SERVICE GIANT ARAMARK, AND WILLIAM PENN AWARE OF DANGERS BUT IGNORING THEM DUE TO COST.
I was recently forced to resign my duties as the Maintenance Manager at the William Penn School District, employed by Aramark Services because I pointed out many faults in the schools that were a danger to the children as well as workers. I have written many letters to Dana Bedden, the Superintendent, as well as Joe Otto, the CEO, and Dr Greenfield, the Asst CEO, but all have gone unanswered. I have written letters to the school board, but they have simply stated that they will check into the situation, but I feel that many of these items should not be delayed.
Workers are forced to work out of a Quarry Street location that was flooded by Hurricane Floyd years ago, and again as recently as a few weeks ago, with mold still obvious on the walls, as well as electrical wires hanging, floors missing, pigeons making a nest on three floors, and pipes broken. Former Mayor of Darby, Paula Brown has helped me with information, and she is well aware that this location should not be used as mold spores can kill. Any and all equipment, supplies and anything else should be checked for contamination, which in turn may contaminate schools as they are brought into each.
Many of the eleven schools are in horrific condition, but the school district simply states that they are in a deficit, and cannot do anything about it now. Cosmetics may be one thing, but safety issues are an entire different ballgame, and parents should be made aware.
Many of the building alarms are not connected to the alarm company, so a serious problem might not be detected and dispatched to the proper authorities until it is too late.
Recently I learned that many of the sprinkler systems might be disconnected as well, causing much concern if a child is trapped in a classroom or another area. From my experience at the School District, I wondered why many of the escape doors were chained shut, or why many of the schools, especially East Lansdowne on the second floor have no lock down capabilities with their classrooms. Should an attack, or a predator enter the building, or other disaster break out, these children would not be able to be locked down into their classrooms. Again, the school district said it was broke.
I also found that workers with criminal backgrounds were hired, even though the School District and Aramark knew about the background. Many of the schools have old camera systems, but usually the system is useless because no one feels like changing the VCR tape every day. The new playground set at Bell Avenue cost in the range of $13,000, but instead of paying the company $5000 to make sure it is built safe and the correct way, the District is having their own men build this, which brings up an insurance and liability issue.
Last year Bell Avenue had its entire second floor asbestos tiles removed, but never bothered to have the first floor asbestos tiles removed. MSDS sheets in most of these buildings do not exist, and as recently as a few months ago one janitor was rushed to the emergency room because he mixed bleach and another cleaning agent together. Bleach is not supposed to be in these schools, and Aramark collected approximately 50 bottles.
I was told by my Aramark supervisor to place after hour calls from the alarm company on Test for the night, so that a maintenance man did not have to go in and be paid an automatic three hours of overtime. Whether it was high freezer temperatures, or building alarms, they went onto test. At one time the alarm company called the mechanics directly, but Aramark changed that and made them call the supervisor because of cost issues.
There are no records or any recovery of R-12, R-22, or any other type of refrigerant, yet William Penn buys it. Where is this refrigerant going, and why isn’t it being recovered per the Refrigerant Recovery Act.
The fire captain asked to have all schools furnished with lock boxes in case of emergency, but that also falls under the category of, “We’re broke.”
The elevator inspector told us last year to have the pipes and metal beneath the Colwyn School elevator painted and cleaned, but as of last month, when the pit flooded over, it was not done yet. At Bell avenue, two or three times during this past year a ballast caught on fire in the classroom, and the last time the Fire Chief said that all ballast had to be replaced by a qualified and licensed electrician. That never took place either.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers their children face everyday at the William Penn School District, as well as having Aramark run the maintenance Department. There are many complaints about the service company Aramark on the Internet, and I have included a few.
These situations need to be rectified before a child is injured or worse, but the School District doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it. The CEO is 2-3 years away from retirement and the Superintendent has applied for three other school districts in the past year. The Board says it will stick with him, but none of this is going to help a child from being seriously injured.