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Hometown Hero

This week's Baldwin Hometown Hero: Russ Randazzo of Oceanside

Director of Facilities, Baldwin Union Free School District

Posted

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed my life in many different ways, as it has for so many people. My department, facilities, in the Baldwin Union Free School District, was planning for the spring season in the schools, and then quickly, our entire school district was closed. To the facilities workers, it was like a snow day that would never end and our work continued. We had to plan on the spot and wait for more direction from the health department and the state. As the panic of the pandemic ensued, we had to maintain keeping our staff protected and calm and focused on balancing work and work schedules.

Every year, facilities initiates the pandemic flu plan during the flu season. We concentrate on high hand-contact areas. This year it was the same, but Covid-19 came out of nowhere, and we never expected to shut our doors and stay closed. [My staff and I] had to anticipate what was next, so we dug into our plan deeper and started cleaning our filters, gearing up our disinfectants and equipment, getting ready for school to open, but it never did.

Schools remained closed and we had to assist in ending the school year with graduations and moving-up ceremonies. I always remind myself and staff that we are here for the kids — no matter what, let's keep moving forward. I cannot thank enough the hard work and dedication of my staff, as they are the true heroes of the community. They have worked endless days, nights and weekends to ensure that the work for the schools continues. Because of their efforts this past summer, along with our administration’s planning, we now can look forward to safely reopening our buildings this September.