Sept. 06, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine
Zone maintenance program improves efficiency
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University facilities and planning is demonstrating that it is up to the ever-increasing challenge of being cost effective while retaining its efficiency and reliability.
The department recently implemented a zone maintenance program to more effectively keep up with maintenance work involving plumbing, heating and air conditioning, electricity and carpentry.
“Providing maintenance of buildings and grounds at a major university is like providing services for a metropolitan area,” said Scott Albert, director of facilities and planning. “We are constantly building and remodeling to achieve advanced facilities. The ‘maintenance zone’ approach is improving our productivity.”
The zone approach assigned trade shop maintenance staff to one of four zones: upper campus, including the historic buildings; lower campus, which includes the academic buildings; residence halls; and projects. One supervisor has been assigned to manage teams in each zone.
Zone maintenance improves communication between plumbers, electricians, carpenters, mechanics and heating and air conditioning staff and building employees, Albert said. Maintenance workers have a regular presence in their areas instead of working jobs across campus.
“The new system is helping them develop relationships with their customers,” he said.
Albert said the next step is to create shops within each of the zones to provide a base, like a homeroom, for crews. For instance, the lower zone team expects to occupy space in the University Union once the new Student Center opens, he said.
“If they’re in the old University Union, they can reach the stadium faster than when they’re based at the maintenance center,” he said.
The projects team is focusing on larger projects such as remodeling work at McKay Education Building, Strain Behavorial Science Building.
SRU’s 660-acre campus has about 100 buildings, including storage sheds, academic buildings, residence and dining halls. Crews work Monday-Friday, with a few working Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday-Thursday shifts to provide more comprehensive coverage.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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