When students move back to campus they see polished new rooms, freshly painted walls in their lecture halls, neatly cut grass, comfortable furniture and living conditions on the bright, clean campus they have become so familiar with.
What students don’t see when they move back to campus is all of the work that went into creating their sparkling, refreshed home and the people who worked around the clock for three months to bring it to them.
“Facilities does so much that goes unnoticed around campus,” said Assistant Director of Facilities Management Cindy Schuppert. “We do campus moves, set ups for events, maintaining buildings, big remodels, small in-house construction, maintain the motor pool, pick up trash, build furniture, provide plumbing, electricity, heating and air conditioning for both the Forest Grove and Hillsboro campuses.”
Full-time and student facilities workers began the demolition, remodel, and maintenance of the campus as soon as students left for summer break. Student workers labored from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days a week painting and providing general maintenance while full-time crews came in to give Pacific a much needed, annual facelift.
“We would spend three hours in one dorm room just cleaning and fixing the problems students left behind,” said student worker Donte Holloway. “You go a little stir-crazy. I have such a higher appreciation for summer facilities and janitorial services now.”
Schuppert said the most challenging part of the job is dealing with such a small time frame to get everything done. She said just because students are gone doesn’t mean buildings are open and facilities has to work around schedules and produce the same quality end result.
Holloway said with the campus being nearly deserted other than facilities workers, the crew became very close over the summer.
“When I walked in the first day I didn’t know anyone,” explained Holloway. “They were all older guys who had been doing the job for 20 plus years; it was intimidating. But they hold us to a higher standard and now I can go up to them and crack a joke or say hi and they will laugh with me,” said Holloway.
Working for facilities had its perks for many of the employees.
Holloway said some standout moments for him were being able to demolish his old room he had as a freshman and learning to drive the golf carts.
Although the hours are many and the pressure is ever-present, Schuppert said the job is all worth it.
She said the best part of the job for her is being able to see the finished product and most of all, working with such a great crew.
In agreement with this, Holloway said, “I don’t regret a single moment.”