Who’s Keeping The Science Center Clean?

Building services, a division of the Smith College Facilities Management, provides custodial and housekeeping services.  Building Services employs more than 100 people, of which more than 60 custodians cleans 120 residential, academic, and administrative buildings; that’s about 3 million square feet of building space weekly (850 football fields of floor space).

Building Services also support all special events, provides campus trucking, delivery of supplies and equipment, mail delivery, operates Central Stores, office moves, equipment moves, and is heavily involved in recycling.  The staff is responsible for snow removal in all entryways, ramps and hatchways and a couple of roof areas and respond to multiple emergencies from spills to floods, and clean up projects.

Find out more at: www.smith.edu/physplant; click on Building and Residential Services.

How to Contact Building Services

(1) Talk to your departmental admin assistant – they will be happy to route your request or concern to the right person. You are also welcome to contact the Associate Director.

(2) In emergency or urgent situations, you can also use the Facilities Management customer service line at ext. 2400 (413 585 2400 off-campus). The phone is open from 7am to 4.30pm M-F (until 4pm during summer). Outside of normal hours, call Public Safety x2490 in emergency situations. They have contact information to help with emergency Physical Plant issues.

Custodian Services

The custodians of Building Services perform the following routine cleaning around the Science Center:

  • Recycling & trash is removed daily
  • Tile floors are spot mopped or dry mopped almost daily, auto-scrubbed monthly (sweep, wash, buff)
  • Stairwells are cleaned about once a week
  • Dusting as needed; it generally happens a couple of time per month (including bookshelves in front of books)
  • Vacuuming of common areas about 1-2 times per week; some areas daily
  • Vacuuming of offices as needed (generally happens about weekly)
  • Cleaning behind computers in labs/classrooms/offices about once a month
  • Outside entrances are cleaned for trash, cigarette butts, door windows are cleaned about 2-3 times per week
  • Dusting of slats in venetian blinds happens once a year
  • Windows are cleaned on the inside and outside of the first floor only, and inside of windows on other floors.  There are only very limited resources for outside cleaning of upper floor windows.
  • Major cleaning projects are taken on during the summer (or other break periods) including dusting of hard-to reach areas, window cleaning, waxing of floors, etc.


  • There will be times when custodians are sick or on vacation. “Floaters” will come in to cover the basics, but some drop in services may occur. If this becomes an issue, please notify your departmental assistant.
  • Custodians make significant effort to not interfere or impact personal spaces, or disturb students or faculty working in labs or classrooms.
  • Custodians will not move items to clean (papers, personal items, books); the more tidy an area is, the better it will be cleaned.
  • Custodians will attempt to reasonably accommodate any request.
  • Any faculty or staff member that would like their space cleaned further than the ongoing routine cleaning, can request extra cleaning or specific cleaning, e.g. cleaning behind furniture.
  • Major cleaning of any space in the Science Center should be requested during the summer period (i.e. request submitted before August 1) or before other break periods..
  • Custodians also replace burnt out lights
  • There are also custodians on duty during the weekend. If you need them for emergency or urgent issue, call Public Safety as described above.

Building Services do not have man-power to offer cleaning of bookshelves by pulling out books one-by-one, although they will offer tools/supplies needed. If you have such a need, contact the Director’s Office to discuss possibility of hiring student.

Shifts, Supervisors and Custodians