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Physical Plant Page Volu me 7

Issue 3


Note from the DirectorWell, it’s November, and it’s that season of the year when we are once again reminded to be thankful. God told us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Even though I know that God’s will for us is to be thankful, I often get stuck thinking about the problems and issues of life rather than the many blessings I receive every day. For me, the last several months have been very discouraging. Although there has been much to be thankful for, I have to admit, the negativism of the national politics and the current atmosphere of scrutiny and change on campus has made it tough for me to see past the “problems of today” and give thanks in, and for, everything. Yesterday I got the most amazing letter from my daughter who is a freshman at Calvin. She mailed it to your house and in the letter told me how thankful she was to have a father like me. I’m sure most of you find that hard to believe. I can tell you that I found it very hard to believe. Her unexpected words of encouragement and thankfulness were such a wonderful gift to me. I thought of the verses in Ephesians 4, where Paul says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Grist God forgave you.” Shannon’s letter reminded me of how important it is for each of us in this Christian environment to build each other up, to encourage each other, and to be kind and compassionate. So in this Thanksgiving Day season, it will be my goal to be more thankful and to work at building others up in the things I say and do. Please join me in this endeavor and please hold me accountable...and as the Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and work.

Focus on… Ladies Literary Club

Throughout its 136-year history, the Ladies Literary Club has had many notable firsts. In July 1870, the club established the first library in Grand Rapids. Beginning with 1,231 books, the group lent books to the entire Grand Rapids community and was a precursor to the current Grand Rapids Public Library. In another landmark first, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt first publicly expressed his support for the women’s club movement from the LLC stage, and in 1911, Michigan Governor Chase Osborn similarly came out in support of the women’s suffrage movement. In addition to Roosevelt, the Ladies Literary Club has hosted Presidents Woodrow Wilson and William Howard Taft. The building itself is also a testament to the group’s tradition of innovation. The LLC was the first women’s club in the United States to build its own clubhouse. Since 1971, the building has been listed on the National Register for local level significance.

The clubhouse was built in 1887 and commissioned in early 1888. It was designed by Grand Rapid's first professional architect, William G. Robinson, in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The building also houses a large stained glass window made by Louis Tiffany, whose work is considered the pinnacle of American stained-glass. Arguably the highlight of the interior, the window depicts Portia from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” Portia’s gown alone is made of 119 pieces of glass. The window, which was commissioned in 1915, is a symbol of the heyday of the Literary Club. The LLC once had a waiting list of several hundred women. In the 1890s, there was even an auxiliary club for those on the waiting list. Throughout its entire history, the club has played an important role in the intellectual and cultural climate of the city, especially for Grand Rapids women. Calvin has made it clear that it will continue to use the space for fostering education and culture, following in the footsteps of the 136

-year legacy of the Ladies Literary Club. Currently the LLC is holding concerts, lectures and other community events. During the month of January, the LLC is one of a dozen “Remote Webcast” locations showing the January Series presentations live on a large screen. Below: The men’s urinal often joked about for being “green” before “going-green” was popular. One water supply for two fixtures!!

CFAC Art Gallery: Movable Walls “[The partitions] are 30" deep, 93" tall, 90" wide and are on moveable casters. These walls allow [the art gallery] to better manipulate the exhibition spaces and to create new spaces within the galleries. They also add over 30' of linear wall space to hang art, thereby increasing our gallery hanging space. The walls are faced with drywall, which can be painted to accent different exhibitions as well. I love them. Phil, Burt and Keith did a great job on them.” -Joel Zwart

Octo-ball/Ga-Ga Ball Special thanks to the Architectural Department for designing and creating the new “Octo-ball” (often called Ga-Ga Ball) game for the Student Development Department. The game was completed just in time for the many events surrounding inauguration week. The game allows many players to participate. Players are “out” when they are hit with the ball below the knees. It is often described as the “kinder, gentler version” of dodge ball.


Special thanks to the Building Services team for the hundreds of hours assisting with Homecoming week and the Presidential Inauguration! The events went very well and couldn't have been done without everyone’s assistance.

