Birmingham Public Schools (BPS), Beverly Hills, Michigan - established in 1834, with a 2017 enrollment of 8,250 - is ranked as both the Best School District and the Safest School District in Michigan by Niche.com, out of more than 500 in the state. It was also recognized as one of the healthiest schools nationally in the 2017 Healthy School Award program developed by the Healthy Facilities Institute, School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management magazines.
What’s their secret? Commitment at the top, excellent faculty, smart operations people, and choosing best-in-class technology, including 22 Kaivac 1750 no-touch, spray-and-vac cleaning machines.
“The Kaivac units do a better and faster job in restrooms and locker rooms compared to older methods,” said Steve King, Manager of Operations. “Putting professional tools in the hands of custodians adds dignity, and the cleanliness of facilities builds pride.”
There is at least one Kaivac machine in every BPS building, including:
- Two High Schools
- Two Middle Schools
- One 3rd-8th Grade School
- Eight Elementary Schools
- One Pre-school / Senior Center
- A Facility Operations Building
- A Transportation Building
“You get a lot more speed and efficiency with a Kaivac unit when cleaning a restroom compared to doing it all by hand,” said Matt Hess, Assistant Manager of Operations. “We are saving money and labor, and if we can get tasks done more efficiently, we can clean more areas.”
Ryan Sharick, Operations Coordinator, concurs: “We did a time and field study to see how long it actually took to do the job with the Kaivac compared to doing it manually. In a single-stall restroom, we did it by hand and we did it using the Kaivac, and we saved 3 minutes and 15 seconds using Kaivac – and it was cleaner.”
Kaivac’s versatility has made it a core part of the BPS custodial training program for:
- Daily Restroom Cleaning
- Daily Locker Room Cleaning
- Spotting Chairs and Upholstery (using the upholstery tool)
- Deep Cleaning Kitchen Floors (using KaiGrouter)
- Cleaning Staircases and Removing Gum on Entry Sidewalks (using the Kaivac Gatling Gun)
"Spraying down restrooms and locker rooms carries away urine and bacteria through the floor drain, so custodians don’t need to worry about controlling odors," Ryan adds. "We also use the 1750’s blower function to dust brick walls, classrooms and other surfaces in the summer months; and to dry lockers after spray cleaning."
Best District, Best Cleaning
BPS is proud of its local, statewide and national reputation for excellence, health and safety.
Its annual surveys of 12,000-16,000 teachers, parents, and students, help it to stay in touch with its customers and respond to any complaints.
"We get fewer complaints using the Kaivac,” concludes Steve King.
This award-winning school district is helped in its effort to provide the best learning, living and working environment - in large part by adopting and modeling the best cleaning.
Allen Rathey is the principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), director of the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC), and author of articles about best practices in cleaning and indoor environmental management.
*The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC) do not endorse products.