Northwestern buildings have a high circulation of students coming in and out every day. The number of new buildings on campus continues to grow which makes more square footage for the maintenance department to manage.
All the use results in wear on the building. Students, however, can take certain measures to make sure the maintenance issues are avoided or handled in the correct manner.
Vander Hill Cottage—the last cottage on campus—was torn down due to safety regulations. This meant that all students must live in dorms—the reason behind the construction of Stegenga Hall and North Suites within the last ten years. New buildings keep the maintenance team plenty busy because the circulation of students is the same.
Courtney Tucker, a Fern RA, has had a year of interesting experiences ranging from a broken microwave to bats flying in the vent above the shower.
“There has probably been at least one maintenance request a week on average,” Tucker said.
Food service areas around campus are their first priority because the issues impact all students. Additionally, maintenance makes issues such as plumbing or piping leaks and any sort of unsafe situation a top priority.
Recent maintenance projects included the partial replacement of the Bultman Center roof. In regards to the roof replacement, Simmelink said, “Administration is very helpful in allocating funds for situations like the Bultman Center.”
Within the next year, boilers in Van Peursem Hall and the entire heating plant in the chapel and music halls will be replaced. An engineering firm has the design and plans for the new heating plants, and bids for the project will begin this December, Simmelink confirmed. The heating plant is estimated to be approximately three quarters of one million dollars.
Across campus, washer and dryer units are taking a dump—not the load. Simmelink warns us that each unit costs approximately $2,000 so he asks students to make sure to use the correct detergent and only fill the machines to the recommended level. The reason these requests regarding washers and dryers take longer to fix depends on how long it takes to get the new parts shipped to campus.
Just like the water, electricity and toilet paper usage, the problems around campus indirectly impact the budget. As a student, respecting the property of campus helps everyone in a preventative measure.
Scott Simmelink, director of maintenance and operations asks all students to email their requests to email@example.com. The maintenance receptionist checks this e-mail multiple times a day, and they aim to follow-up with requests within three days.