthus
Hemerocallis spp.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis*
Ilex cassine
Ilex opaca
Ilex paraguariensis
Ilex vomitoria
Jasminum primulinum
Jasminum pubescens*
Juniperus lucayana
Lantana camera
Lantana sellowina
Ligustrum spp.*
Liquidambar styra.
Magnolia spp.*
Malpighia spp.
Malvaviscus (arboreus)

Common Name

Copper leaf
Century plant
Indian azalea
Kurume azalea
Salt bush
Butterfly bush
Beauty bush (d)
Bottle brush
Australian pine
Australian pine
Queen palm
Golden dewdrop
Silver thorn
Creeping fig
Sweet bay
American holly
Yerba mate
Primrose jasmine
Downy jasmine
Red cedar
Weeping lantana
Sweet gum (d)

Turk's cap


Shrub or Vine

Tree or Shrub
Tree or Shrub


3 tc





Shrub 25
Tree 50
Shrub 20
Shrub 25
Shrub 10
Shrub or Vine
Tree 50
Shrub 4
Shrub 3
Tree 140

Shrub 15

In Feet


Botanical Name

Comman Name

Melaleuca leucodendron Cajeput
Myrica cerifera Wax myrtle

Nerium oleander
Phoenix canariensis
Phoenix dactylifera
Phoenix reclinata
Phoenix roebelenii
Phyllanthus nivosus
Plumbago capensis*
Podocarpus maki*
Prunua caroliniana
Psidium cateleianum
Quercus virginiana*
Sabal palmetto
Sansevieria spp.
Schinus terebinthefolius
Severinia buxifolia*
Thryallis glauca
Thunbergia erects
Thunbergia grandiflora
Viburnum suspensum

Canary Island Date
Date palm

Pigmy date palm
Snow bush
Blue plumbago
Plum yew
Cherry laurel
Cattley guava
Live Oak
Cabbage palm
Brazilian pepper
King's mantle
Sky flower

Viburnum odoratissimum Viburnum

Washington robusta
Yucca aloifolia*
Zamia integrifolia

Washington palm
Spanish bayonet

Tree or Shrub


Botanical Name

Common Name

Acalypha spp.
Achras sapota
Agave spp.
Allamanda spp.
Albizzia lebbek
Aceca lutescens*
Buginvillaea spp.
Callistemon spp.
Caryota spp.*
Carissa grandiflora*
Catesbaea spinosa
Casuarina spp.

Copper leaf
Century plant
Woman's tongue tree
Areca palm
Bougainvillea (e.v.)
Bottle brush
Fishtail palm

Australian pine

Shrub 6
Tree 75
Shrub or Vine
Tree 25
Tree or Shrub
Shrub 18
Tree or Shrub 15


In Feet


In Feet


anical Name Comman Name
T j~


Cestrum spp.
Chalcas exotica
Cocoloba uvifera*
Cocos mucifera*
Cocos plumosa*
Codiaeum spp.
Cryptostegia spp.
Cycas revoluta
Duranta plumieri
Dracaena spp.
Ehretia microphylla
Eugenia spp.
Fiscus spp.
Hemerocallis spp.*
Hibiscus rosa-sinesis*
Icacorea paniculata
Ilex cassine
Ilex paraguariensis
Jasminum spp.
Lantana camera
Lantana sellowiana
Malvaviscus grandiflorus
Mangifera indica*
Melaleuca leucodendron
Pandanus spp.
Phyllanthus nivosus

Orange jasmine
Coconut palm
Queen palm
Madagascar rubber
Sago palm
Golden dewdrop
Philippine tea

Rubber tree
Day lily
Yerba mate
Weeping lantana
Turk's cap
Screw pine
Snow bush

Pithecolobium unguis-cati Cat's claw

Plumbago capensis*
Poinciana regia
Polyscias spp.
Psidium cattleianum
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa
Roystonea regia*
Sabal palmetto*
Sansevieria spp.
Stenolobium stans
Tamarindus indica
Terminalia catappa
Thevetia neriifolia
Thryallis glauca
Thunbergia erecta
Triphasia trifolia*
Yucca aloifolia*

Blue plumbago
Royal poinciana
Cattley guava
Downy myrtle
Royal palm
Cabbage palm
Yellow elder
Tropical almond
Lucky nut
King's mantle
Spanish bayonet

Tree or Shrub
vine Vine






The Plan. Play areas constitute one of the most important
yet one of the most neglected sections of the school ground.
All too frequently the play areas are left in almost the same
condition they were in when the building was constructed and
children are expected to make use of these areas as best they
can despite the handicaps. Play areas sometimes are left with
obstacles which continually constitute a hazard for the
In general, play areas should be free from stone, stumps,
trees or other objects which are likely to interfere with satis-
factory group play. Moreover, the ground should be reason-
ably level and at least should be free from holes in which
children might step and sprain their ankles. In areas where
swings or playground apparatus for small children are to be
located, some shade from trees is not objectionable and is
sometimes desirable.
A section should be reserved for the smaller children in the
most protected part of the ground. Most children play in
more or less small groups. Provision should be made for a
large enough area to take care of small group activities.
Apparatus and courts may be built around the edge of this
reserved area, but it should be remembered that expensive
apparatus is practically lost on most children.
General Play Areas. Sod or turf is the best surface for this
section. In some regions, it is practically impossible to keep
the turf in good condition with a number of children playing
on it. In such cases, clay or sandy loam will prove satis-
Most schools in Florida find that the play areas get dusty
unless turf is used. In order to prevent excessive dust, calcium
chloride may be used to good advantage. The calcium chloride
is spread on the play ground at the rate of about two pounds
to the square yard. One application in the spring and an-
other light application in the summer will usually keep down
all dust under normal conditions. Calcium chloride may be
purchased from a number of supply houses, and the cost
should not average over five cents a square yard per year for
two applications.


Surfaced Areas (Where accurate bounce or roll is desired).
Smooth concrete is the most desirable surface, but the initial
expense in many cases makes it prohibitive. Clay is a very
good surface, but the upkeep is rather expensive, and it cannot
be used for some time after rains. Asphalt macadam is
probably the best compromise from the standpoint of expense,
upkeep, and use.

In installing asphalt macadam', the sub-grade must be
firm and level. If the sub-grade is faulty, or very sandy, it
may be remedied by using as a lower course a 21/-inch layer
of stone, 8/4 to 11/4 inches in diameter, rolled level. The upper
course should be stone 1/2 inch in diameter, 11/2 inches deep,
rolled and smoothed.
The first application of asphalt should be of grade E,
applied by spray or by hand at the rate of one-half to one
gallon per square yard. This should be covered with broken
stone screenings one-half or one inch mesh, rolled until
smooth, hard, and compact. After about twenty-four hours,
the excess stone should be swept off.
The second application of asphalt should be applied at the
rate of one quarter to three quarters of a gallon per square
yard, and then covered with coarse sand in sufficient quantity
to take up the oil. The surface should be rolled, and where-
ever oil shows through more sand should be applied.
This gives a hard, smooth surface that will not be damaged
by the weather, and which can be repaired easily and with
little expense. It can be used shortly after a rain for the
asphalt does not absorb water.
Games and Equipment. It is highly advisable to equip
grounds for games such as are listed below, before buying
expensive apparatus. Do not get apparatus requiring careful
supervision unless the necessary supervision can be given
every minute that the playground is open for use.
The following games are suggested for the secondary school
pupils. The elementary school will be able to modify many
of these to meet the requirements of smaller children, but
usually the elementary teachers have in mind a number of
*Nash, J. B. Organization and Administration of Playgrounds and Recreation,
A. S. Barnes Company, New York (1928).


group games which can be played if the space and the surfac-
ing are available. Arranging the space for these secondary
school games, and allowing enough additional space to accom-
modate elementary pupils will go a long way toward solving
the problem of the non-athletic physical education and intra-
mural program.

Volley Ball
Field Hockey
Soft Ball

Paddle Tennis
Table Tennis
Deck Tennis
Hand Tennis
Tether Ball

Dimensions of Regulation Court
100-120 yards x 55-75 yards.
40' x 60' to 60' x 90'
30' x 60'
90-100 yards x 50-60 yards.
63' x 63' (These are from home to second and from
first to third bases).
78' x 36'
20' x 34' Wall 16' high.
44' x 20'
40' x 10' Between courts.
One-fourth dimensions of tennis court.
5' x 9' (placed on table).
18' x 40'
Anywhere surface permits.
20' x 20'
28' x 3'
60 yards range.

Suggestions Regarding Game Areas. In many cases, these
games may be installed with little change in the present
equipment. Shuffleboard may be placed on an existing walk
or drive provided the surface is smooth. Table tennis may
be marked on a suitable piece of ply wood or panel wood and
placed on horses or tables in the auditorium or hall during
physical education periods and recess periods. The net sup-
ports in tennis may be built high enough to accommodate a
volley ball net, and the two games may be played on the one
court, with volley ball the physical education activity and
tennis for after school and week-end periods. The tennis
court may be converted into four paddle tennis courts easily.
The back wall of the auditorium or some other blank wall can
be converted into a handball wall by smoothing the surface
with a coat of cement. The same space can be used for horse-
shoes and archery though obviously the games cannot be
played at the same time. Soft ball can be marked out on the
regulation baseball diamond unless there is need for both


games simultaneously. Field hockey and soccer can be played
on the regular football field.
It should be remembered in all these games, that the purpose
of every physical education program is to teach the children
some type of activity that can be carried over into adult life.
With this in mind, it is obvious that many of the games re-
quiring the more expensive equipment have no place on school
Special areas for athletic contests are seldom needed in
connection with the elementary school program, but should
be available for every high school. Track events, baseball
and football require far more extensive areas than many of
the regular play activities discussed above. These athletic
areas should be accessible to the school, but should be located,
where practicable, so as not to interfere with or be interfered
with by the regular play areas.
The arrangement and preparation of these areas so as to
assure proper playing surfaces and efficient drainage can be
handled in accordance with specific instructions available
from many sources. The care and maintenance of these areas
present many of the same problems as the care and mainte-
nance of other parts of the school grounds except that where
turf is needed, special attention will probably have to be
given to soil, fertilizing and watering in order to secure
satisfactory results.


The physical surroundings of the classroom and school
plant in general constitute an important factor in the educa-
tional process. The importance of good housekeeping cannot
be over-emphasized. Many pupils develop their ideals of
comfort, convenience, sanitation, and housekeeping at least
partly from the school they attend.
General house cleaning shall be done not less than five
days before school opens in the fall and during the Christmas
holidays. After the close of school in the spring all waste
should be removed, tools and materials stored, utilities dis-
connected, and the building made secure against wind, rain,
and illegal entry.
A thin film of dirt is easily and quickly removed. If it is
permitted to accumulate, it cakes and hardens. Surfaces then
may be damaged by the more drastic measures that are
necessary to clean them. The economic value of frequent
light cleaning is important because it reduces the cost for
refinishing and replacements.
This section of the handbook is devoted to suggestions
which should be time and energy saving and which indicate
best practice so that the custodian may work out a routine
procedure based upon good practice for his own building.
The principal and custodian should set up a time schedule
for sweeping the various types of rooms. Each room, hall,
and stairway shall be swept thoroughly at least once every
day. Corridors should be swept after school is in session in
the morning.
Tools and Their Use
The standard tool for sweeping untreated floors is a floor
brush of proper size to suit the job to be done. A 16-inch
brush is most often used for primary rooms, an 18-inch brush
for other rooms, and a larger brush up to 36 inches for corri-
dors and large floor areas.


