Custodians prepare campus as winter approaches


Izaiah Ruelas, Reporter

After Hurricane Ian in Florida in October 2022 and with the winter season rapidly approaching, CTHS administrators share the weather readiness of the campus.

During the 2021 winter season, on Feb. 13, a massive winter storm entered the United States from the Pacific Northwest, and it quickly approached Texas and the rest of the South, which caused massive power outages for as many as 9.9 million Americans and even some Mexicans, and causing 195 billion dollars in damage to the entire state.

Assistant Principal Dan Russell said that in a similar incident, custodians would “be running around the clock” to ensure everything gets cleaned up as fast as possible on campus.

“They are responsible literally for the function of the campus,” Russell said. “When there’s a pipe that’s leaking, they’re the ones who file the support ticket and check the pipe afterwards to see if it’s fixed or not. They do the salting when ice is on the ground, they do the snow shoveling; they just take care of our campus; I don’t think anyone knows how much they do.”

Custodians are also responsible for making sure that the school is accessible when the entrances are snowed in, and they take care of this shortly after the weather clears.

Head Custodian Esmeralda Mosqueda is one of the custodians who often works double shifts and some teachers said is one of the hardest workers when maintaining the building.

“You’d be surprised by all the stuff that needs to be done in order for this building to be clean every day and for students and staff to walk into a clean building every morning,” Mosqueda said. “Once [the snow and ice covered up], we had to show up to work and clear the paths, all around the building, all the entrances. We had to shovel all the snow and ice to clear up for when the students show up. It usually takes half of the day or longer. I just want to make sure that this building is ready and nice and clean for everyone who comes in during the morning.”

As the custodians work in advance to get the school back up and running, many students are affected when waiting for the weather to clear and the process of reopening.

Sophomore Noelia Dimas, one of the many who had to wait, said it was “a struggle” being amid the storm last year.

“[I remember] there was a lot of panicking,” Dimas said. “It was chaotic. Our electricity went out, and it was very cold, almost unbearable. I hope we don’t go through another one of those. That would be a nightmare for everyone.”

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts another winter storm is unlikely for the south, preparation and practices are still taken seriously. With both the custodians and other workers in Texas making sure that the school is kept in order, Chisholm will likely be open as soon as any winter storm ends.

“There’s a person who’s overall in maintenance, who drives around to check roads when there’s closures to make sure people can drive safely, and then you have all the way down, the director of maintenance, and other people, including assistant superintendents, to make sure everything is safe and everything is functioning,” Russell said. “We were proactive [during the storm], and we can actually empty all the pipes so they don’t burst. That kind of proactive mentality saves us having to do a cleanup afterward [when] we knew the weather was coming, we get it done ahead of time.”