Maximum maintenance

The Notre Dame campus will get a thorough scrubbing and update through the Christmas break.

When Notre Dame's campus "closes" for the holidays and students and faculty spend some well-deserved time off with their families, a dedicated crew of Notre Dame employees remain steadfast in their goal of bringing the NDPMA buildings back to their usual "au courant" standards.

According to Julie Frakes, facilities director, who shares buildings management with maintenance manager Rick Winiarski, many maintenance projects are on tap for all three divisions throughout the Christmas break, which for the crew means every day except Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Frakes said the to-do list is long but the available time to get the work done is not. 

"It really is a short break — only four work days, or five, if you count the professional development day for faculty on Jan. 2," she said. "And we're still recovering from the big construction project of the new wing and kind of catching our breath!"

Larry Jack, who is the school's bookstore manager and transportation coordinator, said he also takes advantage of the school's down time to take care of maintenance issue with the school buses. "Some of the buses get used during the Christmas break for athletics and for special field trips, but I also get oil changes on many of the buses and some repairs where needed. When school is in session, those kinds of things are impossible to get done."

Frakes said that the school's regular maintenance staff of Victor Bender, Jake Breckenridge, Greg Kaiser, Cheri Noble, Matt Norton and Bob Strong will be very busy working through a list showing nearly 40 projects, including cleaning and fixing lockers in both the boys and girls locker rooms; replacing burned-out lights throughout all campus buildings; repairing or replacing chair glides in the cafeteria; fixing carpet in the NDP counseling office; cleaning furnace vents; checking storm sewers; and yes, looking for stray basketballs, volleyballs, any balls, etc., that may be stuck above the lights in both gymnasiums.

Frakes also said the school's in-house maintenance crew will be spending a lot of time clearing floors in certain areas of furniture for the school's contract cleaning service workers.  

"The to-do list for Anthony's Janitorial and Maintenance includes steam-cleaning the carpet in the main campus media center, power washing and disinfecting locker rooms and washing and waxing floors in the cafeteria, kitchen serving area and the band room," she said.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at