Category Archives: Facilities Services

HISD awarded more than $342,000 for energy-saving efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to save energy and reduce utility costs are paying off in a major way.

The district received more than $342,000 through the CenterPoint Energy SCORE program, which rewards school districts with cash incentives for implementing energy saving projects and strategies.

The incentives were due in large part of the work of two departments — Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations and Construction Services. Together, they helped the district more than triple the amount received during the previous 2017-2018 earning period.

Continue reading

Crews keep students, staff warm during coldest days of the year

On the rare occasion that Houston temperatures drop to freezing, it’s not just people who may struggle to get going in the morning. HISD schools and buses need extra time to warm up, too.

But for every cozy classroom or bus ride, there is a team that has braved the weather in the dark and early morning hours to make learning environments comfy and safe for students’ arrival.

They are the cold-start crews – the ones who are called in when temperatures drop to 32 degrees and below.

Continue reading

T.H. Rogers alum and plant operator focuses on encouraging others

When students at T.H. Rogers School are dismissed for the day, Thomas Winston’s shift is just getting started. 

As a plant operator, Winston works nights, but looks forward to the time when he gets to cross paths with the elementary and middle school students as they make their way home.

Sometimes he simply greets them with a warm hello, other times he likes to give advice and prepare them for the outside world.

Continue reading

HISD’s return to the classroom supported by $200,000 donation from Phillips 66

The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.

HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.

“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”

Continue reading

HISD, No Kid Hungry to provide up to 5,000 holiday turkeys to families in need

For a lot of families, the holiday table doesn’t feel complete without a turkey as its centerpiece.

Nutrition Services will be able to provide that holiday hallmark — and a little extra holiday cheer — for up to 5,000 HISD families thanks to a partnership with and generous donation from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization that aims to end child hunger.

Up to 5,000 turkeys will be distributed to Houston families just ahead of HISD’s winter break during Neighborhood Supersites scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The turkeys are funded by an $80,000 donation from No Kid Hungry.

Continue reading

HISD increasing food distribution ahead of Thanksgiving break

As the district prepares to close its doors for Thanksgiving, Nutrition Services is ramping up efforts to ensure all students have access to healthy food during the week-long break, which kicks off Monday, Nov. 23.

All campus curbside pickup locations will offer seven days’ worth of student meals on Thursday, Nov. 19 — the final campus curbside pickup date prior to Thanksgiving break. Typically, campus curbside pickups offer three to four days’ worth, but not a week’s worth.

Additionally, a third Neighborhood Supersites will be held at Sugar Grove Academy on Saturday, Nov. 21 — the final community distribution before Thanksgiving. The new location is in addition to two existing distribution sites on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays.

Continue reading

HVAC team lead keeps students, staff comfortable and safe

When it comes to temperature levels, HVAC team lead Jonathan Harper is an expert in keeping things ‘just right.’

‘Just right’ can depend on the season with sweltering Texas heat and mild winters. But his goal is always the same — keep students and staff comfortable.

“If I get a call saying a building is too hot, my first response is to check the chillers on the roof,” Harper said.

Continue reading

Plant operators play an essential role in students’ return

If you follow Eliot Elementary School Plant Operator Irma Martinez along on her new cleaning route, you’ll see her clean and disinfect the school from wall-to-wall — figuratively and literally.

As part of her new duties, Martinez is required to clean and sanitize restrooms and high touch surfaces every hour. It includes walls, door handles, light switches, faucets, cafeteria tables, and anything else young students may touch that could harbor viruses.

“I try to help the students as fast as I can,” Martinez said. “That’s why I don’t work by myself. I work with my team.”

Continue reading

Nutrition Services launches Neighborhood Supersites to feed community

Facing hundreds of cars in a line that stretched down the street and around the block, it would have been easy for Nutrition Services staff to feel overwhelmed at their first neighborhood supersite in southeast Houston.

But for a department known for its dedication to keeping families fed and well-nourished, it was all in a day’s work on Wednesday — the launch of weekly community food distributions.

Hosted through a partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the supersites provide a place where Houstonians can go each week to pick up 32-pound family food packages and a week’s worth of student meals.

Continue reading

With 6 weeks left in hurricane season, facilities crews stand ready

From the moment a severe storm is predicted to make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast, Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations staff are among the first to spring into action.

Crews place sandbags around flood-prone campuses. Generators are checked and filled with fuel. Pump systems are inspected to make sure they are operational.

“As long as we don’t have a power outage in the area, the pumps should carry all the water that could cause more damage down the road,” said North Maintenance Plumbing Team Lead Kenneth Wesley, who oversees the dispatch of plumbers to campuses when faced with a severe weather threat.

Continue reading