For all treated wooden floors, linoleum, asphalt mastic,
rubber tile, etc., the sweeping mop is the standard tool, used
dry or treated with a small amount of the same material with
which the floor is treated. The mop is used in the same
manner as the floor brush except the mop stroke is continuous
and the mop is shaken slightly at the end of the stroke. A
36-inch mop is used for corridors and gymnasiums. In using
it, the custodian places one hand on the end of the mop and
rests his hand against the shoulder. In this way he pushes
the mop the entire length of the corridor or gymnasium and
shakes out the dirt at the end of the stroke. Mops should be
shaken in such a way as to direct the dirt toward the floor
taking care not to shake them too near the baseboard.
The operator's brush or mop should be fitted with a handle
which reaches to the level of the operator's eyes when the
brush is placed on the floor and the handle held upright. This
length of brush or mop handle is considered most convenient
for the operator.
In those school equipped with a vacuum system, the vacuum
brush is used for sweeping operations. The operator should
proceed by beginning at the place of attachment and working
in both directions away from that place so that the hose is
always behind him. If he proceeds toward the place of attach-
ment the hose will be constantly getting in the way. The
tools should be handled with a steady rocking movement. No
pressure should be applied; only the weight of the tool should
rest on the floor. The elbow joint should point away from
the operator to give him free movement. Great care should
be exercised to cover every portion of the floor.
In using the vacuum cleaner for corridors, the operator
should take systematic strokes about five feet in length
parallel with the length of the corridor. At the same time
the operator works across the corridor, then moves forward
and repeats the operation.
In cleaning stairways the strokes should be made length-
wise on the tread starting flush against one wall and continu-
ing until the opposite wall is reached, when the tool is turned
and pulled off the tread at right angles to the long stroke.


Other standard articles of sweeping equipment are:
Counter brush.
Dust pan.
Large waste basket or box.
Dust box.
Radiator brush.
Sweeping Procedure
It is good practice to begin sweeping a room at the rear left
hand corner and sweep one aisle and one row of seats as the
sweeper progresses toward the front. Returning toward the
rear the seats are raised on the next row if the room has fixed
seats, or the whole row moved over to the swept area if the
seats are movable. Continue in this manner across the room
pushing the dirt to the front of the room. Then sweep the
front space, push the dirt toward the corridor door, pick it
up with the dust pan and counter brush, and place it in the
dust box. If the pencil sharpener and waste basket were
emptied when the custodian first entered the room, as they
should be, the custodian is then ready to pick up his tools and
proceed to the next room, as soon as the windows have been
closed and the shades rolled up.
N Approximately once a week all corners, all space under
radiators, in radiator fins, and behind pipes should be care-
fully cleaned out. To accomplish this the sweeper when he
returns the waste paper basket to its place will carry the
counter brush and radiator brush and make a special trip
around the room before he starts sweeping.
Sweeping Compound
A sweeping compound will be needed only on rough floors
that are quite dirty. Sawdust dampened with water will
serve the purpose. It is customary to scatter the compound
across the room behind the seats and push it forward and
under seats to the front where it is brushed together and
picked up with the dust pan. Each aisle will need to be swept
the second time to get all scattered sweepings.
All furniture and woodwork should be dusted daily. A
sanitary duster or a soft cloth should be used for this purpose
It should carry a light application of furniture oil or polish


to hold the dust. The dusting process should remove the dust
instead of stirring it up. Only one duster should be used and
one row of desks should be dusted on each trip through the
aisle. The back and forth method is preferable to circular
motion in dusting.
This process is not generally used on wood floors. It is
useful on linoleum, asphalt mastic, rubber tile, and floors of
that nature, and is often used on tile and terrazzo floors. One
mop and wringer pail may be used, but two pails are better.
One pail should be filled with water and a small amount of
neutral soap, and the other with clean water.
The mop is dipped into the solution and wrung almost dry
before being applied to the floor. As a rule, long regular
sweeping strokes are used to pick up the loose dirt that
adheres to the mop. The mop is then rinsed in the pail con-
taining water and again wrung out almost dry and applied
to the floor to remove any soap that might have been left
from the first mopping. It is not necessary usually to dry
the floors as the mops are not very wet.
Damp mopping is preferable to scrubbing and is especially
useful on linoleum, rubber tile, asphalt mastic, and similar
floors which are easily damaged by excessive water and harsh
cleaning agents.
The cotton warp or yarn mop is an excellent type to use.
For most purposes the 20-ounce mop is best although for
small offices a 16-ounce mop should prove to be more de-
In scrubbing a room begin at the end or side opposite the
door. A space about two feet wide along the baseboard
should be done first. In most rooms this space needs only a
damp mop. The use of much water along the baseboard
should be avoided. This procedure will prevent splattering
the baseboard when the rest of the floor is scrubbed.
On most floors only a small area should be scrubbed at a
time before taking up dirt and rinsing. On tile, terrazzo, or
concrete floors a larger area may be scrubbed at one time.


Points to remember in scrubbing:
1. Do not flood the floor.
2. Use two wringer pails, one for the cleaning mixture and
one for rinse water.
3. Use a damp, clean mop on unsoiled areas near baseboard.
4. A limited area should be scrubbed at one time.
5. Rinse the floor after the cleaning mixture and dirt are
picked up with a mop.
6. Rinse out the mop and hang it up to dry.
The following are some recommended cleaning practices:
Blackboards are best cleaned with a clean eraser. A dark
surface may be secured by erasing properly and then wiping
the blackboard with a dry, untreated, soft cotton cloth or
chamois skin.
Eraser cleaning is part of the custodian's work. The prac-
tice of hand cleaning by children should be discouraged. An
extra set of erasers which may be cleaned by the custodian
during the day is a good investment.
Water should not be used on any blackboard and will not
be needed if the board has been properly broken in by first
cleaning with a dry cloth, then covering the board with chalk
using the flat side. Remove the chalk with a clean eraser
followed by a chamois skin or soft cloth if necessary. Merely
use a clean eraser in cleaning the board.
Plumbing Fixtures
Clean porcelain and vitreous china plumbing fixtures with
a non-abrasive powder.
Remove dirt, grease, or film daily with a powder made by
mixing one part powdered soap with four parts of soda
Iron stains from rusty pipes may be removed with sodium
bisulphate. It should be 80 per cent pure, in ground form
and kept in cans with air tight seal.
Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid should be used for this only
with extreme caution. The operation should be done as
quickly as possible and the surface and drain flushed
thoroughly afterward.


Drains and Sewer Pipes
For ordinary removal of grease as in kitchen sinks, caustic
soda cleaner may be satisfactory. For more stubborn drains
caustic soda aluminum cleaner may need to be used. (These
should never be used with a septic tank). Water reacts
violently with caustic soda-aluminum and in absorbing
moisture from the air it may generate sufficient hydrogen
gas to be dangerous. It should be kept in air tight cans.
Whenever these cleaners are spilled on the floor or clothing
they should immediately be neutralized with vinegar and
thoroughly rinsed with water.
Toilets and Toilet Seats
Toilet seats should be given a brief scrubbing with a soft
brush two or three times a week.
Tri-sodium phosphate may be used for cleaning stools and
urinals, but is not as effective as muriatic acid for iron rust
and other accumulations.
Corners around stools and urinals should be cleaned fre-
Floors in all personal service rooms should be mopped or
brushed daily and scrubbed as often as needed. Tile floors
usually need to be scrubbed with hot water in which has been
placed a strong disinfectant with a chlorine base once a week.
The necessity for using deodorants is an indication that toilets
or urinals are not clean.
Walls of rooms and stalls should be cleaned frequently with
a damp cloth. Pencil marks or other defacings should be
removed at once. Such marks may be removed with a moist
sponge and a small amount of an abrasive compound.
If furniture is cleaned with a dust cloth occasionally or
lightly waxed and kept free of accumulations of dust, it will
need washing only at long intervals.
Should a cleaning process become necessary, the following
steps are suggested, using mild soap and water as a cleaning
1. Remove gum and other foreign substances with putty
knife or scraper.


2. Apply cleaning mixture over surface, rubbing until dirt
has been loosened.
3. Pick up the dirt and moisture with a cloth that has been
rinsed in clean water and wrung out.
4. After the furniture has become dry, use furniture polish
sparingly and rub with dry cloth.
The under side of desk tops, tables, and seats as well as the
tops should be cleaned.
Woodwork should be cleaned with a mild soap and water
and rinsed well. Pencil marks may be removed with a moist
sponge and a small amount of an abrasive compound.
Woodwork which is badly soiled may be cleaned with wall
cleaner as suggested for walls. (Paper hangers' paste forti-
fied with tri-sodium phosphate). Use the mixture quickly on
a small space at a time and remove the paste immediately.
Rinse with a sponge or cloth and wipe again. If the gloss is
partly removed it may be restored with a soft cloth moistened
with linseed oil or furniture polish. Tri-sodium phosphate
with warm water at the rate of one tablespoon to the gallon
of water may be used to clean dirty woodwork if it is well
rinsed afterward.
Unpainted plaster walls may be cleaned with India rubber-
gum cleaner. Calcimined walls cannot be washed satisfactor-
ily without repainting.
Papered walls may be cleaned with commercial wall paper
cleaners. A homemade preparation for cleaning wall paper
that is effective is made by mixing 2/3 flour dough and 1/3
plaster of Paris. This is lightly baked a day before it is
needed for use. If there are grease spots on the papered wall,
they can be removed by mixing a little fuller's earth in water
to a paste and plastering this paste over the spots. As the
paste dries, it absorbs the grease and may then be brushed off.
Painted walls (flat gloss or enamel) may be cleaned as
follows: Commercial wall cleaners may be used with a cloth
or a good sponge but they are expensive. A good home made
product is cheaper and does the work satisfactorily. One
such home made cleaner which is recommended is made of


paper hanger's paste fortified with tri-sodium phosphate. Mix
paper hanger's paste flour in a half pail of cold water to a
light creamy consistency (about 28 ounces to 7 quarts of
water) and to this sticky cream add half to three-quarters of a
cup of tri-sodium phosphate. Spread the prepared cleaner on
the wall with a wide brush or soft cloth so that it does not drip
or run. Do not scrub but apply thoroughly and uniformly
with a backward and forward motion. With a wet sponge or
a wet, clean soft cloth, wipe off the cleaner and dirt. Repeat
with the sponge cleaned and well rinsed. Do an area of a
couple of square yards each time and overlap two or three
inches when rinsing. Work from bottom of wall up. If clean-
ing dulls the surface considerably, rub with linseed oil (very
small amount) on a soft cloth.
Windows should be cleaned inside and out immediately be-
fore the opening of school and at least once during the term.
They should be kept clean on the inside at all times. A soiled
window reduces light 25 to 50 per cent.
Clear water with a little kerosene, ammonia, washing soda,
borax, or alcohol makes a satisfactory cleaning agent. Tri-
sodium phosphate, one ounce to the gallon of water, or soda
may also be used. Cheese cloth and chamois used in reverse
order constitute satisfactory equipment. Use horizontal and
vertical motions instead of circular ones to secure a better
job. Alkaline solutions and solutions containing alcohol
should not be allowed to come in contact with painted, var-
nished, or enameled surfaces.
A fountain type window cleaning tool carrying a moist felt
strip on one side and a rubber squeegee on the other is effi-
cient and time saving in cleaning windows. An absorbent
cloth is carried by the worker for removal of surplus water
from the squeegee after it is pressed from the pane.
Hardware and Metal Surfaces
Wash with mild soap and water. Scour occasionally using
ten parts of powdered soap and ninety parts volcanic ash
(non-abrasive marble cleaning grade).
If long neglected, use a metal polish which is free from dis-
agreeable odor and ingredients having injurious effects upon


Removing Stains From Floors
Due to danger of improper use of chemicals it is advisable
for custodians to confine themselves to the use of soap and
water or commercial bleaches whenever possible in the re-
moval of many of the stains found on floors. In the event
they are unable to remove the stain in this manner the fol-
lowing information will be of use.
Materials that may be used for removing stains may be
classified under three headings: absorbents, volatile solvents,
and bleaches.

