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Physical Plant Page Volu me 7

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Note from the DirectorI just finished a meeting with the Inauguration Planning Committee and it looks like the week of Saturday, October 13-20 is going to be a very busy week for Physical Plant, particularly Building Services and Grounds. In addition to the inauguration at 2:00 on Saturday, October 20th, this will also be the week of the sold out Regina Spektor concert, the Academic Symposium, the Academic Poster Fair, the Inaugural Art Exhibition and Reception, the Calvin Music Festival, the Nite Life Inauguration Dance and party, and homecoming/family weekend. In addition to these events, there will be many other events though out the week for Physical Plant to set up and tear down. Ada and the Building Services crew will be very, very busy. In anyone is willing to help out, please let Ada know. The Grounds Department will also be doing their part to dress up the campus for the many guests that will be arriving. They will be removing the annuals at the Burton Street entrance, at the flag pole, around the fieldhouse and in the large containers located around campus. They will be planting tulip bulbs with pansies on top to keep the areas looking fresh and colorful. In addition to the pansies, mums will be added around campus in various locations. Grass will be cut, leaves will be removed, more wood chips spread and the edging of the ring road will be completed. Luke DeVries has installed more than 50 banners on the light posts around campus. There are many, many more ways in which each department of the Physical Plant is sprucing up the campus and getting it ready for the Inauguration. The inauguration ceremony itself will be a wonderful event. I would encourage each of you to attend. Thanks again for all your hard work getting the campus ready.

Waltman Lake: Sewage Back-up

On Saturday, September 29, a call was received that “water was backing up in the lower level of the main lodge” at Waltman Lake Retreat and Learning Center. It was soon discovered that the distribution box (drain field) and septic tank were at max capacity. A pumper truck was called and cleaned the main septic tank. However, after investigation work and the use of a pipe camera, it was discovered that a second septic tank existed! This tank was not been noted on the initial septic system evaluation report conducted for Calvin at the time of the camp’s purchase. It is believed to have been decades since the “lost tank” had been serviced! The piping between the two tanks has been replaced, and water jetting of the kitchen pipes (to remove years of grease build-up pictured above) will take place in early October. There is still concern that the drain field is clogged with sludge. See picture of pipe camera covered in sludge after returning from a drain field pipe. Now that both tanks have been cleaned, Physical Plant is waiting to see how the drain fields responses to continued use.

EH&S Hotwork Permit System Each year Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) performs an annual review of Calvin’s regulatory compliance programs. In 2012, the Hot Work Policy and associated Hot Work Permit received a little bit of “extra special” attention. Calvin has had the Hot Work program in place for a number of years but it just wasn’t making the grade, up to snuff, hitting the mark, however you choose to phrase it – the program needed some reworking, to work effectively for our campus. The single biggest improvement to the Hot Work program centers around the Hot Work Permit. EHS, in collaboration with recommendations from a cross section of Physical Plant staff, streamlined the permit system. Highlights of the new permit include: -The same permit form is to be used for soldering, welding, cutting, grinding, etc -Permit is one sheet of paper (double sided) -Communication to Campus Safety to notify them of the time and location of the hot work -Permit for soldering does not require a signature prior to beginning work Hot Work Permits are available through Phil Beezhold, Charlie Huizinga, Jack Phillips, Heather Chapman, Jennifer Ambrose or online at: hotwork/hot-work-permit.pdf If you have any questions regarding the revised permit system or you are wondering if there is a way to simplify the process for your specific task– stop by Heather or Jen’s office. We’d be happy to come up with a way to meet the regulatory requirements while simultaneously making the permit system as efficient as possible for you.

Introducing: Brent Sal The Physical Plant would like to introduce its newest employee: Brent Sal. Before working at Calvin, Brent was a self-employed residential home builder. His duties on campus will involve general carpentry, project and renovation work, and work-order completion. Brent has served the Physical Plant over that past few years as a sub-contractor. During the summer of 2011, Brent refurbished and repaired much of the furniture in BHT. His enjoyable experience as a sub-contractor led him to seek the position as a full time Physical Plant employee. Brent’s wife’s name is Julie and they have two boys. Camden, who is 9, and Aidan, who is 7. Please help us welcome Brent to our Physical Plant team!

