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Physical Plant Page Volu me 7

Issue 5


Note from the Front DeskPhysical Plant, by definition, is meant to operate “behind the scenes”. The Physical Plant staff shows up every day, gets the job done, and prepares to do it again the next day. The jobs aren‟t always the most glamorous or flashy; we all knew that when we got into facility maintenance. However, I continue to be amazed at how little the “outside world” knows what must take place to keep this „city‟ of 5000+ running smoothly everyday. While at Johnny‟s this week, I overheard Bob Speelman (Grounds Assistant Supervisor) talking with a elderly couple. The conversation centered around the fact that they thought Bob “had it easy at Calvin because as soon as the plants „died,‟ he had nothing to do and was given the winters off.” The couple was shocked to hear that Bob works all year around. They were unaware of his winters spending nights plowing snow (even on holidays), pruning shrubs & trees in January, earning professional certification credits, planning spring plantings, maintaining equipment, etc., etc…. Personally, when explaining where I work to relative strangers, people often note that it must be nice to “have the summers off.” Again, that can‟t be further from the truth. In reality, summers around here are often busier that then the school year. Many people are also surprised when I tell them about our on-call staff and third shift employees. Building Services alone has the campus staffed almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (yes, even Sunday) During this cold spell, it becomes apparent to many users just how important building infrastructure is. As outdoor air temperatures plummet below zero, much of our older heating equipment is pushed to its max. This week we had two of the five boilers on campus go down. The mechanical staff has spent countless hours working to keep the equipment functioning. In my opinion, they are working miracles just by keeping the 40+ year old equipment operational. For example: last night, Paul Pennock (Mechanical Tech) was here at 3am working on the boiler system. As I write this, almost twelve hours later, he is still working hard to keep the equipment on line. The reason I‟m writing this is not in search of praise for the Physical Plant, but rather to acknowledge the amazing people that keep the campus running. From snow plowing at 2am, manufacturing office work surfaces, emptying waste baskets, designing office spaces, delivering stationary, assuring OSHA compliance, processing invoices, renting vehicles, keeping boilers running, cleaning toilets, and on, and on… I‟m amazed at the quantity and quality of work that takes place. It is truly a pleasure to work alongside such talented co-workers. -Matt Hoekzema

Facilities Assessment: Sightlines

In the November issue of the Physical Plant Page (available online), we introduced “Sightlines,” a consulting firm specializing in facility management and benchmarking. Over the last few months, the Physical Plant front office has been busy supplying Sightlines with piles (literally) of data spanning the past five years. Sightlines consultants have already come onsite to look at the physical condition of the classroom spaces on campus. Last week, on January 17th, three consultants met with 4 focus groups to discuss the Calvin teaching spaces. 40 faculty, 20 staff and 20 students were invited to participate in the focus groups. The consultants were pleased with the attendance and the feedback offered during the 1.5 hour sessions.

SO WHAT’S NEXT?? The last portion of data collection will consist of a survey of 40-100 staff/faculty asking for feedback regarding Physical Plant‟s service timelines, technical performance, and departmental professionalism. The entire data set spanning physical spaces, service, organization and budgeting will be combined into a report turned over to PPC, the cabinet, and President LeRoy.


Conversations with President LeRoy Since the start of Michael LeRoy‟s presidency, he has been making a point to meet with each department at Calvin. This March, President LeRoy will be meeting with divisions of the Physical Plant. To allow for intimate dialogue, the meetings have been separated by departments. Departmental Meetings will take place at the Service Building. Please be sure to attend your specific departmental meeting and the reception at DeWit Manor.

March 4, 11-12pm: Architectural Services and Office Staff March 7, 3-4pm: Mechanical Maintenance and Grounds March 7, 4-5pm: Custodial Evening Crew March 25, 1:30-2:30pm: Custodial Day Crew The entire Physical Plant is invited for a reception at DeWitt Manor on: Monday, March 25 from 2:30 to 5pm.

Ada Castle: Retirement Ada Castle will be retiring from her position as Assistant Director Services on March 8, 2013. Look for more information about Ada‟s 27 1/2 years at Calvin in the upcoming newsletters. Ada‟s farewell coffee will be held on Friday March 8, 2013 from 910:30am in the SFC Hoogenboom Lobby. Please stop by to wish her good luck as she retires from Calvin. Note: The Hoogenboom Lobby is the same location where Ada‟s father had his retirement party after many years employed at Calvin!

Philosophy’s new home...

Physical Plant would like to say “Thank You” for the many kind words, expressed gratitude, and, of course, the coffee and sweets offered at the “grand opening” of the new Philosophy/Classics Departmental office. The Philosophy/Classics Department was long overdue for a face lift! The entry was uninviting, the finishes were outdated, and the layout was difficult to navigate. Dean Gunnink, Design Services, worked closely with the end users to ensure that the final plan met their current and future needs. Dean also helped to ensure that the construction timeline meshed with the departments busy schedule. In mid December, demolition began. Masons

and painters worked over the Christmas break to allow for electricians and carpenters to finish the project in early January. Thanks to Dale, Doug, Burt, Jim, Tom, Brent, Ed, Keith, Phil, Jack, Don, David, Perry, Mike, and Phil for all your work throughout the project! Energy efficient lights were installed, concrete block was reused and recycled-content carpet are only a few of the Physical Plant‟s standard green practices instituted in this remodel. The new departmental entrance has dramatically improved the aesthetics of the northwestern corner of Heimenga Hall (300 level). The new entrance now gives one of the finest undergraduate Philosophy programs in the nation a suitable presence on campus!

Burt Houseman– THANK YOU! On December 11, the Physical Plant said farewell to a long time coworker, staff member and friend.

Thank you Burt for your 40 years of service on Calvin‟s campus! 31 years as staff and 9 years as a sub-contractor. You will be greatly missed!

January Birthdays Work Orders accepted in December Architecture








Building Services KE Dorms Academic Buildings

20 59 8



Prince Conf. Center




Upcoming Dates & Events January 16—Men‟s Basketball vs. Hope January 17—President‟s coffee @ 7:30am January 19—Swim & Dive vs. Hope January 19—River City Improv January 21—Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 23—Interim ends February 1—Faith & International Development Conference February 9—Men‟s Basketball @ Hope February 13—Ash Wednesday February 14—Valentines Day February 15—Calvin Board of Trustees Meeting

This Month’s Funny Work Orders... “Bed broken in one bedroom: I have sleepwalking problems, and in my sleep, I broke one of the wooden bed supports/legs. Tried putting it back together which worked, but the legs wobble really bad and I am afraid that it will break more with weight. Note: We don't need a whole new bed frame, just new legs/support thing on the end.”

December 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



1—Stanley Stanley 8—Geoff Van Berkel 11—Burt Houseman 12—Don Levy 17—Rhoda Riley 21—Dale Dykema


“The right sink in our bathroom drains pretty slowly. We‟ve had multiple issues with it this semester. Currently my roommate put a sign on it that suggests it may „eat your soul‟ if you use it. I don‟t think the situation is yet to that level of severity, however, it would be appreciated if we could start using that sink again. Thank you for your bravery in tackling our „soul eating‟ sink.”

Staff Updates Katrina Hughes has been promoted to the supervisor position at the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex. She will be working the shift from 7pm until 3am. Stafford Trapp has switched from working as the supervisor at the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex to working as the supervisor for all off-campus buildings and houses.

Building Services Set-ups In December, Building Services set up (and tore down) 155 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.

7-05 JAN 2013  

calvin college physical plant newsletter

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