Absorbents Volatile Solvents Bleaches
Cloths Cleaning solvent Dakin solution
Detergents Alcohol Clorox, etc.
Blotting paper Carbon tetrachloride Javelle water
Sawdust Acetone Chloride of lime
Talcum powder Turpentine Hydrogen peroxide
French chalk Gasoline Oxalic acid
Fuller's earth Ether Permanganate of potash
Dry cement Benzol Ammonia.
Absorbents. The purpose of absorbents is to prevent the
spread of the stain, and to prevent penetration into the floor.
Immediate use of the absorbent at the time any substance is
spilled on the floor will facilitate quick removal of the stain.
During the removal, when a solvent has been applied freely,
the absorbent may be used to prevent the color from spread-
ing. Work from outside edges of the stain toward the center.
Solvents. As the majority of stains are of a greasy nature.
and soluble in volatile solvents, the selection of solvents for
stains of this nature is a matter of experience and preference
because the properties of these solvents are similar.
Bleaches. All bleaching depends on oxygen and sunlight to
a great degree. In using a bleach, the surface should be wet
with the bleaching material and then allowed to dry of its
own accord, not rubbed with a cloth. The bleach should not
be removed until it has actually done the work. It should
then be neutralized. High grade inks are very difficult to
remove, and ordinary commercial bleaches have no effect
upon them.


Material To Us

Writing ink Bleaches

Grease or oil Solvent




Marking ink

Printing ink


Putty knife

e Stains Material To Use

Gentian violet Tinc. of green soap
Acid alcohol
Tinc. of benzoin Ammonia

Heel marks Solvent

Fat solvent

Cold water Rust

Acid alcohol

Dakin solution
Javelle water

Soap and water



Indelible pencil

Soap and water

Lemon juice and salt
Detergent paste
Oxalic acid

Hydrogen peroxide
Acetic acid

Dakin solution

Crayola Solvent

Cigarette burns Steel wool

Merciro- Alcohol
chrome Acid alcohol


It is poor economy to fail to supply the custodian with a
sufficient amount of good tools and equipment. Value and
usefulness, and not first cost, should be considered in making
purchases. Labor is the primary cost in the cleaning process
(90-95% ). It is obvious that tools or materials which cause
a waste of time in getting the job done are expensive regard-
less of the first cost.

The equipment needed will vary somewhat with the size of
the plant, type of construction, and room equipment. In
general a standard list may be used for all buildings assum-
ing that minor changes will be made to suit local conditions



and that the list is subject to change as new ideas and
processes are developed. The following list of tools and
equipment is suggested:
Floor Brushes. One 16-inch brush, made of 65% Russian or Chinese
bristles, about 25% horsehair and 10% fibre. Length of stock out of
base 3% or 4 inches.
New brushes should be used in classrooms After they are worn down
to some extent they may be used in corridors. Later, after they are
worn still more, sidewalks and other cement surfaces may be cleaned
with them.
Heads of brushes should be combed frequently with a nail brush to
prevent lint and dirt from packing up under the block and causing
bristles to curl. It is a good plan to reverse the handle each Monday
during the school year to keep the sides balanced. When not in use,
brushes should be hung with head a few inches above the floor and
bristles away from the wall.
The proper length of handle is determined by fitting it to the brush
block and then holding it straight up with the bristles resting on the
floor. The end of the handle should come to the eyebrow of the person
who is to use it. It may be cut to the proper length and a rubber
crutch tip slipped over the cut end.
Counter Brush. One 9-inch brush of horse hair with the tufts 21/2 to
2% inches long out of the block. The brush should be combed occa-
sionally with nail comb and always hung up when not in use.
Radiator Brush. One brush about 2 feet long made up of
twisted wire, a short wooden handle at one end with about 6 inches of
brush at the other end consisting of horse hair inserted in the spiral
twist of the wire. It should be combed out with a nail comb occasion-
ally and hung up when not in use.
Toilet Bowl Brush. One brush with a round head of Tampico fibre
at the end of a 24-inch wooden handle. It should be washed thoroughly
in cold water after using and then hung up.
Long Handled Deck Brush. One brush 3" x 10" block with palmetto
fibre about 17/8" long with reversible handle. It should be washed after
use and hung up and combed with nail comb when dry.

Hand Scrub Brush. One brush, small, 2" x 6" made up of a wooden
block with palmetto fibre 11/2" long. It should be washed after use,
placed back down on shelf and combed occasionally with a nail comb
when dry.

Mop Brush. One brush, standard type hand scrub brush with stiff
fibres for brushing out mops and dusters. It should be kept on a shelf
with the back down and not used for any other purpose.


Nail Brush. One brush, homemade, by driving six-penny finish nails
through a wooden handle. A 12-inch length of 1-inch hardwood dowel
may be used. One row of nails is spaced about % inch apart along
6 inches of the dowel, leaving a 6 inch handle.

Corn Broom. One broom, 10-inch trim, made up of brown bass fibre.

Mop Stick. Three, standard clamp type 41/2 feet.

Mop Heads. One-24-oz. long strand for mop sweeping large areas.
Two-20-oz. for scrubbing and damp mopping.
One-16-oz. short strand for mop sweeping.
Cotton warp or yarn mops of 19 ply do not leave lint. The usefulness
and life of all cotton mop heads will be increased if the new heads are
soaked in warm water for an hour and then hung up to dry before they
are put in active use.
The mop heads that have been used for wet mopping should be re-
moved from the handle after use and washed out in a warm water
solution containing a tablespoon of tri-sodium phosphate per gallon
of water. The head should then be rinsed in clean water and hung up
to dry. Heads used for scrubbing should not be used for sweeping.
For sweeping purposes the mop head should be treated so that the
cotton strands will pick up the dirt better. A cup or less of mop treat-
ment is sufficient for spraying a new head. This should be done sev-
eral hours before the mop is used so that it may soak into the yarn.
If sweeping mops are not washed after used, they should be placed
head down in a metal box. This prevents needless evaporation of
treatment, oil spots on floor, and fire hazard.

Mop Box. A mop box for holding treated mops may be built of
galvanized sheet iron, 24 guage, 8" wide by 10" deep and 5" long.

Wringer Pails. Two-galvanized sheet iron, 24 guage, 44-quart ca-
pacity, cylindrical with chime at bottom and reinforced at top, equipped
with four casters for ease in moving. The pail should have a wire bail
riveted to the sides.

Galvanized Iron Pail. One-14-quart capacity with heavy wire
handle riveted to side and wooden grip. 3/4" chime.

Dust Box. One-galvanized sheet iron, 20" long, 7" deep, and
8" wide at top, 6" wide at bottom. It should have a rigid handle
14" above the bottom.

Force Cup. (Plumbers Friend) One-5" live rubber cup with 24"
wooden handle.

Sanitary Duster. One-10" x 6" head of cotton yarn with a 10"
wooden handle. It should be treated before use with a standard mop
treatment at least an hour before being put to use.


Lamb's Wool Mop. One-4" x 10" with wooden handle for waxing.
Waste Paper Basket. One-4-bushel basket made of pounded ash
Sponge. One-good-grade, Rock Island Sheepswool-natural form
with few cut surfaces.
Chamois Skin. One-18" x 24" French oil tanned free from hard or
thin spots.
Cleaning Cloths. Several good quality cotton (sugar liners are sug-
Spray Gun. One pint size.
Safety Ladder. One-8-ft. with braced legs, platform and guard rail.
Extension Ladder. One-2 sections of 14 and 16-ft. lengths.
Window Cleaning Platform. One-standard collapsible platform
which can be shoved out through window and braced.
Personal Tool Kit. One-containing pliers, screw driver, putty knife,
small hammer, and small crescent wrench.
Boiler Room Tools. Those needed for servicing the type of heating
plant installed in the building.
Lawn Tools

1 hand lawn mower
1 50-foot section of %" rubber
hose for every 5,000 sq. ft. of
1 adjustable hose nozzle
1 pair of hose pliers
1 sprinkler per 15,000 sq. ft. of
1 garden rake, 16"
1 lawn broom of broom-rake
1 claw hammer
3 screw drivers (different sizes)
2 crescent wrenches
1 cross cut saw, 22", 10 pt.
1 10" hack saw and blades
2 wood chisels, 1/" and 1"
1 marking guage
1 nail set
2 cold chisels, '2" and 1"
1 try square, 8"
1 coil spring rule, 6 ft.
1 oil stone
1 tin snips
1 bench and vise

1 grass cutter (snath)
1 pair grass shears
1 pair pruning shears
1 lawn edger
1 shovel, round point, long
1 shovel, square point, long
1 garden hoe
1 axe

Small Tools
1 ball pein hammer.
2 monkey wrenches, 8" and 12"
1 set Stillson wrenches
1 rip saw, 26", 6 point
1 jack plane, 14"
1 10" ratchet brace with full set of
bits, 1,-" to 1" in size with 1s"
1 glass cutter
1 steel square, 24"
2 oil cans, small and medium
1 side cutting pliers
1 hand scraper
1 hand drill and set of drills


Knowledge of the composition of compounds and mixtures
used for custodial supplies is available to everyone, the con-
sumer as well as the producer. Books are available which
treat the subject in detail. Several governmental depart-
ments issue bulletins which may be purchased at nominal
cost from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington,
D. C., and many excellent articles dealing with the prepara-
tion of custodial supplies have appeared in periodicals.
Some products should be purchased ready for use from
reliable manufacturers or supply houses because they are
prepared by processes demanding considerable equipment and
There are other simpler mixtures which may be made by
school supply departments or custodians from relatively inex-
pensive materials to meet the needs equally as well.
In this section miscellaneous simple formulae are listed
which may be used in the preparation of many needed sup-
plies. The list is not in any sense complete, but it is hoped
that by the addition of formulae that have been proved by
use it will grow. By this means it is hoped that it will become
a valuable source of information useful both in the prepara-
tion and in the purchase of custodial supplies.

Scrubbing Compound
Soft soap-1 lb.
Tri-sodium phosphate-2 lbs.
Hot water-1 gallon.
Mix until it becomes syrupy and use one cupful of mixture to a
pail of water in scrubbing.

Neutral Compound
Powdered soap-1 part
Volcanic ash (non-abrasive marble cleaning grade)-9 parts.

