Riverside-Brookfield High School has a new facilities manager. Joel Hatje has replaced Dennis Kosirog, who retired from Aramark Corporation at the end of 2011. Aramark is the firm that District 208 has used for many years to handle maintenance and custodial work at the school. Hatje, like Kosirog before him, is an employee of Aramark.
Hatje has worked for Aramark for 11 years. Before being assigned to RBHS, Hatje served as the director of custodial services at Naperville District 204, a large unit district of 35 schools.
Coming to RBHS from such a large district has been an adjustment for Hatje.
"It's been a change, but I've enjoyed it thus far," Hatje said. "At this point, I'm just trying to get my arms around the operation and get a sense of what the current operation is."
Hatje has been at the Riverside school since Jan. 2 and spent the last week of December shadowing Kosirog to get a sense of how things work at RBHS. Kosirog was at RBHS for more than a decade.
"Dennis did a great job as facilities manager for the district the last 14 years," said District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis. "His professionalism and outgoing personality will be missed. I am excited about the opportunity to work with Joel. We will be meeting weekly for the next few months to make sure we are up to speed."
This fall, RBHS wrestled with some maintenance issues. The boilers did not work properly until they were fixed in October, and for a few months the ventilation in the swimming pool was substandard because the fan on the roof of the pool was broken. The fan was replaced in late October. Water also has leaked into the field house at times. Permaseal was called in to try to halt the leakage into the field house.
"There's nothing presently leaking, but we're keeping an eye on it," Hatje said.
The school board is considering modifying its contract with Aramark to save money and perhaps make do with less service.
"The [school board's] facilities committee is looking at that and is working with the administration to look at where we can save money," said school board President Matt Sinde. "We're looking at the contract, looking at options."