The Q&A's of re-opening with the JCC's Maintenance Dir

Kyle Berger & Jason Marques

As JCC staff and leaders are hard at work designing plans to open up the JCC in some format soon, the building has gone through a deep cleaning like never before.

We sat down with the Centre’s maintenance director, Jason Marques, to find out what has been done and how they are going above and beyond to ensure everyone’s health and safety at the J.


KYLE: After the J shut down the building, March 16, your team initiated a fairly deep thorough cleaning of the facility. What did that look like?

JASON: The entire facility received a deep cleaning and disinfecting. Floors, walls, washrooms, hallways.  All high touch points like light switches, key scans, handrails, elevator, the handicap access buttons. All common kitchens within the facility were deep cleaned as well. All equipment within the fitness centre was disinfected, including free weights.


KYLE: Wow, that’s pretty intense. Other than disinfecting the place, I heard a lot of refinishing and refurbishing was done as well. Eldad joked that we could eat off the floor of the auditorium because it’s so shiny clean. What else was done?

JASON: Yeah, we got a lot done. All vinyl floors were stripped, sealed and waxed and all carpets, including in tenant suites,were shampooed. We refinished several wood floors - including the racquetball court, gymnasium, auditorium and rooms 102 and 103. The men’s spa hot tub was repainted and had tile repairs and the pool deck received a deep cleaning as well. Several plumbing repairs were undertaken as I was able to shut the water off and not disrupt service. Quite a bit of painting was done including the second floor common area and we refinished the wood benches in the change rooms. Nava’s Cafe seating area had all the tables and chairs removed, cleaned and disinfected and we resealed the tile floor at the same time.


KYLE: Well, I’m looking forward to seeing all of that. Especially the work on the hot tub! A lot of people are talking about disinfectants these days. Can you tell us a little bit about the JCC’s stock and what we use?

JASON: The JCC was well supplied prior to this outbreak and I have always purchased quality, safe, green products for our staff to use. We are licensed in three areas of our ECE department, so all our disinfecting products are rated at 99.99% effective. We have three chemical dispensers within the facility that automatically mix the product with water, depending on what type of cleaning you’re doing. There are 13 wall-mounted hand sanitizing stations throughout the building, plus 1 mobile station on a stand, for a total of 14. We also have 20L of hand sanitizer as an emergency in case we couldn’t get replenished. I’ve purchased 3 sanitizing wipe stations to install in the dance studios as well and we also have a mobile cleaning cart that has an onboard compressor, dispenser and water tank - it dispenses glass cleaner, floor cleaner and disinfectant at the correct ratios.


KYLE: Holy sanitizer, Batman! Sounds like we could clean the entire Cambie corridor if we wanted to. Did you have any extra preparations for when the ECE department opened up for children of essential workers last week?

JASON: For the ECE we installed hand washing stations outside as well as a tented greeting area for parents to drop off their children. I updated the job routine for the maintenance staff that would be responsible for that area. There’s now considerable focus on high touch points and disinfection. Jenn (ECE Director) is fantastic to work with! We discuss her needs and expectations and I make it happen. The ECE has always been and always will be a big priority for me at the JCC.


KYLE: Those kids are lucky to have you in their corner! Now, with more openings in the works around the JCC, how are you getting the building ready for the next phase?

JASON: Preparations have been ongoing since we closed. Dr.Bonnie has been saying it's just for now and not forever, so we have all the necessary products to ensure that the maintenance department is well equipped to provide the necessary cleaning so that the building is clean and people feel safe. I’m currently working on a small facility management plan regarding the cleaning and sanitizing of the facility, updating the custodial staff's job routines, and going over basic cleaning practices.


KYLE: Ok, now to the hard-hitting questions. There has been more talk circulating in the air lately about concerns with airflow inside buildings and how that effects the spread of Covid19. What does that look like for a building like the JCC?

JASON: Well, there have been some articles out recently regarding whether or not this virus can be transported through an HVAC system,which currently hasn’t been proven. As for the JCC, we have 31 roof-top AC units and 6 air handling units and one fresh air supply. All our units are on a quarterly preventative maintenance plan. That means that they’re all inspected every three months and receive a filter change and belt tightening. Filter ratings are based on the MERV scale of 1-16, 16 being the highest end.  Hospitals use a 13 so I have made a request to my supplier to switch the entire facility to 13.  One thing that has been a bonus in this facility is the fresh air supply fan that was installed in the 60's.  I have decommissioned the heating and cooling coils for this unit, so it only brings in ambient air from the roof of the building. It's filtered and comes out into the atrium. Literally just pure, fresh air.


KYLE: Thanks for getting into such great detail, Jason. We’re all looking forward to getting back into our home away from home when we can!