Cleaning Mixture for General Cleaning
Neutral soap, enough to make strong suds. (/4 pint)
Tri-sodium prosphate, 1 teaspoon to the gallon.
Scouring powder is sometimes added to this mixture but volcanic
ash will serve as well if the mop or cleaning cloth is dipped in a
shallow container containing a small amount. Rinse thoroughly.


Cleaner for Painted Walls
Use the tri-sodium phosphate mixture above as for general cleaning.
Mix paperhangers' paste flour in half pail of cold water to light
creamy consistency (about 28 oz. to 7 qts.) and to this thin sticky
cream add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of tri-sodium phosphate.
This mixture should be painted on the wall and removed with a
wet sponge.

Cleaner for Stone
Soft soap-1 gallon
Water-1 quart
Powdered pumice stone F. F.-21 pounds
Liquid household ammonia-1 pint
Brush surface of loose dirt and apply the mixture with a brush.
Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes, then scrub with warm water and
rinse off.

Cleaner, for Removing Mold From Walls. (masonry).
Arsenate of lead-1 teaspoon
Water-1 gallon

Paint, for Masonry Walls
Lime-2 parts
Cement-1 part

Liquid Soap
It is good practice to buy the dense liquid soap base (40% anhydrous
soap content) in drums and dilute it locally to 15%.

Wood Floor Treatment. (Penetrating preservative.)
Boiled linseed oil-50%
Tung oil-25%
Some of the commercial treatments on the market contain also
certain types of synthetic resins. These are among the best floor
preservative treatments to be had.

Paste Wax
Carnauba wax-2 parts by weight
Ceresin-2 parts by weight
Turpentine-3 parts by weight
Gasoline-12 parts by weight (sp. gr. 0.725)
The waxes are melted by heat in a vessel of hot water. The tur-
pentine and gasoline are then added and the mixture cooled as rapidly


as possible while vigorously stirring to produce a smooth creamy wax.
This wax is easier to handle when it is made thinner by doubling the
amount of the vehicle.

Water Wax
Aquamel-15 parts by weight
Carnauba wax-25 parts by weight
Water-225 parts by weight
Heat the wax and aquamel together until a jelly is obtained. Then
add the water which must be as near boiling as possible. Stir thor-
oughly until cool.

Floor Sweeping Compound
Sawdust dampened with water and allowed to stand a few days will
take up dirt, will not streak floors and can be used on any kind of
Another compound may be made as follows by weight:
Fine sand-35%
Paraffin oil-15%
A simple test for commercial sweeping compounds may be made by
placing a tablespoonful on a piece of white paper and allowing it to
remain 15 minutes. It should not stain the paper nor leave an oil
spot. You should be able to write across the spot with your pen.

Furniture Polish
Paraffin wax-1 part
Kerosene-1 part
Linseed oil-1 pint
Denatured alcohol-1 pint
Water-3 pints
Shake well before using
Paraffin-3 parts
Turpentine-1 part
Vinegar-1 part
Mix oil and turpentine together
and add vinegar.
Mineral oil with a small amount of wax content also makes a satis-
factory polish.


Bronze and Brass Cleaner
Saturate a 5% acetic acid solution (or household vinegar) with ordi-
nary table salt. Polish immediately.

Metal Polish
Oxalic acid-1 part
Peroxide of iron (jewelers' rouge)-14 parts
Rotten stone-20 parts
Palm oil-60 parts
Petrolatum-5 parts
Iron oxide-10 parts
Pumice stone-32 parts
Oleic acid-a sufficient quantity to make a paste.

Concrete Floor Hardener
2% lbs. magnesium silico fluoride crystals dissolved in 1 gallon water.
(See directions for use, Chap. VI.)
Commercial sodium silicate (30-40%)-1 gal.
Water-4 gal.

Floor Mop Treatment
It is preferable to treat sweeping mops with the same treatment used
on the floor, using a very small amount.
If this is not practical the following mixture may be sprayed on
lightly and allowed to soak in yarn before use.
No. 1 pale paraffin oil-1 part, and
Deodorized white kerosene-3 parts
Crack Filler
Equal parts of corn starch and wheat flour mixed with linseed oil
and a little Japan dryer.
Equal parts of plaster of Paris and wood flour or very fine sawdust.
Enough shellac to make a paste. (Use alcohol if shellac is too thick
and mixture does not handle well.) This mixture may be used to fill
cracks or holes in wood very satisfactorily.
Volcanic ash is a very satisfactory abrasive for all cleaning purposes
and the cost is very low.
Roach Powder
Sodium fluoride mixed with a little flour. Borax or pyrethrum
powder may also be used. The mixture is more effective if moistened
slightly and rolled into pellets.


Varnish Remover. (For floors).
Paraffin wax-%2 lb.
Benzol-1 gal.
Wood alcohol-1 gal.
Spread on floor with mop, sprinkle some scouring powder on it and
scrub with warm water. The varnish will be loosened and may be
removed by scraping.

Varnish Remover for Furniture and Woodwork
Acetone-1 gal.
Benzol-1 gal.
Paraffin wax-% Ib.
Make gallon thick starch. Immediately dissolve two cups of sal
soda in the starch while it is still hot. Put this solution on the surface
from which the varnish is to be removed and let it stand overnight.
The varnish may be scraped loose with a putty knife the next morning.

Water Softener

Washing soda or
A good simple test for the relative hardness of water may be made
by adding to the water a soap solution prepared by dissolving 1 part of
pure white soap in 100 parts of 95% grain alcohol and adding 150
parts of distilled water or pure rain water. The turbidity produced
indicates the relative hardness, curdy flakes being formed with very
hard water. No permanent lather will be produced until sufficient
soap solution has been added, to precipitate all the calcium and mag-
nesium salts in the water.

Dissolve dextrin in moderately hot water until the solution has
about the consistency of honey. Cool somewhat and stir in a few
drops of oil of cloves to prevent molding.
Flour-1/4 lb.
Alum--% oz.
Water, cold--/2 pint.
Mix to paste and then add 1 pint boiling water and heat until thick.
When nearly cold add 30 drops of oil of cloves. When properly
thinned and especially if made with rye flour this paste is suitable
for paper hanging. If it is not to be kept but a few days, the oil of
cloves may be omitted.


Wall Paper Cleaner
Mix 2/3 dough and 1/3 plaster of Paris. Bake gently on the day
before it is to be used.

Masonry, Waterproofing
Cement, concrete, etc., is painted with a solution of:
Aluminum stearate-3 parts.
Naphtha-100 parts
Acetic acid-1i/ parts
Soda ash-9 parts
Aluminum sulphate-1 part
Potassium permanganate-0.03 parts
Water-20 parts
Cement enough to still keep fluid.

Integral Waterproofing of Concrete
Aluminum or calcium stearate-/4 to 1 lb. to the bag of cement.


The aim of maintenance is to keep the school building and
equipment in a good state of repair in order to reduce de-
preciation to a minimum. This requires a long-term view of
the problem.
The initial cost of materials and labor in the maintenance
program should not be considered the actual cost. The actual
cost can only be found by considering the length of service
and the upkeep as well as the initial cost of materials and
Supplies used in the maintenance program should be pur-
chased by the county through some one person designated as
the purchasing agent. This will enable the board to take
advantage of certain quantity discounts as well as to dis-
tribute supplies when needed rather than to build up a surplus
of any one item in each school.
Specifications should be the basis for purchase of all sup-
plies. Such specifications can usually be obtained from the
State Department of Education or from the Bureau of
Standards in Washington. A fairly accurate test of most
materials can be made by subjecting samples to actual use
and keeping accurate record of the result over a period of
time. This will necessitate buying small quantities at the
beginning, but the added expense of the records and the time
consumed in keeping them will be more than balanced by the
savings resulting from the use of the best product. Records
should be kept of the performance of all materials in order
to insure the continued quality of later orders.
The operations suggested below can be performed as needed.
It is, however, advisable to do as much of the work of main-
tenance during vacation periods as possible. This prevents
the custodian from being overworked, and reduces the pos-
sibility of any equipment being idle while the maintenance
work is in progress. Large systems have found it economical
to equip a truck with the necessary supplies, and have one
crew take care of all the routine maintenance work for all the


schools. This is, however, advisable only when there are
enough schools in the system to justify the time of one or
more men. Part-time maintenance crews might be used to
good advantage in smaller school systems, using a car or
truck to carry some of the more expensive machinery from
school to school. If the buildings and equipment are put in
good condition when school is not in session, the regular
cleaning process, supplemented when necessary by minor re-
pairs, will maintain the buildings in good condition through-
out the year.
Many types of floors are found in school buildings. When
wood floors are used, maple has proved to be the most satis-
factory; however, birch, oak, beech, and edge grain pine are
also acceptable. Flat grain pine is never satisfactory for any
school floor. An uncovered concrete floor should not be used
in a classroom.
Hallway, stair, and library floors may be covered with
asphalt mastic, rubber tile, or battleship linoleum.
When classroom floors are so badly damaged as to need
refinishing, or when the prevailing method of finishing is not
satisfactory, the principal can show the improvement possible
by obtaining the necessary permission of the proper adminis-
trative official and securing the refinishing of a demonstra-
tion room. By this means, it will also be possible to test
various brands of finishes and determine the one that gives
the best results in any given situation.
The floor treatments that have generally given the most
satisfactory results are listed below. However, it should be
remembered that new products are continually being placed
on the market, and only by frequent test will it be possible
to determine whether a new product will prove more desirable
in school use. CAUTION: Oil should seldom if ever be used on
wood floors. Use instead a good floor seal.
New Wood Floors
1. Sand the floor till smooth.
2. Seal with a tested floor sealer.
3. Wax lightly with a non-slipping wax.
NOTE: The purpose of wax is to protect the surface. Only
a small amount of wax is needed to accomplish this.


