Oklahoma City Public Schools Prepare For New Year

Monday, July 28th 2014, 7:21 pm
By: News 9

This time next week, it's back to the books for Oklahoma City Public Schools. In this last week of summer, maintenance crews are working non-stop to get everything cleaned up by Monday.

Time is being cut short for landscaping crews sprucing up the district's 640 acres before classes begin. North Highland Elementary School is just one of Oklahoma City's 73 public schools in need of a good trim.

“All hands on deck. We are concentrating on mowing and trimming, blowing and doing all the cleanup work. We're trying to get caught up because of this hot, wet summer we've been having," said facilities grounds director, Albert Villalobos.

The recent rain delayed some lawn work, now crews are working around the clock to make the August 4 deadline.

"We're working 10 hours daily, Monday through Friday, and putting in at least six hours on Saturdays," Villalobos said.

And while much is being done outside the school, inside there are even more preparations underway.

Book after book, Patricia Marable is setting up her room to be a reading cafe.

"I just want my room to be ready for that first day. It is a challenge and a chore, but that's my endeavor, for me to get this done today," said Marable, who’s been at North Highland for seven years after retiring from another school district.

Marable is trying to get everything in order for Thursday's parent night. She thinks all the extra work this week will be worth it when the kids start to fill the empty hallways.

"Our new marquee is just beautiful and the grounds are looking nice," Marable said. “It gives the children something different because they don't know that they're coming into it like this. I think they'll be excited also."

With about 20 schools done so far, the landscapers still have their work cut out for them.

Oklahoma City Public Schools says the additional lawn work landscapers are doing due to the weather will cost about $75,000.