Operations, custodial staff take advantage of empty halls

No students means no distractions for maintenance crews

Maintenance crews received benefits from Winter Break, though not quite the same as the ones enjoyed by students.

Director of Engineering and Operations Jim Lowe said Winter Break is a time for deep cleaning and repair around campus without disruption.

Lowe said maintenance staff worked on switch boards and main equipment in John R. Emens Auditorium, Worthen Arena and the Miller College of Business. There was a steam outage in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center near the construction site, and since the Tally was shut down, the staff was able to steam clean the area.

Custodial staff used the time to clean carpet and polish classroom floors. Access to deep cleaning these areas would not otherwise be available during the academic year, Lowe said.

Lowe said during Winter Break, the water froze in two buildings, the football training facility and the Art and Journalism building.

"The sprinkler systems froze, broke and leaked," he said. "Having staff on hand affords us the opportunity to address water leaks much more readily."

Lowe said staff was sent to repair the leaks within 15 or 20 minutes of the alarms going off.

"Had we not been here, it could have been a lot worse," he said. "[Maintenance] is done as a planned approach, instead of in an emergency situation."

Kevin Kenyon, associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Management, said the water leaks were related to severe wind and cold.

"We've added additional heat and insulation," he said. "The general design in both areas wasn't sufficient for that kind of weather. We regret it, but it does happen."

Mike Planton, associate director for Landscape and Environmental Management, said construction of electronic boards also remained underway. He said electronic boards will be placed wherever there are changing events around campus, including signs on McKinley and Tillotson avenues, at the University Theatre and the Student Center. Planton said that he considers the old signs "dull and nondescript."

Planton said there will also be a sign on McGalliard Road, similar to the one at the entrance of campus.

Major construction projects continued, including the geothermal project and construction at the Student Center and Thomas J. Kinghorn Hall.


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