Did you know... Did you know that the Calvin wood/paint shop produces all of the plaques that student athletes receive? This month, over 285 plaques are being hand painted by Burt Houseman. The plaques (after being cut, routed and sanded) are clear coated, then sanded again, then painted maroon, then sanded again, then a second coat of maroon is applied. Next the angled edges are sanded to receive the gold accent. The gold paint ($41 a quart!) is then applied, the tape is immediately removed, and while the gold paint is still wet, a final clear coat of lacquer is applied. The process is time consuming, but the results are spectacular!

1320 E. Beltline Construction documents have been completed and sub-contractor bids have been received for the build-out of the 1320 E. Beltline office building. During the bidding process, it became apparent that construction costs have risen dramatically over the past few years. Construction costs exceeded the 2009 budget figures by almost 25%. This past month, the Physical Plant was asked to place the project “on hold� until further notice, while the Planning and Priorities Committee examines the future of the project. The Physical Plant would like to thank the many local contractors that put hundreds of hours into the bidding process.

Training Room: Office Expansion For the past few weeks, Dean Gunnink (Associate Director of Design) has been working with the Athletic Trainers to design a new space for incoming athletic training interns. A room currently used as storage (VN*137F) is being repurposed into an office space. The transition from storage room to office is often quite complex, requiring many different Physical Plant trades people. The room needed electrical upgrades, HVAC services, flooring, a window cut into the door, and the creation of a work surface and storage shelves. It is truly a team effort to complete even the smallest remodel. Thank you to all involved, and well done!

Philosophy Office: Remodel

By early 2013, the Philosophy Department office will be getting a new makeover. By changing the door and desk location, a new, more inviting space will welcome visitors. The entire office will receive new finishes, flooring, lighting, ceiling and work spaces. The picture above is of the new reception desk being crafted at the Physical Plant Wood Shop.

Athletic Fields Special thanks to the Geoff Van Berkel and the rest of the Grounds team in the continued maintenance of the athletic fields this year. This past year, Calvin has hosted over 700 sporting events on the fields! Currently the fields are undergoing “Deep Tine Aerification�. This process improves air, water and nutrient exchange, promotes deep rooting, and improves turf resistant's to pests, weeds, diseases, drought and heavy traffic.

Art Prize @ Calvin! This past month, the Calvin Physical Plant was asked to assist in the installation of a glass mosaic in the SFC. The piece, entitled “Return to Eden” by Sandra Bryant, placed 9th in the 2012 Art Prize completion in downtown Grand Rapids. The piece consists of three panels (two 8’x4’ panels on each side of a 8’x6’ center panel). The center section alone weighs over 300 lbs! The scene depicts a couple entering a garden sanctuary through a stone gate. The display will remain at the Calvin College Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex until March 15, 2013, after which it will be placed into a local church.

Exterior/Seasonal Maintenance This time each year, the Physical Plant takes time to clean the campus roofs of leaf debris. A large, 60’ lift is rented for a week to assist in the process. This year, while the lift was on campus, many of the exterior HVAC louvers were cleaned and then covered with wire mesh. The wire mesh is meant to prevent birds from living in the warm-air exhaust vents located around the exterior of the buildings. A lot of work went into ensuring the mesh would look aesthetically pleasing, was easily maintainable and wouldn’t decrease air flow.

Sustainability Series: Composting

Every Fall, the Calvin Grounds Department spends hundreds of hours on leaf clean-up. The leaves are transported to “the pit” near the Gainey Fields to be turned into compost (see picture to left) The pile on the right started as ~150 yards of leaves in the fall of 2011. The pile on the left is only ~50 yards of leaves from this fall. Notice how the 2011 pile has composted down to less than 1/3 it’s original size! It is estimated that each cubic yard consists of over 30,000 leaves. That means Calvin composts over 4.5 MILLION leaves each year! The compost is recycled for use on campus.

