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Feb. 20, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine
Office: 724.738.4854
Cell: 724.991.8302

Zone maintenance program improves efficiency

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University facilities and planning will implement a zone maintenance program Tuesday. Zone maintenance, whereby a team of maintenance staff will be assigned to one of three maintenance zones rather than working all over campus, is a more efficient strategy for keeping up with the ever-changing campus environment, officials said.

The zones are upper campus, which includes the historic buildings and McKeever Environmental Learning Center in Sandy Lake; lower campus, which includes all the academic buildings; and residence life and auxiliaries, which includes residence and dining halls. One supervisor will manage the team assigned to each zone.

“We are changing from a traditional trades shop structure to zone maintenance – plumbing shop with supervisor, electrical shop with supervisor – to improve the level of communication and customer service,” said Scott Albert, SRU director of facilities and planning.

Zone maintenance is expected to improve communication between plumbers, electricians, carpenters, mechanics and heating and air-conditioning staff and building employees because maintenance workers will have a regular presence in their assigned buildings.

“What happens with the trade structure is the tradesperson works all across campus and an individual many not be in a building for three or four months,” he said. “Zone maintenance will improve relationships because customers will be seeing the same individuals repeatedly and get to know their plumber and electrician.”

Albert said the upper campus zone consists of seven workers and a supervisor; lower campus nine workers and a supervisor; and auxiliary 12 workers and a supervisor. Workers will complete routine maintenance repairs and practice preventative maintenance in buildings.

Facilities and planning has also formed a project team. Albert said the team would focus on larger requests such as office remodeling. “It will provide fixed resources for important projects,” he said.

SRU’s 660-acre campus has about 100 buildings, from storage sheds to residence halls, Albert said. Most crews work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, while two people work 3-11 p.m. To provide better coverage, Albert said SRU would add a Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday-Thursday shift in a few weeks. Two workers are currently in training for the new shifts.

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.