Floor to Ceiling Care and Sustainability

Physical Plant Environmental Services staff members recently undertook the challenge of refinishing the wood flooring in the Geissinger Gymnasium of the Fitness and Athletics Center. Pictured: PPD Director of Environmental Services Mike Jowder and Alex Mangione. Not Pictured: Ed Pittman, Jose Guzman, and Anthony Chen.

At George School, students not only hit the books, but hit the courts day in and day out. Classrooms, athletic facilities, and every corner of the 240-acre campus is kept safe, polished, and maintained by the dedicated Physical Plant Department (PPD). Channeling the school’s dedication to community and sustainability, and its mission to inspire lifelong learning, PPD Environmental Services staff members recently undertook the challenge of learning a new skill—refinishing the wood flooring in the Geissinger Gymnasium of the Fitness and Athletics Center (FAC).

“The hardwood floor of the gym requires maintenance to keep it safe for student athletes and the community,”  said Robert Kleimenhagen, Jr., CFM, SFP, ProFM, Director of Physical Plant. “While our Environmental Services (ES) team maintains the hardwood floors in the Main Dining Room and Marshall Center, this was a unique opportunity to train the team to do this work on the gym floor at the FAC. Bringing this work ‘in-house’ in lieu of using a contractor resulted in significant savings to George School.” 

Ed Pittman, Alex Mangione, Anthony Chen, and Jose Guzman of Environmental Services completed training for the project in October with a goal of having the flooring refinished at the start of November.

Partnering with Hillyard, Inc., the leader in gym floor refinishing chemicals and training, Robert approached the PPD ES team about taking on the project. “They were all excited to undertake it even though it was significantly larger than previous projects they had worked on,” commented Robert. Hillyard teamed up with Mike Jowder, PPD Director of Environmental Services, to show the team how to prep and refinish the floor. “The ES team welcomed the training, and gained a sense of ownership, pride, and accomplishment from the project,” Robert shared.

“I am proud of my team, the extra work they put in, and their ability to want to learn new things about floor care,” commented Mike. “It is important to provide the best quality gym flooring, and there will be daily maintenance to ensure the playing surface remains in optimal shape. Leading this project was easy because I am working with a great team.”

Embodying the school’s motto of “minding the light,” the PPD also completed an LED lighting upgrade in the gym. The impact? A 57% reduction in electricity, 84,000 kWh saved, and 58 metric tons of CO2 reduction. Lighting levels in the gym are now twice as high as they were, ensuring that George School scholar-athletes can get the most out of gym use from floor to ceiling, and that spectators in the stands can truly watch their skills shine.

“The community, scholar-athletes, and visitors all utilize the FAC, and the Geissinger Gym highlights the school’s remarkable facilities,” said Robert.  “By refinishing this floor and completing these projects ‘in-house,’ it shows the community that the PPD is committed to maintaining our facilities in a cost-effective manner, and that our employees are a vital part of the community who take pride in their work and accomplishments.”

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