Too heavy a coating results either in a slippery floor
or in a gummy deposit that catches dirt and be-
comes black in a short time.
This treatment will produce a floor which will resist stains,
ink spots, and water. It will not tend to warp or buckle, and
there is no added fire hazard. It can be cleaned easily with
a dry mop, and places of excessive wear can be patched easily
by applying more seal without danger of an unsightly patched
Other treatments for floors of this type have been in wide-
spread use, notably varnish, shellac, and oil. These tend to
produce an unsightly floor after use, and oiled floors create
a definite fire hazard. Oils destroy the fibre of the wood and
thus reduce instead of lengthen the life of the floor.
Old Wood Floors
1. If floors have been varnished, shellaced or finished with
a sealer, this material should be removed by sanding,
or other methods.
2. Oiled floors can be cleaned by using soap and water to
which a small amount of tri-sodium phosphate (1 table-
spoon to a gallon of water) has been added. It may be
necessary to repeat this process two or three times to
remove all of this oil.
3. Sand smooth.
4. Seal as suggested for new wood floor.
Cement or Concrete Floors
1. Cover with asphalt mastic or rubber tile. This produces
a smooth surface easy to clean and maintain. If this is
not possible, then:
2. Harden and seal the surface with a chemical hardener.
A satisfactory hardener can be prepared by taking 21/2
pounds of magnesium silico fluoride crystals and dis-
solving them in one gallon of water. This produces a
solution which will cover one hundred square feet of
surface when applied as follows: Clean the surface
carefully and then coat the cement with a solution of
one part of the stock solution to two parts of water.
Apply this with a stiff brush, and brush the surface
enough to get rid of all air bubbles. Let dry twenty-four


hours between coats. For the second coat, use one part
of the stock solution to one part of water. Apply the
same as the first coat and let dry for twenty-four hours.
The third coat should contain one part of the stock solu-
tion to one-half part of water. This produces a surface
that is dustless and easy to clean. It is possible to wax
this type floor, but great care should be taken to prevent
the surface from becoming slippery.
Terrazzo Floors
If the terrazzo floor becomes dusty, harden and seal surface
as suggested for cement. (Terrazzo is simply cement to
which marble and granite chips have been added). CAUTION:
Do not use acids or strong abrasives on this type floor.
Marble Floors
No special treatment is needed. CAUTION: Do not use acids
or alkalies on this type floor. A neutral soap should be used
for cleaning.
Asphalt, Mastic, Rubber Tile, and Floors of Similar Composition
To clean use an asphalt tile cleaner.
Wax lightly with a water emulsion wax when needed.
CAUTION: Never allow oils of any kind to come in contact
with this type material.
To clean use a cleaner manufactured for linoleum.
CAUTION: Do not install where dampness occurs. Do not
allow oils, alkalies, or caustics of any type to come in contact
with this material. CAUTION: Use wide shoes or caster cups
on furniture. When linoleum floors are waxed, use water
emulsion wax and wax lightly as the surface easily becomes
Tile-Ceramic (clay)
When tile has been neglected a weak solution of muriatic
acid may be used to clean it.
Wax lightly as needed.
Treat stair treads in the same manner that a floor of the
same material is treated. Cement stairs that are badly worn


should have metal safety treads installed. Wood treads that
are badly worn should be replaced.
A roof is a covering composed of various materials designed
to prevent the leakage of water into the building. It is
obvious that any roof will be effective only as long as no holes
develop in its surface. It should be equally obvious that any
heavy object on the roof will tend to produce holes. For
this reason no one should be allowed on the roof unless it is
absolutely necessary, and then the person should keep directly
over the roof supports if at all possible.
It is necessary in many schools for the custodian to make
minor roof repairs. Unless specially trained in that line, he
should not attempt to make major roof repairs.

Asbestos Shingle
1. No special treatment necessary beyond replacing broken
shingles as needed.
2. Keep valleys and gutters clean.
NOTE: Use copper gutters and valleys when possible, but
galvanized iron (Toncan) can be used.

Galvanized Iron
1. Paint as needed subject to regular inspection.
2. Keep valleys and gutters clean.
3. Thin spots caused by rust can be patched by using an
asbestos fibre, asphalt base, or patching paint. Large
rusted spots can be reinforced by applying a coating of
patching paint, then laying a piece of canvas over the
paint, and covering the entire spot with another coating
of paint.
Composition Shingle
1. Inspect regularly and replace damaged shingles.
2. Keep valleys and gutters clean.
3. This type of roof covering deteriorates rapidly in the
Florida climate.
Built Up Roof and Parapet Wall
1. Patch when needed with asphalt asbestos fibre paste.


2. Use coarse cloth (canvas) and two applications of paint
for bad holes as suggested under Galvanized Iron.
3. Flash and counterflash parapet wall according to best
known practices. Copings may be recapped with clay
tile if needed.
NOTE: This type roof is not recommended in new con-
struction. Where it is necessary to use, it should be
installed by a reliable bonded roofing company, and the
company should be held responsible for any defects that
may occur.
Slate and Tile
1. Replace any broken tile or slate.
2. Keep valleys and gutters clean.

In cases where exterior walls have been constructed in such
a manner that dampness comes through, the situation should
be remedied by waterproofing them. If cracks have developed
they should be repaired before they are water proofed. All
outside windows and doors should be caulked to prevent
Brick, Brick Veneer, Solid Stone, Concrete Block
1. Point as needed. This necessitates digging out the old
material to a depth of at least half an inch and re-
2. Try antihydrate or similar waterproofing to cure
Monolythic Concrete
1. No special treatment needed.
Wood Frame
1. Keep painted. Buildings should be repainted at least
every three years.
2. Remove and replace rotten boards.

In building or remodeling a school, it is recommended that
a cement plaster wainscoating five feet high be installed in
corridors and auditorium. Acoustical treatment is inexpen-


sive to install and should be used in corridor ceilings, audi-
toriums, music rooms, etc. Oil paints should never be used
on acoustical material.
1. When painted, use washable acid resisting paints.
2. Use India rubber gum for cleaning.
Plaster-Oil Paint Surface
1. Wash with mild soap and water working from bottom to
top to avoid streaks.
2. Rinse well.
3. Wax after cleaning.
Woodwork-Oil Paint Surface
1. Clean with mild soap and water.
2. Use "00" steel wool or sandpaper to remove severe
3. Abrasive compound used with a sponge will remove pen-
cil marks.
4. Repaint when necessary.
Woodwork-Stained Surface
1. Clean with mild soap and water.
2. Wax lightly.
3. Badly weathered window stools should be restained and
The furniture in the average school is probably the one item
which requires the most constant repair program. For this
reason, it is well for the custodian to have a workshop to
which furniture can be brought for repair as soon as needed.
Very often a minor repair, made as soon as the damage is
found, will prevent a major repair or a serious accident later.
Custodians should be equipped with a pocket kit containing
pliers, screw driver, wrench, hammer, and putty knife. This
will enable many repairs to be made "on the spot" without
the necessity of removing the piece of furniture to the work-
Desks and Tables
1. Desks and tables should be cleaned at regular intervals.


2. Remove gum and other foreign substance with a putty
3. Refinish when needed as follows: Remove old finish
by sanding, fill all deep holes with Swedish Putty (whit-
ing, varnish, shellac) and smooth by sanding. Use pene-
trating seal containing bakelite and wax lightly.
4. Keep all bolts tight and replace lost screws promptly.
5. The underside of tables should be cleaned at regular
1. Clean at regular intervals.
2. Refinish when needed.
3. Remove all splinters promptly.
4. Tighten all bolts, screws, and nuts.
From the standpoint of safety, hardware is one of the most
important items in the custodian's maintenance schedule. The
actual maintenance operations are few and simple, but they
should not be neglected.
1. NEVER OIL LOCKS. They should be lubricated with a
graphite stick or powder.
2. Always retain a duplicate key for each lock. A good plan
is to make a key board which can be hung in the office
with a labeled space for each key. This will prevent
having to break down a door or hire a locksmith because
of a lost key.
3. Inspect frequently and adjust when needed.
Hinges and Bolts
1. Oil frequently.
2. Replace lost screws, bolts, and nuts promptly.
3. Keep free from rust.
Slate or glass blackboards have generally proved to be
satisfactory when purchased from a reliable supply house.
Most of the composition boards, however, deteriorate more
or less rapidly depending on the treatment that is given them.


If composition boards are used, their life will largely be de-
termined by the care taken of them by the custodian.
1. No special treatment needed.
2. Do not use kerosene for cleaning.
3. When very badly worn or filled they should be resur-
faced. Materials needed for resurfacing: Honing Stones,
180 K, 120 M, and 220 K; also cleaning cloth and wool
Clean blackboard thoroughly. Moisten section to be resur-
faced. Using circular motion, grind surface of the board with
honing stone No. 220 K. The board must be kept wet at all
times. Frequently stop and clean board of all mud. When
all chalk has been removed and surface is clean and black,
repeat the process using honing stone 120 M. Continue
grinding and removing mud until board is fairly smooth to
touch. Wash the board well and use honing stone 180 K.
Continue using this stone until it no longer cuts. The stone
should glide noiselessly over the board without sticking or
gripping the slate. Wash the board thoroughly, and it is
ready for use.
No special treatment needed.
2. These may be cleaned with a clean eraser and dry soft
3. Do not use kerosene.
NOTE: Any substance which fills the pores of the board
reduces the cutting effect on the chalk. For this
reason, oils of any kind (kerosene, etc.) should never
be allowed on any blackboard.
4. Refinish if absolutely necessary. Blackboard slating
may be purchased from a reliable supply house. At best,
however, this is only a temporary remedy and should
not be used except as a last resort.
1. Clean with vacuum cleaner or fibre brush.


2. DO NOT BEAT as this ruins the felts.
3. Clean erasers twice a week or oftener.
Wood window sills and frames should be painted as often
as necessary to keep a good coating of paint on the surface.
Windows should be well puttied at all times. A good grade
of putty protects both the glass and frame. Keep all cracks
tight by means of a caulking compound.

The study of paint, while complex, may be simplified if we
consider fundamental facts. The pigment portion of a paint
may be of one substance or a combination of two or more.
The vehicle portion contains a drying oil, as linseed oil, vola-
tile thinners, to make the paint spread easily and give a flat
finish that will aid adhesion of other coats and driers to
hasten oxidation.
The characteristics of a paint are determined by the nature
and proportion of its pigments, the nature and proportion of
its liquids, and the concentration of the total pigments. The
conventional formula in percentages by weight tends to ob-
scure the relations because of a variation of the specific
gravity of the ingredients of paint. The useful properties of
paint can at least be approximated by the proportions of in-
gredients by volume; volume governs the area coverable with
a film of suitable thickness, the concentration of opaque
pigments necessary to hide the surface, and the concentration
of total pigments required for both good consistency for ap-
plication and for optimum durability.
Selecting Paint
The proper selection of paint is difficult. The cost, ex-
posure, durability, and frequency of repainting influence the
selection of the paint to be used. A planned paint program
should include the type of paint to be used and the number
of coats. A satisfactorily painted building should be re-
painted with a paint of substantially the same composition.
In most sections of the United States, exterior coatings of
white or tinted paint will not remain durable for more than
four years. Unless your school budget can stand frequent
repainting jobs, select a soft type paint that wears thin by


chalking. If such a paint job is not examined too closely, it
will look reasonably well and will also leave a satisfactory
surface for repainting.
The proper type of paint for an old painted surface cannot
be prescribed without a record of the previous types of paint
that were used. School officials should keep a record of paint
jobs showing the type and formula for the paint, surface
preparation, number of coats, how prepared for application,
and interval between coats.
Causes of Paint Failure
The failure of paint on wood surfaces is often caused by a
faulty method of applying the paint. New paints are con-
stantly coming on the market and a painter may be called
on to apply a paint that has come on the market after he
learned his craft. In such a case, the painter should have
complete information pertaining to the application of the
product. The proper technic of application for the new paint
can be acquired.
Stingy applications of paint and mistakes in thinning prim-
ing coats often cause difficulty. A priming coat must have
enough oil to satisfy the wood and enough left over to bind
its pigments. If a priming coat fails to satisfy the thirst of
the wood, the second coat is robbed of oil to make up for this
loss in the priming coat, and as a result, spotted chalking
and fading soon develop.
Wood surfaces should be dry when painted; the paint on a
water-soaked wood will fail. Blisters will form in the paint
of a water-soaked wood when the sun draws the excess mois-
ture to the surface. After the moisture has escaped, it leaves
a collapsed film which becomes brittle when it dries. Before
a blistered surface can be painted, the defective paint should
be removed by sanding, scraping, or burning it off.
Checking of exterior paints is usually due to the applica-
tion of a hard finish coat of paint over a soft or semi-dry
priming or undercoats. When an undercoat is too rich in oil
or is not allowed to dry and a hard finishing coat is applied,
the difference in expansion and contraction may cause check-
ing of the outer coat. Priming coats should have heavy pig-
ment concentration and some of the thinner should be of a
volatile nature so that hard firm drying will be obtained.


