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Facilities director key to district’s future

Marcos RodriguezDirector of Facilities Marcos Rodriguez examines a ceiling in a bathroom at Krieger Elementary School before meeting with the architect designing improvements for district buildings.

As Poughkeepsie City School District’s new director of facilities, Marcos Rodriguez knows he plays a key role in how the district will function and look going forward.

Rodriguez joined the district June 14 because, “I like the vision Rob (McDow) and Dr. Rosser had, that is one of the main reasons I came on board.”

Prior to this, he worked as a project manager for a New York City-based construction firm and before that was the assistant director of facilities at Ossining Union Free School District for about five years.

Rodriguez jumped right in to familiarizing himself with the district’s buildings and staff, toured upcoming projects with contractors, met with architects involved in the projects and started swapping old student furniture with new furniture authorized by the board.

His goal is to spruce up and clean up the school buildings.

“I want to make them more liveable for the children and the community. I want it to feel better than what they may have at home,” he said.

Much of his role will be to support work being done as part of Capital Improvement Project authorized by voters in October - with work scheduled to begin on roofs at select buildings this summer. He is also overseeing the HVAC work at Poughkeepsie Middle School and the boiler at Morse Elementary School.

The biggest challenge he sees in the district is getting the buildings back to where they need to be.

“A lot of that is tied to the capital project and looking at the schools this summer and patching them up until the day comes for replacement,” he said. Part of that is ensuring that fixes are made to the boilers at the various buildings before winter.

To help with this and other projects, Rodriguez is seeking to fill two positions, one in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning trade and another in electrical.

Helping him get acquainted with the district is Gary McGrath, former director of facilities, who came out of retirement after 11 years to assist. McGrath said he agreed to come back because of his relationships with facilities personnel Sue Stevens and Jimmy McRay who both worked for him. Plus, he gave Rodriguez his stamp of approval.

Welcome to the district, Marcos.