About Our Organization
The Brevard Public Schools (BPS) Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and the Office of Central Custodial Services were joined together as one team comprising Department 9560 (Plant Operations) during district level reorganization efforts in the 1990s. Historically, the Plant Operations Department has remained closely related to the Maintenance Department (9562) in many ways. Similarities between both departments include:
- Administratively reporting to the Facilities Services Division of BPS.
- Share the same centrally located Compound and Office Complex (Rockledge, FL).
- Share the same administrative support staff (i.e. payroll and accounting clerks).
The objective of the reorganization plan was to combine similar work practices within the Facilities Services Division as necessary to improve efficiency and the level of service provided to the educational process (schools).
To add some size perspective, the BPS Organization is comprised of the following:
- 80-plus school sites and approximately a dozen ancillary support sites located on more than 2,500 acres of land.
- Maintains more than 12 million square feet of space in 1,304 buildings
- Serves over 73,000 students
- Employs more than 8,900 fulltime personnel
School/student enrollment numbers started continuously receding in 2006, in unison with a general down-turn in the national and local economy. As a result of this and State educational funding woes, the Plant Operations Department sustained downsizing of its own starting in 2008. Capital and operating budgets have reduced in size each fiscal year. Staff reduction has occurred during the past few years through hiring-freeze/attrition and layoffs. A keen focus on operational processes and implementation of improvement initiatives continue to be necessary for operational success. Success is not only measured by providing a reasonable level of direct service to the educational process (schools), but it is also measured by compliance with specific Federal and State regulatory requirements pertaining to environmental, health, safety, and sanitation issues associated with delivering education services to the public.
The responsibility for such regulatory compliance further reinforces the organizational plan to keep environmental, health and safety professions close to other facilities services type support functions (i.e. Building Permit & Code Compliance, Facilities Planning, Maintenance, Security, Energy Management).
With environmental, health, safety, and sanitation type regulatory compliance comes a significant amount of documentation and reporting responsibilities, which requires periodic communication with other government agencies (i.e. EPA, DOE, DCA, FDEP, State Fire Marshal’s Office, local fire officials, local health department, and various municipal agencies). Staff within both offices realize the importance of maintaining good lines of communication with jurisdictional regulatory officials.
Since both offices have been in parallel existence for numerous years, they have demonstrated success in anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling code compliance, environmental, health, safety, and custodial issues typical to public education.
A longstanding management commitment to professional development, individual empowerment and team building has fostered the development of model programs and delivery of cost-effective, quality services. These programs and services are recognized across the business region for their significant contributions to building, operating, and maintaining schools and facilities that are healthy, clean, safe, and support student excellence.
In today’s uncertain economic times, the Team’s emphasis on open communication with customers and suppliers, continual improvement of assessment strategies, and prioritization of work based on objective data has allowed the Team to reduce the size and cost of projects performed, while maximizing the level of service with limited resources. The Team’s ability and willingness to remain flexible and allocate resources in the best interest of all customers has positioned them well to rapidly respond to the ever-changing regulatory and economic climate.
This Team shall continue conducting periodic process reviews and improvement initiative in an effort to minimize casualty risk to customers and shareholders, and increase efficiency.
Mission Statement, Objective & Vision
The Brevard Public School District’s Mission Statement is: To Serve every student with excellence as the standard. The Environmental Health, Safety, & Central Custodial Service Team’s Objectives are: providing consistent, reliable, safety related services to district school populations, fellow departments, and other agencies by:
- Identify and report environmental, health, safety, and sanitary deficiencies for corrective actions to prevent injury to students, employees, and guest, while minimizing the organizations exposure to risk/liability.
- Stay current with ever changing rules and regulations.
- Contribute resources to the construction, operation, and maintenance of schools and facilities in order to support student achievement (avoiding unnecessary distractions associated with environmental, health, and safety threats).
- Provide environmental health, custodial, and safety services in the most cost-effective way possible without compromising the level of service predetermined by regional safety industry’s standard of care.
- Continually improve our service processes and customer satisfaction levels.
- Serve every customer with excellence as the standard.
The Team’s Vision Statement is: the school board, fellow departments, and school/site based staff, are able to provide their educational services with confidence that safety is not a concern or perceived as a hindrance, and students are learning more, faster, and better as a result.
The Plant Operations Department (9560) which comprises the EH&S Office and the Central Custodial Services Office has an operational and a capital budget. These Budgets are a subset of those stemming from the Facilities Services Division (Dept. 9500).
The operating budget is similar to other BPS departments in that it addresses all labor cost and most operating cost, but does not address operating cost for such things as vehicle, fuel, utility cost, and human resources support, etc. Such operational costs are borne by other departments within BPS. Department 9560’s Annual non-labor Operating Budget is approximately $615,500, and the labor budget for 14 employees is $795,000 a total of $1,500,000.
The portion of the Facilities Services (Dept. 9500) capital budget managed by Department 9560 is structured to address such things as custodial equipment amortization and infrastructure needs associated with occupant safety and access (i.e. ADA). The Annual Capital Budget managed by this department is approximately $1-million each year. The Capital Budget varies widely depending on student enrollment figures and availability of Florida State Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) Funds.
A significant portion of routine Maintenance Department (9562) activities, and their associated operating and capital budget is spent resolving environmental health and safety issues (i.e. fix; exit light, sanitary sewer line, gas shut-off valve, trip hazard, panic hardware). These activities which are related to extending the life of the building as well as minimizing casualty risk are numerous and relatively small in scale, therefore difficult to measure.
Since funding is limited, professionals within the EH&S Office annually perform a safety deficiency review and reprioritization as necessary to incorporate newly found safety concerns in comparison to those already listed. This is necessary to insure limited resources are spent on safety issues presenting the greatest casualty risk to BPS. This can be a difficult task due to limited funding resources and the sometimes subjective nature of ranking casualty risk conditions.
Team members have been empowered to work closely and independently with personnel in other departments and support overall school district goals and objectives. Resources can be rapidly reallocated, as appropriate, to support the overall mission.
Requirements For Continued Success
Collaborative cooperation from fellow departments, as well as support from the senior administrative and executive leadership of the BPS organization is required for continued success of the Team.
Periodically analyze and refine existing procedures as necessary to meet the demands set by ever changing internal and external client needs as it relates to the Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sanitation Industry (Ref. District’s 2007 Baldridge Improvement Initiative).
Prioritize near-term needs against long term needs. Isolate key issues and make decisions based on reliable risk assessment analysis data and other available resources.