Inauguration: October 20, 2012

Inauguration Week Activities: October 13-12, 2012 Saturday, October 13 7:30 pm Student Showcase at the CFAC Sunday, October 14 8:00 pm “Together We Worship: Where Are Your Treasures LOFT Worship Service Monday, October 15 8:00 pm Regina Spektor Inauguration Concert at the SFC Tuesday, October 16– Saturday October 20 Academic Poster Fair, All day and all week Thursday, October 18 4:00pm—5:30 pm “Educating for Shalom: A Theology of Citizenship for a Complex World” Friday, October 19 10:00am Emeriti Reception at the Rare Book Room Dedication 4:00 pm—5:30 pm “The Bible in the Calvin College Reformed Past and Worldwide Future” 7:30 pm “Together We Celebrate” Calvin Music Festival at the CFAC Saturday, October 20 11:00 am Delegate and Faculty Brunch at CDH 2:00 pm Inauguration of Michael K. Le Roy, Ph.D. at the Van Noord Arena 6:00 pm Inaugural Gala 7:30 pm “Together We Celebrate” Calvin Music Festival at the CFAC 9:00 pm Campus Inaugural Celebration


FREE!!! STEEL BUNK BEDS Quantity: 27 -Mattresses not includedContact: Matt Hoekzema Must be picked up at Waltman Lake Retreat and Learning Center

Dorm Pipe Break

In response to a work order noting a foul smell coming from the annex of Noordewier, the Mechanical Department did some investigating of the drain pipes. After much time and effort spent to locate the problem, it was determined that some “destructive demolition” would have to be implemented in order to locate the problem. To the surprise of those working on the project, behind the wall in a dorm bathroom, a drain pipe had a 5’ long crack! The crack is believed to have been caused by a weak location in the pipe wall compounded by years of use. The Mechanical department did a great job in discovering the problem and quickly fixing it. Also, thanks to the Architecture group for patching the wall and Building Services for assisting in the clean up.

New Life to an Old Bell In between time spent on projects and day-to-day maintenance, the Physical Plant had the joy of refurbishing a historical bell located at Waltman Lake. The bell had sustained damage to the frame, and the base was dilapidated beyond repair. With a new post and some scrape steel, the new base was constructed by Doug Kok. Burt Housman painted the bell and post. Jeremy Bush and Carl Haveman assisted with the bells installation. The bell was built by the “C.S. Bell” company. This model bell was created between 1894-1970s. The exact history of the bell is unknown.

Focus On‌.Tongue House

Several years ago, Calvin College purchased the property located at 3926 Lake Drive. The property is located at the North West corner of the intersection of Lake Drive and East Paris. The previous owners of the home sold the home to Calvin, yet they were allowed to remain in the home for several years. The home’s acreage borders the ecosystem preserve, making it a valuable resource for the Biology Department. The Calvin Physical Plant has maintained the home since its purchase. Interior painting, roof work, landscaping and driveway repair have been a few of the projects completed within the last few years. The home is currently rented by a visiting Calvin professor.

Guest Article: Space Management


pace is both an asset and a burden for colleges and universities. On the one hand, space holds enormous value for institutions; their campuses and buildings are worth, in many cases, hundreds of millions of dollars. Space is the medium in which the institution operates. Online courses have proven that education can be conducted anywhere, but most teaching, learning, and research still takes place on campuses. And while the value of buildings and grounds can be calculated, college and university spaces have a greater intrinsic value in the minds of students, faculty, alumni, staff, and community members. Campus spaces and places, the buildings and grounds, hold memories, retain emotions, and represent the ethos of an institution. They represent that “sense of place” so important to an institution’s community and brand. On the other hand, building, operating, and maintaining classrooms and laboratories, offices and libraries represent a growing proportion of the annual budget for higher education institutions. Correspondingly, these costs have grown by 20 percent at public research institutions over the past ten years—and 48 percent at private research institutions. At the same time, construction costs for new space have risen by nearly 65 percent since 1997. Few institutional battles can be as intense as those regarding space. Despite this potential for conflict, higher education leaders are recognizing the value and cost of their space and are taking steps to better manage it. In this era of constrained budgets, declining state support and increasing tuition fees, institutions are assessing their limited resources and realizing that their space needs an effective management strategy. But the issues, and opportunities, related to space management and utilization go well beyond an institution’s budget or program requirements. In fact, policies and practices on campus space are overarching, enterprise-wide, and entrenched.

