On Monday, UofL’s entire student body will descend onto campus for the first official day of school. Thanks to UofL’s Physical Plant team, these students will be greeted by perfectly manicured landscaping, freshly painted bridges and functioning buildings.
As soon as the spring semester ends, these employees move into action, able to operate more efficiently when the campus is at a slower pace, according to Aaron Boggs, director of Buildings and Grounds.
What the campus community will notice are details such as fresh mulch in the landscape beds, trimming, shrubbery and paint. What they won’t notice as much is all the work that has been done inside of the buildings.
“Many times, Housing will have a list of needs to address inside of the dorms. We also take on larger renovation projects as well as schedule major maintenance on air conditioning systems, electrical systems and plumbing during the summer break,” Boggs said.
The list of priorities for the team is extensive, but having a beautiful campus augments the students’ experience and is well worth it, Boggs adds.
“Our priorities are to make sure the students feel safe and comfortable while on campus and to help provide a great environment for them to learn in. We also believe that giving faculty and staff a great place to work supports them in their efforts of educating students,” he said. “Properly functioning buildings and aesthetically pleasing grounds have a synergistic effect on everyone at UofL.”
Several projects – including renovations in various buildings and refreshed paint – are new this year. However, much of the team’s time has been spent supporting the three major construction projects on the Belknap campus – the Belknap Academic Building, SAC renovations and Cardinal Stadium renovations.
“What most people don’t realize is that Physical Plant has thousands of hours invested in ensuring that our construction projects are successfully delivered,” Boggs said. “There hasn’t been a day that has gone by in the past two years where our staff has not supported these projects in some form or fashion.”
This is especially important for the Physical Plant crew members, as they’re tasked with maintaining the buildings after they’re completed.
Boggs said that while there is a push to get projects completed before the first day of the fall semester, the work isn’t much different than throughout the rest of the school year.
“Everything Physical Plant does all year long is to provide the best environment to learn in,” he said. “All of our effort is just part of the university’s mission to make UofL a great place to learn, work and invest in.”