• Physical Plant Services and Procedures

    Maintenance

    Funding of Operations
    and Maintenance 

    Services

    Priority of Work

    Departmental Liaison

    Requests for Services

    Routine Failures

    Emergencies

    Housekeeping

    Carpentry and Paint

    Electrical / Heating /
    Air Conditioning

    Environmental
    Health and Safety

    Plumbing

    Keys / Hardware

    Pest Control

    Receiving and
    Central Storeroom

    Grounds

    Moving and Setting up for
    Special Events

    Motor Pool  

    Garage

    Special Policies
    and Requirements

    In order to fulfill its educational mission, a university must have the shelter and services of a physical plant. The primary responsibility of the Director of the Physical Plant Department is to assure the proper maintenance, operation, and efficiency of the plant, with the main purpose of providing timely, efficient, and economical services to the faculty, staff, and students of The University of West Alabama. This manual will set forth the policies and procedures that have been established for effective plant operations.

    Maintenance 

    Two main types of maintenance are carried out by the Physical Plant:

    1. Preventive maintenance is scheduled or programmed regularly and in an orderly fashion by the Director of the Physical Plant. After schedules have been established, all personnel are supervised to the extent necessary to ensure that the schedule is carried out. The preventive maintenance program includes the regular inspection of all moving equipment, oiling, checking pressures, safety devices, and like services, as well as the regular inspection and servicing of all fire and safety equipment.
    2. Corrective maintenance is not pre-planned; it is non-scheduled and results from non-emergency requests from budget administrators. Some examples of corrective maintenance are the repair of door or window hardware, the repair of blinds or shades, the repair of furniture, or other items that do not pose a safety or security hazard. Additionally, this type of maintenance might include the moving of furniture or equipment. The budget administrator or his designated liaison is responsible for requesting this service, and a three-day lead time is required when possible by the Physical Plant Department to schedule the request before any work is started.

    Two main times are operative for maintenance:

    1. Scheduled maintenance deals primarily with recurring items such as grass cutting, window washing, painting, and clean-up services. This type of maintenance must be scheduled in advance and performed in accordance with the schedule.
    2. Emergency maintenance means that immediate action is required. This work will take precedence over any other maintenance. The person who discovers the emergency should make requests directly to the Physical Plant Department.

    Funding of Operations and Maintenance 

    The Physical Plant operations and maintenance budget is established to fund the continued operations of existing facilities and equipment and to maintain said facilities in the same condition as they are without additions or improvements.

    Monies for alterations, improvements, additions, or design change are not included in the Physical Plant budget but must be budgeted separately, based on a pre-determined priority schedule.

    Minor additions and improvements can be made by the Physical Plant Department if the requesting department has the funds available to pay for this service. Departmental budget administrators should include funds in their budgets to cover any minor improvements they need.

    Requests for major improvements should be submitted to the President for review. After review and approval by the President and the Board, the requests will be included in the alterations and improvements budget.

    Services 

    The Physical Plant Department provides two types of services:

    1. Physical Plant Services are those that are rendered without charge, because the costs are covered by funds budgeted to the Physical Plant Department. These services are directly related to the operation and maintenance of the overall physical plant. Some examples of these services are the following:
      1. Operating and maintaining buildings and additions thereto which have been accepted as permanent parts of the campus, structures which, if vacated by present occupants, would require no alterations or special refurbishing or remodeling for occupancy by some other University department
      2. Maintaining walks, streets, and grounds
      3. Operating and maintaining all utilities on campus
      4. Performing housekeeping services
    2. Departmental Services are those that are rendered on special request and charged to the department for which they are performed; they are special services rendered to departments and activities that receive appropriations for the services. These costs are not included in the Physical Plant budget. The Physical Plant will either perform the services or assist the Director of Purchasing in obtaining the requested services from private contractors. Some possible services are the following:
      1. Minor alterations to buildings or structures assigned to departments or activities
      2. Additions of special equipment such as air-conditioning, ventilation fans, electrical outlets, or special lighting
      3. Painting when done at a time other than that specified in the regular painting cycle
      4. Maintenance work done on special equipment in labs and research areas that are departmental responsibilities

    Physical Plant charges for Departmental Services are at cost. Materials are furnished at cost, and labor charges are computed on the time taken to perform the services. These costs are billed to the department at the end of the month.