Why space management? Why now? The following beliefs, issues and attitudes are preventing effective space management on many college and university campuses: Space is expensive. Whether or not faculty and department chairs realize it, space is growing increasingly expensive for colleges and universities. Both new construction and operations costs continue to rise and place an increasing burden on college and university budgets. Space is in demand. Colleges and universities are scrambling to find enough classrooms, labs and offices, and demand is expected to grow in the next few decades. Some 23 million students will be crowding U.S. colleges and universities by the end of the decade, yet only 6 percent of campus space is classified as classroom. Space is underutilized. Space wouldn’t be a problem at many institutions if it were better used. Space costs money whether it is used or not. Underutilized classrooms are also unsustainable; energy usage can be justified when learning is taking place, but not when a room is sitting empty. Space is poorly measured. The majority of colleges and universities have metrics in place to measure the types of space on campus and how that space is used, but this data has serious limitations. Most space managers have a hard time keeping track of the quality, functionality and usage of actual space. Space is poorly managed. Space management policies and governance are often weak, ineffective and highly political. At some institutions, the old model still holds: space is managed at a department level, and departments cling tightly to “their” space, refusing to grant others access to space resources or even acknowledge they exist. As a result, institutions often believe they are short on space when in fact it’s being poorly managed. Space is “free.” At the majority of colleges and universities, departments are assigned space without any consideration for its cost, whether in terms of construction, renovation, or maintenance and operations. This attitude makes it difficult for institutions to shift attitudes about space and bring home the realization that space has inherent costs to the institution, no matter who bears the expense. Space doesn’t work. Poor quality space is almost as bad as no space at all. Contemporary interactive teaching methods are often constrained by the lack of flexibility in current classrooms, while research can be hampered by aging campus labs. Space can’t be ignored. In today’s higher education environment, space is a pressing issue. Growing competition and tight financial constraints mean institutions need to maximize every resource available.

Changing thinking about space It is unlikely that everyone at a college or university will ever have the space he or she wants. Who doesn’t want a bigger office, newer classroom, or better equipped lab? What’s important, however, is that the institution have the space it needs. Inadequate or insufficient space interferes with teaching, learning, and research. It hampers achievement of the mission of the institution. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that some institutions actually suffer from declining populations and, therefore, have excess space to manage. This makes for a much different challenge to sustain campuses in the declining regions. Ensuring that the campus has the right quantity and type of space to fulfill its mission, therefore, should be the priority of everyone involved in the management of space. We live in an era of constrained resources. Confronting the challenge of space will not be easy, but it is essential to meet the priorities and vision of the institution going forward. Effective management of the existing inventory becomes crucial.

Reprinted with permission from APPA, Leadership in Educational Facilities, Alexandria, VA. Visit for more information

October Birthdays 1—Nico Damsteegt 14—Tom Oosterhouse 19—Brent Seinen 20—Luu Vo

September Work Order Stats Architecture








Building Services KE Dorms Academic Buildings

71 108 21



Prince Conf. Center




20—Richard Field 25—Heather Chapman 29—David Pfruender

Upcoming Dates & Events October 1—Ingrid Michaelson Concert October 3—Women’s Soccer @ Hope October 5—Late Night with Capella @ 9:00pm October 6—River City Improv @ 7:33 pm October 8—Canadian Thanksgiving October 15—Regina Spektor Concert October 17—Healthy Habits Seminar October 19-21—Homecoming and Family Weekend October 19—Rare Book Room Public Reception October 20—Men’s Soccer vs. Hope October 20—Volleyball @ Hope October 20—LeRoy Presidential Inauguration October 27—Women’s Soccer vs. Hope October 29 — Full Faculty Assembly @ 7 pm October 31—Reformation Day

This Month’s Funny Work Orders... September Vehicle Rentals

“Our sink is almost completely blocked. It fills up with water really quickly and stays there. Any help would be greatly appreciated! We will express our gratitude in the form of Poptarts or a bag of marshmallows.”

Calvin fleet car


Calvin fleet minivan


Calvin fleet large van


“In the bathroom, in the sink on the right, my nose ring (a hoop) fell down the sink. If possible, could you take the pipe apart to get it? We have not ran any water since it fell down. (I’m sorry, I know this probably sounds really silly or a waste of your time!) We appreciate the physical plant employees SO MUCH!”

Off-Campus Rental car


“The clock seems to be ‘dead’. It has not moved in three days.”

Off-Campus Rental minivan


Off-Campus Rental large van


Commercial Coach



Staff Updates We would like to congratulate David Pfruender and his wife with their newest addition to the family. They welcomed their first grandchild, Bryson Dale Ponstein to their family on September 10, 2012.


Building Services Set-ups In September, Building Services set up (and tore down) 521 different special events across campus!

Contact Info Calvin College Physical Plant 1475 Knollcrest Circle Grand Rapids, MI 49546

E-mail: Phone: (616) 526-6444 Fax: (616) 526-8563

Visit us at www.

7-02 OCT 2012  

calvin college physical plant newsletter

7-02 OCT 2012  

calvin college physical plant newsletter