Maintenance slates major repair projects

Photo by Quinn Fitzgerald.

Summer plans include Shirk Hall air conditioning unit, campus masonry work

It took three leaks in their room of Elsey Hall before sophomore Sam Fain and her roommate decided to move into a new room last fall.

“We stayed because [maintenance] said they could fix it, ” Fain said. “But they never did.”

Sophomore Tori Martinkovic, a Hoover Hall resident, experienced a similar issue in her room with the heater. 

“It’s a fairly large campus for the number of maintenance people that we have, so it’s understandable if they can’t keep up with the demand,” Martinkovic said. “But at the same time when you pay so much to live here and things continually break, it’s problematic.”

Tom Patz, director of physical facilities and energy management, said the residence halls are holding up well considering how old they are. Cline Hall, for example, was built in 1959. Hoover was built in 1965. That’s more than 50 years of wear and tear.

“With buildings that have some age on them, you are going to have repairs,” Patz said. “There are a lot of moving parts to this campus and those parts can—and do—fail from time to time.”

The maintenance crew, which consists of Patz and six other physical facilities workers according to MyFC, receives about 300 work orders per month from students and staff across campus in addition to daily maintenance.

When large-scale repairs are needed, Patz said his staff considers students when planning a project that may disrupt normal campus activity, saving larger projects for the summer. 

Patz said budget is also a major factor in scheduling repairs.

“Academic programs and financial aid are something that [the college] wants to devote a lot of resources to, which means we need to be very frugal with our facility resources,” Patz said. “We stretch budget dollars as far as we can.”

In summer 2018, the campus’ maintenance department will complete four large-scale projects in addition to regular summer maintenance: replacement of a section of the college’s underground high voltage cabling, masonry work, replacing the air handler in Custer Theatre and work on the air conditioning unit of Shirk Hall.

The department also focuses its time on a residence hall each summer to ensure major repairs are made. In 2018, Hoover-Cline will be the main priority. Patz said repairs will be made to lighting fixtures, stair treads, air handlers and air conditioning units.

Students and staff with a maintenance need should report the concern by submitting a work order through MyFC.

“With a staff that is covering approximately 540,000 square feet of building space, we are not in all the spaces on a daily basis,” Patz said. “Once a work order is submitted, the facilities staff can respond to the issue. Communication is key.”

SUBMITTING A WORK ORDER

To place a work order, visit MyFC and select Departments on the left side of the screen. Select Physical Facilities, then click Work Orders on the bottom left of the page. When asked to submit a password, enter “password.”

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About Quinn Fitzgerald 32 Articles

Quinn Fitzgerald is the leading reporter and a photographer for The Franklin. She is majoring in journalism and English. Her passions are writing and photography, which is why she is also a photographer for the communications office. Outside of The Franklin, Quinn spends her time playing music on either her phone or her instruments. Her love for music led her to join FC’s String Ensemble. If she is not doing any of the activities above, she is probably studying or watching Netflix.

This is Quinn’s first year in the position and her second year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as news and sports reporter, photographer, and sports editor.

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