Spring semester has arrived, and it’s now peak season for our efforts to transform our campus. Several ongoing projects will soon cross major milestones, while a few new upgrades will kick off later this spring.
Facilities Services News
Dozens of Facilities Services employees sported pink last Wednesday to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month on campus. The department’s “Wear Pink Day” was launched this year to support and recognize those who have been touched by the disease.
UT’s historic Hopecote guest house is currently undergoing upgrades. Workers will remove the home’s hail-damaged slate-tile roof, repair the structure underneath, install new water and ice-resistant roofing layers, and add new gutters and downspouts.
In its first year, a Facilities Services employee involvement program has been a valuable resource. In the fall of 2013, Facilities Operations Director Bob Caudill created Process Improvement Team (PIT) crews for the division’s Building Services group. The idea behind the creation of PIT crews was twofold—to give employees a platform to speak their minds about day-to-day operations and to gain vital insights from team members.
Big changes are already taking place at the UT Steam Plant as part of its ongoing conversion project. The project, which began in March, includes the elimination of coal use at the plant through the replacement of the plant’s coal-fired boilers with high-efficiency, natural gas/fuel oil boilers.
Two Facilities Services directors have been elected to new positions within the Associated Valley Industries, a nonprofit organization of approximately sixty-eight industrial, commercial, and institutional companies within the Tennessee Valley Authority service area that are served by TVA’s local power distributors, such as the Knoxville Utilities Board. Zone Maintenance Director Terry Ledford has been elected the organization’s president after serving on its board of directors for several years, and Utilities Director Roy Warwick has been elected to the organization’s board.
On August 15, Facilities Services will begin using Archibus, a new computerized system for scheduling, dispatching, managing, and reporting maintenance tasks. The new system will increase efficiency and reduce operational costs by making greater use of self-service capabilities, which also increases customer satisfaction.
In an effort to maintain the quality and beauty of our campus, UT Facilities Services and UT Police are asking for your help with wiping out graffiti. During the past few weeks, Facilities Services crews and UTPD have reported a disturbing increase in the number of “tags,” which are not only an eyesore on campus and costly to remove, but they can also cause permanent damage to UT buildings.
Facilities Services will conduct a seven day campus-wide steam outage in May. This outage is part of the project to upgrade the steam plant from coal fired boilers to natural gas.
The UT steam plant conversion project is now well underway with the dismantling of the first of the plant’s coal-fired boilers. The project is designed to eliminate coal use completely by transitioning to natural gas.