Q&A with RMC Facilities

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By Kobi Hudson –

What does RMC facilities have on its agenda for this year?

The Facilities Services department anticipates supporting a number of projects and topics this year. Most immediately, the Tutoring Center in the north end of the ERC will go under construction within the next month. Another project on the horizon includes beginning the Bair Science Building improvements, which will include some much needed repairs as well as the construction of an addition to the west and south sides of the existing building. along with the usual urgent repairs, I’m sure that we’ll remain very busy.

What are some things that people and students can do to make life easier for them and facilities?

That’s a big question with a large, lengthy answer. But if I had to pick just a few, they’d be these: Probably most important is for folks to treat Rocky buildings and grounds better even, than if you owned it. Our sta spends a lot of time repairing things that have been damaged by carelessness or just not thinking. By everybody doing just a little bit, from picking up litter to turning o a dripping faucet, many unsightly conditions will tend to themselves. One easy thing for folks to do is to use the workorder sys- tem to report things that need attention. By go- ing to the Rocky web page http://support.rocky. edu/support/open.php, you can bring stu to our attention that we’ve overlooked. Be our ex- tra eyes and ears, and help us get ahead of situa- tions before they become real problems. Lastly, I’d ask is for people to make it a point to thank the department sta every chance they get. Mike Rowe showcased dirty jobs on his show of the same name. Rocky’s custodial, plant, and grounds sta tackle really dirty jobs every day, but unlike Mike (who showers up and moves on to the new location), they return each and every day. It sure can seem unending. But it literally doesn’t have to be “thankless.” Consider leaving a sticky note on a night custodian’s equipment closet, or telling a groundskeeper how great the Green looks, or letting your residence hall superintendent know what a great job they do will make their day.

Are there any big goals for this year or semester?

Our department has seen some significant personnel turnover in the past year and we’re just now able to hire well qualified staff. So those folks will be working to learn campus, and integrate into the Rocky community and family.

What are the typical responsibilities of your team?

There are three distinct sections to the Department: grounds, custodial, and physical plant. William Greenwalt is Rocky’s head groundskeeper. He and his staff tend to all of the outdoor needs on campus including snow irrigation systems. Further, the grounds staff is frequently called upon to set up and tear down many of the campus events indoors and out. They step up to satisfy all sorts of needs including moving furniture, setting up seating, and other event-driven support. Joanne Bohlman directs the custodial crew ensuring that the buildings are sanitary, picked up, clean, and ready for the next day of use. From the locker rooms in Fortin to the classrooms in Morledge-Kimball, the custodial staff works across campus 5 nights a week. Joanne also supervises the residence hall superintendents; Julie Lott in Jorgensen and Rimview, and Laurie Thompson in Anderson & Widenhouse. They’re working daylight hours tending to both custodial issues in the residence hall common areas as well as many of the routine maintenance needs. More complex or involved tasks, there and across campus, fall to the physical plant staff. Those include tending to all of the ventilation, plumbing, electrical, and every other building system issue that arises both as repairs and in support of campus events. Last month’s orientation is a great example of the team effort that the Department puts forth. Lawns were mown (and sprinkler timers turned off!), tables and chairs were delivered and setup, a misbehaving elevator needed to be repaired, bathrooms cleaned and then cleaned again. Our whole department supported the event at different times, with each section delivering its own skills when and where they were needed. Great teamwork made to look easy!

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