Flaking, cracking, and scaling are related since scaling is
a latter stage of cracking. They are caused when paint films
become hard and brittle with age, and are not elastic enough
to adapt themselves to the volume changes which take place
in the wood.
Wrinkling is caused by an excessively thick coat of paint
and may be increased by too much drier. Excessive humidity
or temperature changes during the drying period will con-
tribute to wrinkling. This may be avoided by brushing the
paint to a thin, even film.
Bleeding over unprimed knots is caused by the oil in the
paint dissolving out substances in the knot. A good method
for treating knots is to apply a thin coat of aluminum powder
paint and allow firm drying before applying the priming
coat of paint.
Paint for Exteriors
An exterior paint pigment volume, computed on the non-
volatile portion of the paint, should range from 28 per cent
to 32 per cent. Such a paint should last four or five years.
It should not soil readily, will have good tint retention, even-
tually chalking and leaving a good paint surface. Such a
painted surface can be economically repainted. A paint that
fails by cracking, blistering, or flaking leaves a poor surface
for repainting.
Manufacturers of paints have in turn developed lead-in-oil,
lead and zinc paints, lithopone paints and now titanium
paints. Lead and zinc paints collect less dirt and retain tints
well, but are not as durable as lead-in-oil paints. Lead and
zinc paints have a tendency to crack, curl, and flake. Litho-
pone paint gives improvement in hiding power and whiteness
when compared with lead and zinc paints and has durability.
This paint also has good tint retention and gives a smooth
surface for repainting. Titanium paints give still further im-
provements in hiding power, more freedom from dirt collec-
tion, are more durable, also leave the surface in excellent
condition for repainting.
Paint for Interiors
Federal specification T T P 51a is a specification for an
interior white or tinted flat wall paint. In this paint, the
manufacturer is given latitude in the selection of raw material


provided the finished product passes all physical or per-
formance tests.
In selecting interior paints, keep in mind the diffuse re-
flection values of colors and tints. By light reflection is
meant the ability of a painted surface to reflect light dif-
fusely. Light reflection values of paint vary greatly from
white at 90 per cent, ivory at 79 per cent, buff at 64 per cent,
to jade green at 47 per cent. The dark colors go as low as
8 per cent.
The walls of school rooms should be of a color with a light
reflecting factor of not less than 30 per cent nor more than
50 per cent. The ceiling of a school room should be ivory
white or light cream with a light reflecting factor of not les
than 70 per cent.
The degree of gloss and texture of painted surfaces deter-
mines the distribution of light and control of glare. Flat
paints and eggshell finishes are low in degree of gloss and are
efficient distributors of light. The surface texture and rela-
tive whiteness of paint products, as well as their relative re-
sistance to discoloration, embraces the selection and com-
bined use of both vehicles and pigments.


Some mechanical equipment is necessary for the satisfac-
tory operation of any school plant. It is the purpose of this
chapter to deal with the operation and maintenance of the
heating, ventilating, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Any system of heating should supply conditions of tempera-
ture and humidity necessary for best instructional needs at
times when the outside temperature is too low for comfort.
Several studies show that a temperature reading between
68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit is most desirable. The outside
temperature will be lower than this during certain months or
days in the year. It is during these months that some type of
heating system is needed. In the one-room school a jacketed
stove may be used, while in a large consolidated or city school
the heating system may consist of a central plant. In the
construction of new buildings in Florida, with ten or more
rooms, a central heating system is required by law, except
south of the 27th parallel of latitude. Studies have shown
that under average conditions it is economical to install a
central heating system in buildings of more than four class-
rooms. A school plant in Florida, except perhaps in Key
West, is not complete without some method of heating.
Methods available for heating school buildings in Florida
range from no provision to the large central heating system
equipped with stokers and thermostatic heat control. For
the purpose of discussion, mechanical heating systems may
be classified as follows: the independent-individual room
method, and the central heating system.
Independent-Individual Room Method
Unjacketed stoves and jacketed stoves are the most com-
monly used arrangements of this type in this State. The


more satisfactory of these two is the jacketed stove. This
type of stove tends to distribute heat more uniformly over
the entire room than does the unjacketed stove. The jacketed
stove is satisfactory where the school plant is too small to
justify the financial outlay for the installation of a central
heating system. However, surveys should be made of heat-
ing costs as the size of the plant increases, and as soon as the
cost of a central heating system can be justified it is recom-
mended that steps be taken for its installation.
Central Heating Systems
The general classifications of central heating systems are:
hot air furnaces, fan systems, high pressure boilers, and low
pressure boilers. The latter is the most commonly used.
Oil-Burning Stoves
Some schools are replacing the coal stove with oil-burning
heaters. This procedure is highly recommended where fuel
oil can be bought advantageously. There is very little ex-
pense in the installation of an oil-burning stove where the old
flues can be used. Under no circumstances should an oil stove
be used unless it is properly vented. The oil-burning stove is
a great improvement over the coal stove in that it is cleaner,
easier to operate, and it distributes heat more uniformly over
the room during the entire day. The cost of operating this
stove in most cases is as low as that of the coal stove and the
oil heater is more efficient.
Hot Air Furnaces
Hot air furnaces are not practical for large school buildings
partly because of the number of rooms that must be heated.
They are sometimes used for small buildings, but are usually
not as practical or as desirable for these schools as jacketed
heaters. Where hot air furnaces are used, special care must
be exercised to see that all intakes are kept free from obstruc-
tions, that hot air pipes are in proper working order, and that
proper humidity is maintained. The procedure for firing and
caring for these furnaces are similar to procedures for other
types of heating systems discussed below.
Fan Systems
These are sometimes used to aid in distributing the heat
from hot air furnaces. If the school is sufficiently large that


a fan system is needed, some other type of heating will be
found to be more desirable.
High Pressure Boilers
Few high pressure boilers are used in school buildings be-
cause of the danger and attention required. They must be
operated only by specially trained and unusually competent
engineers or custodian engineers.
Low Pressure Boilers
The low pressure steam boiler is the most common type of
heating plant found in the medium sized and larger school
plants of the State. It is practical for schools because it is
reasonably safe, does not require a licensed engineer, and
allows the custodian more freedom for other duties. The dis-
cussion on the following pages applies particularly to low
pressure systems although most of the suggestions are ap-
plicable to any type of central heating.
Water Feeders. All steam boilers should have an auto-
matic water feeder to protect the boiler against damage of
insufficient water. If the boiler is automatically fired by
either oil, gas or stokers there should be installed an auto-
matic low water cut-out as well as a water feeder.
These items are operated by a float and should be taken
apart and thoroughly cleaned before each heating season.
Each feeder and cut-out should have a test valve and the
operator should check the operation of them weekly.
This arrangement is not recommended for school plants of
more than four rooms, but where it is used it should be
operated properly.
Unjacketed Stoves
Where a school is equipped with an unjacketed stove it is
recommended that the stove be improved by placing a home-
made jacket around it. Plans for a low cost jacket may be
secured from the State Department of Education at Tallahas-
see. When the jacket is installed it will greatly improve both
the health conditions and the comfort of the pupils. General-
ly speaking, the rules given below for the jacketed stove may
well apply to the unjacketed stove.


Jacketed Stoves
In the small school units in Florida where central heating
systems are not practical, the jacketed stove is quite satisfac-
tory if properly operated. It is essential that the fire should
be built early enough in the morning to have the room at the
proper temperature upon the arrival of the pupils.

Steps in Building a Fire in a Jacketed Stove:
1. Shake down the ashes.
2. Empty the ash pan.
3. Open ash pit door and damper before the fire is started.
4. Fill the water pan on the stove.
5. Cover the grates with waste paper and shavings or small kindling.
6. Spread larger kindling or wood on the shavings.
7. Ignite paper in ash pan or the paper which was first put on the
8. When wood is burning well add small amounts of coal, frequently,
until you have an even bed of hot coals.
Suggestions for the Operation of a Jacketed Stove:
1. Provide every room with a thermometer.
2. Bring coal into the room and remove ashes from the room at a
time when it will not interfere with the instruction of the pupils.
3. Keep stove pipes firmly supported and in a good state of repair.
4. Add coal in small quantities as needed.
5. Control heat by drafts.
6. Keep water in the water pan at all times.
7. Do not overheat the stove.
8. Keep external vents open.
9. Keep fire box clear of clinkers and ashes.
10. Provide windows with deflectors for ventilation.

Central heating systems should be installed when new large
buildings are constructed. These systems should also come
into greater use as old buildings are reconstructed from time
to time.
The type of heating plant and the fuel used in it are two all-
important factors to be considered by the administrative
officials in the selection and operation of a central heating

The Boiler
The boiler is used in connection with the heating system to


generate heat by producing steam or hot water. Its length
of service is in direct proportion to the care given it.
It is of the greatest importance that the custodian familiar-
ize himself with the proper procedures and practices in the
operation of boilers.
For Example: It is essential never to let the water become low
in the boiler. If it should, the fire must be pulled from the fire box
immediately, and the boiler allowed to cool gradually until com-
pletely cooled. Otherwise human lives and costly equipment are
A complete list of regulations concerning the operation and
care of the boiler should be secured from the manufacturer.
This list, printed in bold type and placed under glass, should
be posted in a conspicuous place in the boiler room. Thus it
becomes accessible for constant and continued use.
In the event that other heating systems such as hot air, fan
system, high pressure boilers, etc., are used, it is recommended
that the instructions for handling the particular type of sys-
tem be obtained from the manufacturer and that these in-
structions be followed carefully.
Note: In larger school systems where the custodial work is more
highly organized, boiler accessories such as carbon dioxide analyz-
ers, recorders, steam-flow meters, and condensation meters are
recommended as aids for checking and eliminating waste of fuel
and heat if properly used. The above items add to the safety and
the efficiency of the heating system.
Heat Control
Much waste may be eliminated through various methods of
controlling heat. Too often the custodian fires uniformly
throughout the day although the outdoor temperature may
vary widely during this same time. A little heat during the
early part of the morning and during the latter part of the
day is generally sufficient for good instructional conditions,
unless the weather is unusually cold.
The color and finish of the radiators are also important.
Research has shown that aluminum bronze or gold bronze
actually decreases the heat output over that of bare iron
radiators 7 per cent. The use of linseed oil, zinc, and litho-
pone paint of brown color, increases the output of heat over
that of bare radiators 5 per cent. Flat wall paint decreases
radiation about 8 per cent.


