Move to daytime cleaning saves money, increases conflict

By David Spindler
Sun Star Reporter

The process of cleaning buildings during the day and switching janitorial nighttime schedules gained momentum this July, accelerating at the beginning of Spring semester 2015.

Now roughly 80% of buildings at UAF are cleaned during the day, under the supervision of Martin Klein, business manager of the division of auxiliary and contract services.


A janitor cleans the library in the middle of the day, disturbing some people who are trying to study. – David Spindler / Sun Star

The changes have reduced costs and increased complaints throughout the campus. Klein said calculating savings on
energy conservation can get complicated especially when it comes to lighting systems at UAF. The transition to daytime cleaning has helped provide energy savings since lights in the hallways of buildings can be left off.

“We did place a meter on a building and compared the electrical usage between days when the building was cleaned at night and when it wasn’t,” Klein said. “If we then extrapolate that savings to the square footage cleaned on campus, we’d then be able to come up with a very rough savings estimate of around $60,000 to $70,000 per year.”

On March 16, the Wood Center’s cleaning switched from a night to day schedule. However, due to complaints from Wood Center staff and employees, the Wood Center contractor, Klein’s cleaning staff and building coordinator met last Monday to discuss the best options going forward with the cleaning schedule for the Wood Center.

Janitors cleaning the building during the day when the Wood Center was busy holding events created conflict. The discussion resulted in the conclusion that the best course of action was to revert to nighttime cleaning at the Wood Center. The change was made effective on March 31. “The feedback we have been receiving continues to be overwhelmingly in support of day cleaning,” Klein said. He says he’s continuing to tweak cleaning schedules in specific areas to meet users needs. Vacuuming in the library during the day has disrupted students trying to study. Klein says the contractor is bringing in and testing quieter vacuums.

“We do ask that occupants of those buildings [on a day cleaning schedule] allow the custodians to get into the offices to simply clean up and pick up trash. Usually it should only take a few minutes and that allows them to assure the offices are remaining clean,” Klein said on UAF’s Grapevine online forum.

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