Beginning this month, spectators will be asked to pick up after
themselves and administrators will have to lock up at high school
football games because of budget reductions.
In the past, Burbank Unified groundskeepers and custodians have
provided setup and cleanup at home games played by Burbank and John
Burroughs high schools, which share Memorial Field on the Burroughs
But drastic cuts to the district’s maintenance and operations
budget have forced administrators at both schools to take matters
into their own hands.
While grounds crews will continue to chalk the field before games
and custodians will clean restrooms afterward, the field and the
stands might not be thoroughly cleaned for up to two days.
“It will be still be cleaned, but not in as timely a manner,” said
Helen Quail, director of activities and athletics at Burbank High.
“These are some of the choices we have to make to maintain our
To balance the district’s 2003-04 budget, spending had to be
reduced by about $4 million. Custodial services -- which includes
money for overtime and weekend hours -- was cut in half, from
$132,964 to $66,482, according to Alexis Sheehy, the district’s
assistant superintendent for instructional services.
Beginning this year, the school district will allocate money to
use for setup and cleanup of all afterschool events to individual
schools, Sheehy said.
Burbank and Burroughs will receive approximately $20,000 each,
which has to last the entire school year. The district’s three middle
schools will receive between $2,500 and $3,500 each, while the
elementary schools will get between $700 and $1,500 apiece.
“It’s something we don’t have a lot of control over,” said Jay
Gudzin, director of athletics and activities at Burroughs High.
“We’re going to do our part to make it as cost effective for us as
Burroughs High Principal Emilio Urioste plans to promote a spirit
of altruism among spectators at football games and those who attend
other afterschool events, including dances, open houses and athletic
events affected by the reductions. Spectators will be asked to pitch
in and do their part to keep the stadium as trash-free as possible.
Booster club members, he added, have already volunteered their
Quail said the absence of custodians after games means spectators
need to be more aware of their surroundings.
“The most important thing is that spectators take it upon
themselves to clean up after themselves,” she said.
Administrators from both schools, meanwhile, will be responsible
for setting out yard markers, attaching padding to goal posts,
setting up the sound system and locking up following games.
“All of us have had to reevaluate how the services that we get
from custodians are utilized,” Urioste said. “It’s basically taking a
look at our resources and deciding how best to use them.”
As a result, custodians will not be able to thoroughly clean the
stadium until the Monday following a Friday night football game. When
games are played Thursdays, the stands and the field will be cleaned
the next day during regular school hours, officials said.
“Friday night, the stadium will not receive the grade of treatment
it traditionally has,” Urioste said. “It would get a preliminary
cleanup, and then receive an intense follow-up early Monday morning.”
Unless, of course, Bellarmine-Jefferson plays a Saturday home
game. Bell-Jeff, a private Catholic school that shares Memorial Field
with the two high schools, pays Burbank Unified a fee that covers
setup and cleanup.
“If anything can be deferred to regular working hours, [it will
be],” Gudzin said.