Waubonsie Valley High School holds a special place in the heart of Jim Jansky. In fact, one could say he bleeds green and gold.
Not only is Jansky the school’s facility manager, but he’s also a Waubonsie Valley alumnus. Evidence of this can be found on a wall near the main entrance of the school where hang the black-and-white photos of Jansky and fellow members of the Class of 1979, the first class to attend Waubonsie Valley for all four years.
Between attending the high school and working at Waubonsie Valley for 15 years, every day at work is a walk down memory lane.
Standing in the main atrium of the school, Jansky pointed toward the hallway leading to the swimming pool. “Where we’re standing now once was outside. There was a sidewalk where that hallway is,” he said.
Tuesday’s first day of school in Indian Prairie School District 204 means a return to the routine for students and teachers, as well as the the custodial staff who have spent the summer fixing the schools up for another school year.
Getting a high school ready for the new school year is no easy task, according to Jansky.
Whereas most elementary and middle schools are vacant throughout the summer, high schools like Waubonsie Valley are filled with students attending camps and summer school making it tricky to repaint walls and wax floors. He said the custodial staff tries to block off areas, but sometimes the barricades don’t work.
The hardest part of his job, according to Jansky, is the amount of traffic flowing through the building daily.
“With 2,600 to 2,800 kids, supplying the school is like supplying a little city,” he said.
For instance in a single month, Waubonsie Valley will go through 30 cases of toliet paper, where each case contains 12 of the big rolls.
And like a city, Waubonsie Valley is busy outside regular business hours.
Beyond school-related clubs, sports and other activities, the community will use the high school facility. Inevitably, the custodial staff will be called upon to set up and clean up after an event.
To help maintain such a busy schedule, Jansky joins other Waubonsie staff to plan how all events will be handled in the school.
One of the bigger projects Jansky dove into this summer involved rehabbing the school’s swimming pool. The pool was drained so the pumps and motors and other equipment damaged by the chlorine could be replaced or repaired. In addition, walls got a fresh coat of paint, and space near the viewing area was painted a slightly darker color to reduce the glare.
Jansky said it took two days to fill the pool with 380,000 gallons of water and another four days to heat it. The basic work was completed in time so the girls swimming team could begin practice this fall. Although as of early last week, the numbers for the lanes still needed to get painted, Jansky has until early September when Waubonsie Valley hosts its first meet.
With a week to go before school starts, Jansky’s staff last week was scrambling to get a new coat of paint on the curbs in the fire lane as well as the curbs in the no-parking zones. They also were performing a few painting touch-ups.
Having worked in the school district for 35 years (10 years at Hill Middle School), Jansky has cleaned up his share of nasty messes.
He said the start of a new school year is notorious for getting student stomachs in knots, and dealing with the aftermath is what the custodial staff must handle.
“Kids through the ages still throw up,” he said.
With more than 30 years under his belt, Jansky said many workers with similar tenure are starting to retire. While not quite ready to retire, he said he won’t miss the 24-7 nature of his job.
If the power goes out or pipe bursts during off-hours, Jansky is called.
It’s the staff and students that he’ll miss the most.
“It’s my school. I graduated from here,” Jansky said. “I guess I still have Warrior pride.”Tags: back to school, Waubonsie Valley