Campus News

Behind the Scenes: Part One of a Four-part Series
Judith Worrall, middle school writing teacher & communications team member


Part 1 – Facilities and Operations

As John Sweeney said, “Safety is a basic human need. People with a sense of security and belonging are stabilized for learning, creating, innovating. A group of wonderfully cared for, confident individuals will generate great ideas.” This story is part one in a four-part series exploring the ways in which staff are working behind the scenes to make school safe for students, staff and everyone who uses it so that “great ideas” can be generated. 
 

A new area of the school that Steve and his team are responsible for, the new café patio. Check out the beautiful view!

Over the course of the last nine months, everyone in our community has worked tirelessly to ensure that we continue to offer the academic program and community experience our students and families love about Nueva. One team that has worked particularly hard, and entirely behind the scenes, is the Facilities and Operations Team, which has played a critical role in ensuring that students, faculty, and staff are secure and safe, and that we, as an institution, are complying with all of the state and county COVID-19 guidelines. In this season of thanks, we are so very grateful to Director of Facilities and Operations Steve Osbourne and his entire team, spanning both campuses, for their efforts to allow us the safe return we have had over the past few months.

So what exactly does Steve and his team oversee? Steve leads Nueva in regards to facilities and operations, and works closely with two facilities managers:  —Drew Kellner on the San Mateo campus and Craig Strong on the Hillsborough campus— and Gerardo Resendes, the facilities maintenance technician. Throughout the course of the week, Steve, Drew, Craig, and Gerardo work closely with the Nueva School day porters and security staff to  ensure that the buildings and their services meet the needs of the faculty and staff that work in them. This involves coordinating logistics and details with teams in cleaning, security, fire safety, and parking. Steve also manages all of the building maintenance needs, from the smallest details of the heating system to the biggest aspects of landscaping. If it needs fixing, Steve and his teams are the ones to take care of it.

Jen Caputo checks a student's temperature before he enters the building.

On the operations side, Steve works with the Leadership Team to plan and manage the logistical and safety protocols Nueva has in place. Operations also partners extensively with the Nueva Parents’ Association, the Admissions Team, and the Business Office to support their special event needs.

While the team certainly has their hands full, Steve noted that their projects and responsibilities are more straightforward than they sound because of the one-school initiative.
 

“The facilities and operations protocols are the same on the Hillsborough and the San Mateo campuses,” he said. “Although the campuses have their own challenges, the only difference is the logistical aspect of each campus—the San Mateo campus is one large building and is faster to maneuver. On the Hillsborough campus, we have 15 separate buildings spread over a wider space.”

The pandemic has had particular implications for the work of the Facilities and Operations Team: they have been on-site since the start of the pandemic, working closely with the Leadership Team and faculty and staff members to ensure that all of the pandemic-related processes and protocols are followed so everyone that who comes onto campus is safe. The team was responsible for acquiring the new portable classrooms on both campuses, which allow for more space to comply with social distancing standards. It also sourced portable restrooms and outdoor tents on the Hillsborough and San Mateo campuses so that teachers, staff members, and students can maintain safe distances while covered in an outdoor space. The team has also worked diligently to procure large quantities of  face masks, face shields, goggles, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and has equipped each room with air purifiers.

Directional signage to help Nuevans stay on the correct side.

It may come as no surprise to hear that the team’s priorities have changed during the pandemic. In addition to overseeing the purchase of necessary infrastructure, team members are also responsible for continuously sanitizing campus, which includes cleaning all the common areas throughout the day and thoroughly deep cleaning and sanitizing each room every night.

Lastly, Steve’s team includes the people who are responsible for ensuring that everyone who comes on to campus is wearing a mask, has completed the online health questionnaire, and has had their temperature checked.

The Facilities and Operations Team has worked around the clock to make sure that the school was and remains safe and clean for faculty, staff, and students, making the Nueva experience the best it can be.

 

If you need to contact Steve and the Facilities and Operations Team on the San Mateo and/or Hillsborough campus, please email facilities@nuevaschool.org.



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