In moving towards a modernized and sustainable future, the University Student Union (USU) is undergoing several facility updates this summer.
“We’re looking to the students to be the leaders,” said John Jost, facility maintenance supervisor. “We make sure we’re following the standards of what they would want. We are focusing on using less water and electricity, so that the money can be used on other programs helping students.”
Five new hydration stations have been installed, as well a new disabled access door from the lobby to South Plaza. The USU is currently being weaned off of compact fluorescent lightbulbs and into LEDs in accordance with a student-driven sustainability initiative to save energy.
“We haven’t purchased compact fluorescents in the last 4-6 months,” said Jost. “All of our fluorescent fixtures will be swapped out for LED in near future. The purpose is to bring the facility up to current operational standards.”
All outdoor lighting and Recycling Center lighting will also be retrofitted to LEDs, all of which will result in saving energy and electricity usage. Facility Operations is also adding more outlets in USU lounge spaces, so students can have more access to electricity.
In addition to all this, Facility Operations is also installing drought tolerant landscape and is currently meeting with vendors to assess which area will have the greatest impact on water savings. And finally, the furniture project in the main lobby obtained a great deal of student input and is in final review of design. The furniture will be modernized and boost seating capacity.
“Students get to be rewarded with new items because they’ve done so well at saving, researching or funding something!” exclaimed Arnecia Bryant, associate director of facility operations. “If they’re doing well at keeping furniture good, it just needs to be reupholstered – which saves money. Students benefit themselves on how they use and keep the building.”
Like last summer, smart room amenities will be expanded into more rooms, like USU Room 205. And customarily, each of the USU restrooms will be repainted and all the toilets, drains and valves checked. One of the restrooms will also be rerouted.
“It is our task to successfully maintain the building, make it attractive, safe and fully operable for students to utilize,” said Bryant. “There are many times where students won’t be able to visually see our projects, because it’s in the infrastructure. But the infrastructure is so important, as well as the projects that allow students to actually see how their money is being utilized.”
Behind the scenes, a great deal of training and development occurs within Facility Services. Once a month, the Recycling Center and Facility Operations train, develop learning outcomes and assess their ability in different areas.
Finally, Facility Operations is also implementing a software maintenance manual that allows for work orders, problem-solving and data reporting. This process will lend for a complete capacity to assess where time is spent, inventory control, costs and more. For more information on the USU, visit www.asicsulb.org/usu