Ottawa Carleton DSB: a case study in washroom excellence

We’ve blogged before about school washrooms and the intense demands placed upon them by students.  Schools face considerable challenges around keeping their washroom facilities safe, hygienic and looking fresh.

Of course, hygiene is the number one issue.  All public washrooms are found to contain disease-causing bacteria including staphylococcus, streptococcus, e.Coli, and salmonella.  The highest concentrations of these bugs are found on the toilet seat, and on the stall partitions (source: University of Colorado).

The quality of the school environment and perceptions of hygiene are also important – kids under 18 spend 15% of their time at school, and 53% of them agree that the condition of their school is directly connected to the value placed on their education and safety by the school district (source: Edwards, 2006).

At Belroc, our aim is to help schools stay one step ahead on washroom hygiene.  We offer tailored upgrade programmes designed to facilitate schedules, budgets and specifications, taking much of the hard work out of washroom improvements and ensuring schools stay on top of the required maintenance work.

As an example, we’ve been working closely with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board for more than ten years now, and have developed a toilet partition program that makes it easy for the board to plan and deliver washroom upgrades on a rolling basis.

What began as a supply and demand arrangement has evolved into a true partnership with plenty of added value for the client.  For the initial project, Belroc was given a specification to follow, and we submitted a tender package accordingly.  This provided the foundation for a program built around standard toilet partition sizes and configurations, which we then used to create a user-friendly ordering system, including set colours and prices, that can be used for schools right across the Board.

What typically happens now is that OCDSB will reach out with the names of two or three schools they intend to upgrade.  We then arrange for a Belroc rep to do a walk-through with somebody from the School Board, to identify the scope of work, measure up and note any requirements that fall outside of the normal program.  The school principal selects from 4 standard OCDSB colours, and we then compile shop drawings using a Bobrick software program.  Pricing is outlined by room numbers and quantities in line with the pre-set OCDSB prices, and this is all outlined on a quotation for approval.

Once agreed, we take care of everything – removal and disposal of existing partitions, and installation of new.  As part of our long-standing relationship with OCDSB, we have also co-ordinated additional trades including painting and tiling for a complete, turnkey outcome.

For the School Board, this arrangement minimises the work involved while maximising value and assuring them of a standardised outcome.  For Belroc, working within agreed parameters means we can maximise efficiency for smooth workflows, and benefit from OCDSB’s commitment to prompt payment.  Everyone’s a winner – not least the students, who benefit from first class washroom facilities and a clear commitment to their wellbeing, which in turn supports learning outcomes.

To discuss how Belroc can benefit your School Board’s refurbishment planning, contact Dan Lawrenson on email – dlawrenson@belroc.com.