Automatic thermostatic heat control is recommended when
best results are desired at a minimum cost. By the use of this
mechanical device, the temperature of the room is uniform
throughout the day. It also prevents the generating of an
excessive amount of heat. If a school does not have thermo-
static control, a thermometer should be placed about four feet
from the floor near the entrance to the instructional room
and read several times each day by the custodian. Window
boards distribute and assist in the proper circulation of the
heat, and prevent direct drafts.
To Summarize: The following rules or suggestions are sig-
nificant for a good system of heat control:
1. Use of automatic thermostats.
2. Use a thermometer in each room that is to be heated.
3. Insulate all steam pipes.
4. Fire according to weather conditions.
5. Close fire door after each shovel of coal.
6. Paint radiators with dark color zinc and lithopone paints rather
than aluminum gold and bronze paints of light color.
7. Weather strip windows.
8. Eliminate unnecessary ventilation.
9. Do not cover or otherwise obstruct the free circulation of air around
10. Shut steam off entirely in unoccupied sections of the building,
taking care to avoid freezing of the pipes.
11. Heat classrooms, office, and assembly (when in use) 68 to 70
degrees; shops and corridors 65 degrees; toilets and gymnasiums
60 degrees.
12. Keep system in good repair. Worn, damaged, or defective valves
and traps will not function properly.
13. The custodian should investigate every complaint concerning heat.
Note: It is better for the thermometer to read 68F. than 70F.
health authorities state. Overheated rooms cause more colds than
underheated rooms, according to physicians. Studies show that an
increase of 2F. above normal room temperature brought a 70 per cent
increase in ailments of nose and throat. Aside from health, the
item of expense should be considered.
How to Start a Fire
Open ash-pit doors and dampers before the fire is started.
Cover grates with lump coal. Spread kindling or dry shavings
and wood on the coal. A small amount of oil-soaked waste or


paper should be placed on top of the dry shavings and ignited.
As the fire burns add small amounts of coal at frequent inter-
vals until a good bed of burning coals is obtained.

How to Fire a Low-Pressure Boiler
The main thing to do in firing a low-pressure boiler is to
observe the principles of combustion. Briefly these principles
1. Volatile matter is a gas which is driven off green coal as it is
placed on a hot fire.
2. Distillation is the process of a gas being driven off the green
coal. This process usually takes place rapidly. It takes place
whether air is present or not.
3. Combustion is the burning of volatile matter or gas. In order to
realize the maximum amount of heat from the coal, complete com-
bustion must take place in the combustion chamber. If complete
combustion is to be effected, extra air must be added above the
fire during the period of distillation.
In order to observe the principles of combustion more accu-
rately, one must keep the fire bed level. This can be done
with a levelling bar, or by the use of various firing methods.
When the levelling bar is used, care should be taken not to
tear up the fire too much.
Three general methods of firing which are recommended
for adding new or green coal to the fire are:
Ribbon Method: Placing fresh coal in strips throughout the
length of the boiler. These strips of green coal are separated by
strips of burning hot coal of approximately the same width.
Alternate Method: Placing green coal in one-half of the boiler
(longitudinally) at each firing, leaving the hot coal bed on the
other side to furnish heat for the consumption of gases from the
green coal.
Coking Method: Pushing the hot coals to the back of the boiler
and adding green coal at the front. In this method the ashes are
shaken down through the back grates each time before live coals
are pushed back and green coal added to the front of the fire box.
By this method more coal can be fed at each firing, and the cus-
todian can be away from the boiler room for a longer period of
time. The coking method is recommended for mild weather.
In all firing, the fire door should be kept closed except
when coal is entering the fire box. For best results, close the
door after each shovelful of coal has been fired.


Summary and Further Suggestions for Firing a Furnace
1. Keep fire bed level and thin enough for air to pass through it.
2. Combustible gas should be burned in the fire box, thus eliminat-
ing waste.
3. Utilize heat. It should not pass out the chimney.
4. Keep holes in the fire bed filled with green coal.
5. Remove clinkers as soon as possible.
6. Prevent air holes by keeping fire bed level.
7. Keep ashes out of fire bed unless used in banking. Keep hot coals
out of ash pit.
8. Completely burn coked coal.
9. Close fire door after each shovel of coal fired.
10. Use the coal wagon to bring coal from the bin to the furnace, and
then fire directly from this wagon.

Cause and Prevention of Smoke
Insufficient combustion space in the furnace causes a poor
mixture of gases, thus incomplete combustion occurs in the
combustion chamber. Evidence of this can be seen in the
amount and color of the smoke as it comes from the smoke
stack. Large quantities of black smoke are an indication that
incomplete combustion is taking place. If this continues, fuel
costs mount. To prevent this, plenty of fresh air should be
supplied in the right place and at the right time in the fire
box. Keep the temperature high enough in the fire box to
ignite the gases and supply coal in small quantities at frequent
intervals. Use various methods of firing to improve this con-

Banking a Fire
The purpose of banking a fire is to preserve it and retain
a minimum amount of steam. Before banking a fire, shake
down the ashes, remove clinkers, and clean the ash pit. A
fire may be banked by coaling heavily in the front of the fire
and thinly in the rear. Rear banking reverses this arrange-
ment. Side banking is firing the green coal heavily on the
sides and leaving the center thin to provide for the burning
of volatile gases. A red or hot spot should be left exposed in
the fire bed. It will burn the volatile gases as they are dis-
tilled from the green coal. The damper should be nearly
closed. A little ash should be left on the portion of the fire
not banked. Dampened coal is best for banking.


Tools for Operation of Heating Plant
These tools should be at hand for the efficient operation of
the heating plant, when coal is used as the fuel:
1. Coal pick: used to break up large lumps of coal.
2. A scoop: used to shovel coal into the furnace.
3. Steel coal wagon: used to move coal from the bin to the furnace
4. A rake: used to draw clinkers and level fire.
5. Tube brushes: used to clean boiler tubes.
6. Tube scrapers: used to loosen accumulation on boiler tubes.
7. Slice bar: used to adjust the fire so that more air can enter the
fire box.
8. Long handle shovel: used to remove ashes from the ash pit.
Summer Care of Heating Plant
The life and efficiency of a furnace depend a great deal on
the care given it during the summer, or the method in which
it is laid away for the summer months. These suggestions
seem pertinent for summer care of furnaces:
1. Soot, ash, and residue should be thoroughly cleaned from the
heating surface. Then give heating surface of boiler a coat of
lubricating oil on the fire side.
2. Put oil or grease on all machine surfaces.
3. Grates and ash pit should be thoroughly cleaned.
4. Clean and repack the gauge glass.
5. The pipe which connects the furnace to the chimney should be
6. Drain the boiler to prevent atmospheric condensation on the heat-
ing surfaces. (Caution concerning any fire during the summer).
7. Oil all hinges, damper bearings, and regulatory parts. See that
all accessories are in good working order.
8. Scrape all rust or deposits from the surface with a wire brush or
sandpaper. Then apply a coat of paint to preserve the boiler.

Coal and oil seem most practical for heating systems in the
schools of Florida. A major factor in the heating of school
buildings is the cost of the fuel. An understanding of the
heating value of coal and of the theory of combustion may
bring about noticeable savings. The custodian may become
an important factor in effecting this economy if he puts this
knowledge into practice.


For Example: Often coal is too dry when it is put into the
boiler, and proper combustion does not take place.
The theory of combustion is discussed under the topic "How
to Fire a Low-Pressure Boiler." Information on coal may be
secured from the Bureau of Mines in Washington, D. C.
Use of Stokers
When coal is used as fuel, the best results will be obtained
by the installation of stokers and thermostatic heat control.
Savings in operating costs and increase in efficiency will
justify the cost of installation. Moreover, the custodian has
more freedom for other duties. This plan lends itself to a
more even distribution of heat to the classroom throughout
the day, and in turn makes instructional conditions more
favorable. When stokers are installed, the custodian should
secure instructions from the manufacturer, post them in the
boiler room, and follow them.
Selection of Coal
The following are some methods for determining the best
type of coal to be purchased:
A competent heating engineer can give helpful advice in
regard to the selection of coal when he knows the conditions
peculiar to any heating plant. The manufacturers of heating
equipment are also in position to give advice in regard to the
types of fuel which may be used successfully and economically.
Selection of coal by experience and experimentation is de-
sirable if the procedure is systematic and the evidence care-
fully recorded in accordance with a plan such as the follow-
Fire the boiler for a period of one week with the coal
being tested, measuring and recording at 7 A. M. and 4 P. M.
(a) the amount of coal consumed in tons and (b) the amount
of steam condensed while the amount of coal was burned
expressed as pounds or gallons or cubic feet whichever is most
convenient. The unit used is immaterial so long as the same
unit is used for all samples. The amount of water condensed
per dollar may then be found by applying the formula:
The amount of The amount of steam condensed ("b" above)
water condensed =
er dollarThe amount of coal consumed X The cost of
("a" above) coal per ton


To illustrate: Suppose it is found that during the testing
period (usually one week) 30 tons of coal costing $8 per ton
are used in condensing steam which makes 24,000 gallons of
water. The amount of water condensed per dollar in this
coal would be:
The amount of water condensed per dollar =- =100
30 x 8
Suppose in the second sample under consideration by the
same method it is found that 10 tons of coal costing $5 were
used in condensing 4800 gallons of water. The amount of
water condensed per dollar in this case would be
= 96
10 x 5
Hence the $8 coal would be more economical.
The same procedure may be used in determining:
(a) The best stoker method.
(b) At which pressure the boiler is most efficient.
(c) Which fireman of several is most efficient.
Purchase of Coal
After the type of coal to be purchased is determined, defi-
nite specifications for the coal requirement should be drawn
up and presented to prospective bidders. The specifications
should state the acceptable as regards: (a) Minimum British
Thermal Units content, (b) Maximum moisture content
(usually from 8 to 16 per cent), (c) Maximum volatile mat-
ter in dry coal (preferably from 77 to 81 per cent), (d) Maxi-
mum sulphur in dry coal (from 1 to 21/2 per cent), (e) Maxi-
mum ash in dry coal (usually 10 per cent with a penalty of
one per cent for each percentage above a basal 4 per cent),
(f) Comparative cost percentage.
All bidders should be required to furnish a guaranteed
analysis of each coal offered. The contract is then awarded
on the basis of the cost per million B. T. U. as determined by
the formula:
1,000,000 X price per ton corrected for ash
2,000 X B. T. U. analysis
For example, suppose dealer "A" proposes to furnish at $10
per ton coal meeting specifications with a B. T. U. content of
13,000 and an ash content of 5 per cent.


Suppose dealer 'B" proposes to furnish at $9 per ton coal
meeting specifications with a B. T. U. content of 12,000 and
an ash content of 6 per cent.
The cost per 1,000,000 B. T. U. of the coal offered by the
two dealers would be determined by the formula:
1,000,000 X price per ton corrected for ash
2,000 X B. T. U. content of coal
By use of this formula, it is found that the cost per million
B. T. U. of coal offered by dealer "A" is arrived at as follows:
Since the ash content exceeds the base ash content by one per
cent, the correction for ash becomes 100 per cent 1 per
cent = 99 per cent and applying the formula:
Cost per million B. T. U. of coal offered by dealer "A":
1,000,000 X .99 X $10
1,000,000 X .99 $10 $.3807 cost per million B. T. U. of coal offered
2,000 X 13,000 by dealer "A".

By applying the same formula:
1,000,000 X .98 X $9
-- $.3675 cost per million B. T. U. of coal offered
2,000 X 12,000 by dealer "B".

