Facilities maintenance back to college


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Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 10:25pm

The College of Eastern Utah Administration has canceled a contract held with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction Management (DFCM). The contract cost the college millions of dollars every year.

After two-and-a-half years, the CEU administration canceled the state contract with DFCM. The biggest reason was the "cost and lack of qualified people," according to Sheila Burghardt, facilities manager.

One of the major issues Burghardt had with DFCM was the fact that "heating and cooling is very complicated." Some of DCFM's technicians were not qualified to operate the equipment they were responsible for.

DFCM is a state-sponsored organization, which upon request can maintain government facilities at a pre-determined cost. This cost, according to Burghardt, was $2-million a year in addition to "big ticket items." Big ticket items are anything that cost more than $10,000 to replace or fix.

In addition to having unqualified technicians, DFCM has a duplication of services. CEU has human resources access through the college. DFCM provides a human resources person through the cost of their annual contract. With an unneeded service being provided, it was billed to the college. That is one of the many inefficiencies of DFCM.

CEU will assume the roles DFCM had during the contract. In doing so, CEU will gain one full-time employee, a couple of student workers, and use local contractors. Burghardt feels that because CEU facilities maintenance will take more ownership in its maintenance, there will be an increase in consumer response quality.

One of the continuing problems is the fountain on campus which is prone to pranks. From adding food coloring to soap, there seems to be something going on with the fountain. The fountain costs a lot to maintain when these pranks are done more and more frequently. The fountain holds 3,000 gallons according to Burghardt. And it doesn't cost much to fix when students just color of the water in the fountain, it just stains the concrete.

When soap is put into the fountain, it costs between $1,000 to $2,000 to fix per incident. Precautions have been taken to minimize damage to the pump. Nothing will prevent a pump from being broken "if a whole bottle of soap is poured into the fountain," she said.

In addition to facilities maintenance, Burghardt has to deal with all of the trash thrown all over campus. She wants to remind students to throw their trash into a trash can and not just anywhere on campus. It takes time away from the crews who have a lot to do.

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