For many University of Findlay students, summertime is break time. But for facility workers, it’s their busy season.
This year, grounds and maintenance crews have plenty of campus projects on their plate. With Center for Student Life and College of Business construction completion a mere three months away, the University is preparing for significant shifts that will affect space in several buildings. Other locations are in need of routine structural repairs, and information technology services staff are implementing their annual wireless upgrades for continuous delivery improvement.
The new Center, which will become the campus hub for academics, gathering and community activities, will welcome the College of Business, which will free up 27,000 square feet of space in Old Main, said Physical Plant Director Myreon Cobb. “For the first time, that gives us a lot of flexibility” in UF’s oldest signature building, he said. Workers are preparing for that big move and coordinating with faculty and staff regarding space reuse.
Another highly visible project will take place at the Alumni Memorial Union. The Cave will be converted to a lunch counter, Jazzman’s will turn into a stage for entertaining, and the bookstore on the south side of the building will combine with the North Main Street bookstore to create a more comprehensive business in the Center for Student Life.
House renovations are occurring at 212 and 300 Howard Street. Several other capital projects will include roof replacements and siding repairs to various academic, office and housing units; installation of a humidity control system in Frost and Brewer science center; and install of a fire alarm system in The Village’s Pavilion, which houses Office of Advancement staff.
Cobb said part of The Village’s first floor, where hospitality management learning once took place, will be renovated to accommodate the nursing program, which has become too expansive to continue sharing space with the College of Pharmacy in the Davis Street Building.
Typical smaller summer projects, such as carpet and appliance replacement, landscaping, painting and lighting upgrades are plentiful.
In 2013, UF started a “major push” in upgrading the campus’ network system by installing a robust infrastructure, said Tim Stuart, network, security and operations director. Since then, the University has systematically been working on wireless upgrades, starting with residence halls. This summer, off-campus student housing, such as the townhouses, cottages, Oiler Pointe and Derrick’s Square apartments, will receive attention.
“Many things are on various cycles of refreshment and update,” said Stuart, noting it’s a constant effort to keep up to speed, so to speak, with the sophistication and number of devices that individuals now rely upon for learning and work.
Cobb’s extensive spreadsheets show the tightly choreographed dance that he and his staff must perform around scheduled summer camps that bring in thousands of students of all ages each year, as well as regular summer semester undergraduate and graduate classes that are held in various classrooms.