Since the cost per million B. T. U. in the coal offered by
dealer "B" is less than that in coal offered by dealer "A", the
contract should be awarded to dealer "B" other things being
equal. The contract price would be $.3675 per million B. T. U.
When the coal is actually delivered by dealer "B", it may
prove profitable to check the claimed analysis with the actual
analysis and pay dealer "B" on the basis of the analysis of the
coal actually delivered. If it is decided that this is to be done,
samples should be taken as the coal is actually delivered and
an analysis be secured from the state chemist. Suppose in
the example cited above the analysis shows that the coal
actually delivered has a B. T. U. value of 11,000 and an ash
content of 7 per cent. The amount to be paid dealer "B"
would be determined by the following formula:
B. T. U. as delivered X 2,000 X contract cost
per million B. T. U. By substituting these values in the hypo-
thetical case, we get


11,000 X 2,000 X $.3675
= $8.0850 per ton
This is the price to be paid dealer "B" if the ash content did
not exceed 4 per cent. But since the ash content exceeds by
3 per cent the base of 4 per cent a further correction for ash
content becomes necessary. The price paid to dealer "B" be-
comes not $8.0850 per ton, but instead
$8.0850 X (100 1)
0--0 = $8.0041 per ton
Dealer "B" would therefore receive as full payment $8.0041
per ton instead of the $9.00 originally quoted.

Coal is a cheap fuel in many localities, and is. quite satis-
factory. However, when freight rates on coal are high enough
to justify the use of other fuels, oil is highly recommended.
Oil requires very little attention in the actual generating of
heat. It is clean and easy to handle. If oil is used, specific
instructions should be secured from the manufacturer and


1. Inspect monthly while in use for air leaks in the boiler, the furnace,
and the chimney. If any leaks are found, eliminate them.
2. Keep heating surfaces free of ash and soot by daily scraping or
3. Add fuel as necessary, and in as uniform quantities as possible.
4. Avoid the use of the slice bar, rake, and hoe in the fire box as much
as possible as these tools sometimes tear up the fire.
5. Keep the ash pit clean.
6. Adjust damper on flue leading to chimney as needed to keep a
good fire in the furnace.
7. When possible, leave ash pit doors open.
8. Keep slides in fire-box doors properly adjusted.
9. Avoid overheating the building. Maintain classroom temperatures
of 68 to 70 degrees; corridors, gymnasium, and shops from 60 to
65 degrees.
10. Stop firing when heat is not needed.
11. A bulb thermometer should be provided for each room to measure
the humidity. Three or four gallons of water should be evapo-
rated daily for each room.


12. Cut off heat in rooms when they are not in use.
13. Prevent formation of air holes in the coal bed.
14. Keep the fire bed thin enough for air to pass through it.
15. Keep the fire bed level.
16. Keep clinkers removed from the fire bed.
17. Blow down water column at least once each day.
18. If water becomes dangerously low in the boiler, pull fire imme-
diately, and allow to cool thoroughly before water is added again.
19. Keep trash and other unnecessary things out of the boiler room.
20. Keep the boiler room free of ashes.
21. Live coal should not be allowed to burn below the grate.
22. Do not permit dust to accumulate on top of breeching and boilers.
23. After each firing the custodian should clean up in front of the
24. If there is any danger of the plumbing freezing during vacation or
holidays, it is the duty of the custodian to go to the building and
take care of the heating plant to prevent such freezing.
25. The custodian should take extra precaution to see that the build-
ing is warm enough at opening of school Monday mornings, or at
the opening of school following any holiday.
26. When grates are burned out, one of two things has happened.
Either the ash pits were not kept clean at all times, or clinkers
have been allowed to accumulate on top of grates.
27. The custodian should never leave the boiler while steam is being
generated unless he closes draft doors, checks damper regulation,
and makes sure there is enough water in the boiler.
28. The custodian in charge of the furnace should never leave the
building unless the fires are banked.
29. If plumbing fixtures are located so that they may freeze even
when there is not a need for heat in other parts of the building,
the traps should be drained and filled with some solution to pre-
vent freezing.
30. Keep boiler free from scale or oil.
31. Do all major repair work on the heating plant during the summer
when it is not in use.
32. Check boiler tubes for pitting. Replace any defective tubes.
33. Drain water and flush boiler with hose.
34. Clean boiler both inside and out before painting.
35. Repaint all parts of the boiler needing it.
36. Install new heating plant during the summer unless an emergency
37. The boiler inspection certificate should be posted in the particular
room where the boiler which was inspected is located.
38. Any defects in the heating, plumbing, or electrical systems which
the custodian is unable to take care of should be reported to the
principal, superintendent, or supervisor, at once.


39. Keep water-glass and steam gauges in a good state of repair so
that they are always clean and can be seen clearly.
40. Cold water should be added to boilers in small quantities through
a slow process.
41. Do not empty the water out of a boiler when the brick work is hot.
42. Leave the damper slightly open in banking a fire to permit the
escape of gas.
43. Do not permit water to accumulate in the ash pit.
44. The custodian should always close the water valve to the boiler
before he leaves at the end of the day.
45. When steam valves are to be opened, this should be done slowly.
46. Check safety valve daily.
47. To prevent the fire steaming too rapidly, smother it with fresh
coal or ashes, open furnace doors, and close ash-pit door.
48. Tubes of flues should be cleaned once each week or oftener if

Fuel: Some Economies in the Field of Fuel Management
1. Select the fuel best adapted to the furnaces or boilers in operation.
2. Fuel should be purchased in such a way that the maximum amount
of heat is obtained at a minimum cost.
3. Make purchases of fuel in the low price season (early summer).
4. Steps should be taken to check the quality and quantity of coal as
it is received.
5. Provide for proper storage of all fuel.
6. Purchase fuel on large quantity basis.
7. Set up adequate specifications for the purchase of fuel.
8. Provide forms and make records of daily consumption of fuel.
9. Make a boiler operation schedule to include boiler operation pro-
cedure, starting time, banking time, and closing time.
10. Provide a schedule for cleaning boiler and parts.

Ventilation of most school buildings in Florida does not
involve the use of elaborate mechanical equipment. If proper
provision has been made at the time of construction, the ven-
tilation of a school building in operation merely requires that
the custodian, teacher and others give proper attention to
the matter of making a few necessary adjustments.
Since there is no severe cold weather the matter of venti-
lating classrooms in the wintertime is largely a matter of
adjusting windows properly and of using window deflectors to
aid in preventing drafts. Teachers and custodians should see
that windows are adjusted to give needed ventilation and yet
to avoid drafts. Periodically windows should be thrown open


for a short period of time to admit a generous amount of
fresh air into classrooms in continuous use.
Care should be taken to see that odors from toilets, storage
rooms, cafeterias, chemical laboratories, and other similar
rooms do not get into other parts of the building. Such rooms
should have special ventilating provisions.
Ventilation during the warmer months is usually a rela-
tively simple and automatic matter if breeze windows have
been properly installed. If breeze windows were not installed
when the building was constructed, it will frequently be found
possible and inexpensive to install such windows. When vents
have been installed in the walls or floor of any room the cus-
todian should see that they are kept open and free from trash.
With increased attention being paid to sanitation and public
health, new demands have been placed upon the plumbing
service of the school. The attitude of the child regarding
personal health and cleanliness has changed in recent years.
He is eager to keep clean. He wants to live in a sanitary
environment. In order to meet these demands it has been
necessary to change much of the old plumbing to new and
improved plumbing equipment. It has also been necessary to
install plumbing equipment in schools where it did not exist
The changing of this old equipment to improved equipment
has greatly reduced maintenance cost. The new and im-
proved fixtures are designed to reduce the danger of stop-
pages or clogging to a minimum. However, they have not
been made entirely fool proof and there are times when the
plumbing needs to be repaired.
This mechanical equipment may be classified as rough
plumbing and finished plumbing.
Rough plumbing is known as roughing-in. It is the instal-
lation of all concealed piping, hot and cold water lines, drains,
vent stacks, soil pipe, traps and fittings. Most states and
practically all cities have plumbing codes setting up minimum
requirements. An installation that will prove most economical
in the long run from the standpoint of maintenance is one in
which the best materials are used and are installed by a


reputable plumbing contractor. Wrought iron or galvanized
steel pipe should be used for cold water lines, and red brass
or copper pipe for hot water lines. If finances permit red
brass or copper pipe may be used for cold water also. In the
long run this will be an economy as these metals do not scale
and rust out, while the wrought iron will. All hot water lines
should be covered with an approved pipe covering to prevent
heat loss. Cast iron bell soil pipe should be installed and
carried to a point outside of the building lines where it joins
sewer tile. Cast iron vent stacks must be installed in accord-
ance with code requirements.
Rough plumbing to each toilet should be concealed in a pipe
space fitted with access door for convenience in making quick
In some schools it is necessary to install septic tanks for
sewage disposal. The State Health Department at Jackson-
ville, Florida, will supply plans and specifications for the con-
struction of a septic tank that will meet requirements.
Schools in some communities still use the outdoor pit privy.
The State Health Department has plans which can be used for
the construction of a sanitary privy. All privies must be
approved by the State Health Department.
It is recommended that plumbing equipment be inspected
in operation before paying for an installation.
Too often fixtures are not suited for the use which is being
made of them. The water fountain may be too high or the
toilet stool may be out of proportion to the size of the pupil.
They should be selected and so installed that they meet the
needs of educational demand. There are many cases of elabo-
rate plumbing fixtures, but more cases of insufficient accom-
modations along this line.
Plumbing fixtures should be selected for:
1. Simplicity 4. Imperviousness to moisture
2. Accessibility 5. Non-absorption
3. Durability 6. Appearance
7. Maintenance


These factors are definitely related to sanitation and edu-
cational efficiency."
This equipment should be of standard design and material.
Type, form and class of plumbing fixtures will vary accord-
ing to personal desires and the particular school. However,
there is general agreement on the following features in con-
nection with types of plumbing fixtures.
Water closets should be of vitreous china with elongated rim.
They should be fastened to the wall rather than the floor. This
makes cleaning easier. The seat should be open in the front and of
material which is substantial enough to stand the seat being drop-
ped. They should have flush valves with stops if conditions permit.
Urinals should also be of vitreous china. They should be from 15
to 18 inches wide, and of the stall type. Flushing of urinals should
be done by hand valves.
Lavatories should be of vitreous china and hung to the wall.
This lends itself to good sanitary cleaning in the toilet room.
While it is customary to equip a school with one lavatory for each
75 pupils, in view of the importance of personal cleanliness as a
necessary health habit, it is recommended that more be installed.
Each school, regardless of size, should have at least two lavatories.
Toilet partitions should be of marble slate or enameled metal and
should be so installed that they will stand rough usage. Doors are
not recommended for toilet stalls in the boys' toilet room.
Drinking Fountains should be recessed in convenient locations.
They should be of vitreous china, with concealed fittings and self-
closing valves. There should be at least one fountain to every fifty
pupils. They should be of the angle type. Drinking fountains
should not be installed in toilet rooms.
Slop sinks should be placed in separate closets large enough for
mopping equipment. Faucets to them should have hose connections.
Gymnasium fixtures, such as shower, shields or partitions, shower
heads, hot and cold water valves, and pipes should be so installed
that they will render best service to the educational program. They
should be substantial in order to take rough usage. As this equip-
ment will be used by large groups, there should be enough fixtures
to take care of the class in good time.
Boys' central shower room with one shower head to each ten boys
may be used. There is a difference of opinion as to whether the
girls should have a central shower room or use individual showers.
*Anderson, Erik A., "Plumbing Standards and Their Relation to School Effi-
ciency," American School and University, 1931-1932, p. 96.

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