by Mackenna Moralez, associate editor, fnPrime — It’s hard to believe that just three years ago the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t something that existed. The school year started out normally as it could. Regular maintenance was scheduled, drills were conducted – but then March of 2020 approached, and a new virus was making its way through the nation, and the only way the spread could be stopped was if everything closed, including schools.
Educational facilities managers were sent into overdrive trying to navigate the closure. What initially started as a two-week break turned into several months at home, and it was up to facilities managers to ensure that the buildings stayed intact.
Managers from across the country looked toward New York City Schools as an example of what to do with their facilities, and no one took that responsibility more seriously than John T. Shea, CEO, The New York City Department of Education. In this video filmed at NFMT 2022 in Baltimore, Shea discusses how he and his team navigated the early days of the pandemic and what operational changes that they have made that will stick around for the foreseeable future.