Facilities facing a bumpy transition

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Photo by Emily Ashman

The start of the new school year hit the University of Dallas facilities department with many obstacles in their effort to smoothly take care of the school’s needs. Unfulfilled work orders, air conditioning problems and a sewer smell created a rough start to the fall semester.

The biggest problem at the start of the year was the facilities department not fulfilling work orders. This problem was created by a couple different reasons that all added up to a big mess.

In July, the university transferred facility functions to a new company, WFF Facility Services. Due to hiring issues, they did not have enough employees to run the show.

President of UD, Dr. Jonathan Sanford said, “We now contract with a new company that is supposed to be overseeing all of facilities and they cannot find enough workers initially for the grounds work.”

While the facilities department now has adequate staff, communication problems between the school and facilities persist and are causing delays.

Facilities department director, Randy Vandervort said: “All the employees that transitioned over had their UD emails shut down which meant we didn’t have access to the work orders for over three weeks and this put us behind. Soon after that, the university forgot to renew the certificate with Netfacilities and we were down again for over a week.”

This issue caused the work orders to be stalled by over four weeks. 

Randy Vandervort said, “We are working on the outstanding work orders and working with Netfacilities to correct the software issues.”

Another obstacle that the facilities department had to face was problems with the A/C. At the beginning of the year, the air conditioning in the education department, located in the basement of Braniff, was running poorly.

Dr. Amie Sarker, an associate professor in the education department said: “It does get a little bit warm in there. Like in our media center room.” 

While the A/C issues have subsided, the sewer smell that is stinking up the education department remains. It has been an ongoing problem for a while now due to the age of the building.

Sarker said: “As of last week we did still have a little bit of a smell. I actually brought a diffuser in to help out the situation. We have a little fan in there that’s been helping, so I wouldn’t say it’s always a problem, but I noticed a little bit especially last week.”

The smell is not extremely powerful, and small arrangements will be efficient enough to hide the smell.

Once the communication systems run smoothly the facilities department will be ready to do their job at an efficient level.

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