Facilities Assessment: Sightlines

With direction from President Le Roy, the Calvin College Physical Plant is partnering with Sightlines, a consulting company specializing in facility management. Below is a excerpt from Sightlines specializes in high-level data analysis and benchmarking. They collect vast amounts of data about their member campuses and analyze it from multiple perspectives. Their goal is to provide information and analysis to college and university officials enabling them to manage their campuses with the same analytical rigor as financial assets. Sightlines measures over 200 data elements in 12 categories of facilities operations and capital investment; monitors the performance of the campus over time on these indicators; and benchmarks the performance of the campus against peers. Facilities data is turned into usable information and knowledge that can be used to credibly guide action. Sightlines is a leader in helping colleges and universities better manage their facilities operation and capital investments. Sightlines provides tools for strategic planning, analyzing and benchmarking that generate an independent, reliable comparison of campus performance in these areas against peer institutions. With Sightlines, institutions receive the context and validation they need to make sound, clear, informed and financially credible decisions about campus facilities. As a result, campuses can optimize capital investments, address backlog of deferred maintenance projects, develop a strategy to steward physical assets, improve the effectiveness of facility operations, reduce energy consumption and better serve students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

What does this mean for the Physical Plant? In the coming month Sightlines will be on campus conduction a three-part process: 1. Collecting and organizing data related to buildings and facility operations. Data will be collected from the past five years (and beyond). Data collection will focus on: building square footage, building age, mechanical infrastructure, work order system reports, new construction costs, operational organization, and operational budgets. 2. Consultants will walk the campus to get a first hand look at facilities and operations. The consultants will be taking pictures and notes. They will not be “job shadowing� individual employees for extended periods of time. However, they will be collecting information pertaining to: cleanliness of common areas, general building repair, cleanliness of mechanical areas, and grounds condition. They will use the field measured information as a litmus test for the data collected earlier. 3. Surveys of facility users will be conducted. Approximately 40-100 key users will be selected to participate in custom surveys meant to judge service delivery. This will enable visual reporting regarding work scheduling, service timelines, technical performance, customer feedback, and departmental professionalism. The partnership with Sightlines will no doubt showcase how well the Calvin College facilities are managed, from all aspects of the Physical Plant. Please be open and accommodating to those inquiring into how we operate. Thanks again for your participation! -Phil Beezhold

November Birthdays Work Orders accepted in October

1—Max Daza 2—Brandon Colpean 8—Paul Pennock 13—Nola Nielsen 13—Emily Taylor

20—David Nysse 24—Jeremy Bush 24—Nelly Jordan de Flores 26—Nick Thompson 29—Dan Slager









Building Services KE Dorms Academic Buildings

46 95 31



This Month’s Funny Work Orders...

Prince Conf. Center


“Remove toilet blockage. Apparently it’s too much for just a plunger...yeah, I tried. Most likely it’s a wad of paper or something. But no matter what it was that caused’s a bit nasty.”



Upcoming Dates & Events November 8—Volleyball NCAA Regionals November 9—Dice Mineral Museum Dedication November 11—Veteran’s Day November 14— ‘Fun’ Concert November 16-17—Dance Guild November 22—Thanksgiving Day November 22-25—Thanksgiving Recess November 27-29—SLC Blood Drive

“Mop sink is clogged, we have tried plungers. No success.”

October Vehicle Rentals Calvin fleet car


Calvin fleet minivan


Calvin fleet large van


Off-Campus Rental car


Off-Campus Rental minivan


Off-Campus Rental large van


Commercial Coach




“Our stove couldn’t stand seeing our pile of unclean dishes anymore so it decided to burn its light out. The living room lamp, however, has had the privilege of never seeing a mess because its bulb is missing. Also, the light in the small room really annoys me, can something be done about that? It seems like I’m walking into a strobe light but instead of Dubstep music, there’s just bugs getting electrified. So: stove, lamp, possibly small bedroom.” “URGENT water is continually running. Not supposed to do that.”

Staff Updates Matt Hoekzema’s back surgery has been rescheduled for December 6, 2012. Please keep Matt in your prayers for a quick recovery. Richard Field’s daughter is currently battling cancer. She is doing better than before and her children seem to be coping well. Jimmy, who is 8, is in school now and seems to love it while Dimitri, 3 years old, is better understanding what is going on. They couldn’t do it without God’s blessing and all of the prayers. Please keep Richard and his family in your prayers!

Building Services Set-ups In October, Building Services set up (and tore down) 678 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.

7-03 NOV 2012  

calvin college physical plant newsletter

7-03 NOV 2012  

calvin college physical plant newsletter