As learning environments for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, they must arguably meet higher standards for health, safety, aesthetics and sustainability — all while keeping costs under control.
The Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, Virginia, has taken that mandate seriously.
Founded in 1947 by the Sisters of Mercy, Walsingham Academy is now "the premier private school" in the Williamsburg area.
The standards are indeed high at this catholic school — even the title of their quarterly magazine is called Excellence at Walsingham Academy.
So Jeff Frye, facility director in the maintenance department, has his work cut out for him not only keeping the school look- ing top-notch, but doing so safely and sustainably.
Among a long list of other duties, Frye is responsible for maintaining the school's more than 100,000 square feet of floor space.
Last year he tried out a small area with 3M's new Resilient Floor Protection System. Extremely pleased with the results — "it looks today like the day we put it down nine months ago" — he decided to convert the school's entire floor space to the product.
He's already found a noticeable difference in wear and durability over traditional floor wax.
"It helps us reduce our labor costs and our overall need for floor stripping," says Frye. "And both our maintenance staff and our visitors appreciate that it has almost no odor, so it's easy to apply almost any time."
Frye and his staff are especially impressed with the performance of Scotchgard™ Resilient Floor Protector.
"We've gotten great results in both complete strip-outs and as a coating over existing finishes," says Frye.
But the reduced need for stripping is one of the product's most important attributes.
"This product is designed to enhance your floor's appearance and provide long-lasting protection against stains, scuffs and black marks," says Paul Amos, marketing manager at 3M Commercial Solutions Division. "All while helping to prevent the need for stripping. In fact, stripping is not required for general maintenance."
According to Amos, eliminating stripping can have a cascade effect on a facility's sustainability goals.
It helps reduce water use and wastewater discharge, and it cuts worker exposure to harsh chemicals.
"Of course, it also helps reduce maintenance costs," adds Amos. "And Scotchgard™ Floor Protector helps improve safety through its National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) high-traction certification and reduced environmental exposure to potentially hazardous stripping chemicals."
To get its program started, Walsingham Academy took advantage of a promotion 3M offered last year — which is running again in 2014 — for a free 3M™ Easy Shine Kit with purchase of six cases of Scotchgard™ Resilient Floor Protector.
Look for details at 3M.com/sustainablesolutions.
The students at Walsingham may be blissfully unaware of the benefits of 3M floor care technology as they walk the halls of the academy, but it's one less thing to get in the way of their excellent education.