    Priority of Work 

     Physical Plant Services take priority over Departmental Services. The Physical Plant Department maintains two schedules:

    1. All Physical Plant Services: painting; operation and maintenance of buildings; repair to utilities; landscaping
    2. Departmental Services: special requests scheduled in order of receipt and completed as time allows

     Departmental Liaison 

    The dean, department head, or budget administrator, depending on the size and location of the department, is the liaison between the Physical Plant Department and the department requesting work. The liaison requests physical plant services, approves and forwards written requests for departmental services, and/or coordinates with the Physical Plant Department those departmental services which are to be furnished by private contractors.

    Requests for Services 

    There are two forms of requests for services:

    1. Physical Plant Services: may be requested in writing by Email or Help Desk. In case of an emergency a telephone call can be made to ext. 3601 or ext. 3697 for assistance. The report of deficiencies or request for services are recorded on a work order and routed to the proper person in the Physical Plant Department for needed response. As much detail as possible is needed in order that the request can be clearly understood. The person needing the service should not ask maintenance personnel to perform the task. Physical Plant personnel are instructed to perform only work that has been assigned to a work order.
    2. Departmental Services: should be requested by the department liaison in writing to the Director of the Physical Plant at UWA Station 20. All request except emergencies, whether a memo written request, Email, or telephone conversation should be originated by the dean, department head, or budget administrator. The request should be descriptive enough so that a cost estimate for the desired work can be made. After an estimate has been issued the appropriate will be notified in writing of the cost of the request. A request for the approval or denial of the work to be performed must be resubmitted to the Director of the Physical Plant before the actual work can be performed. The request will be assigned a work order number and will be routed to the department responsible for performing the work.

    It should be noted that the Physical Plant Department has a limited staff, and most effort is expended on Physical Plant Services. Departmental Services are scheduled and accomplished as time permits.

    Routine Failures 

    Routine failures of small items are normal occurrences that can be expected and should be reported as such. The departmental liaison should Email request or use the Help Desk to report problems such as defective light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, broken window panes, or broken furniture. This method should be used for Physical Plant Services only.

    The Departmental Services request should use a written memo, or Email request. Help Desk request are not beneficial for these request. The Physical Plant does not have the personnel to handle this unless it is an emergency. Schedule work or work in progress cannot be interrupted unless there is a bona fide emergency. The Physical Plant requires a three-day or more notice on routine work request.

     Emergencies 

    The definition of an emergency must be determined by the good judgment of an individual. Any disaster, unusual occurrence, malfunction of utility, or equipment failure that presents danger to life or property is an emergency. Any water leak in the buildings or toilet/sink overflows but not limited to be considered an emergency. All door lock malfunctions are considered an emergency. During normal business hours 7 am until 5 pm reports can be made to ext. 3601 or ext. 3697. If emergency should occur after normal business hours please notify the University Police Department at 652-3602.

     Housekeeping 

    The Physical Plant Department is responsible for all housekeeping. Housekeeping personnel are stationed in each building between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Housekeeping duties include cleaning restrooms, offices, and windows, as well as taking out the trash. In the labs the housekeeping personnel clean only the floors, chalkboards, and student desks. They do not clean the laboratory equipment. Floor scrubbing, window washing, and wall cleaning are done between semesters.

    The housekeeping personnel work on a schedule and should not be called upon by either staff or faculty to help with jobs other than those they are scheduled to perform by the housekeeping supervisor. Special housekeeping services may be requested through a departmental liaison. All matters concerning housekeeping should be directed to the Supervisor of Housekeeping at ext. 3603 in Moon Hall.

    Carpentry and Paint 

    The main function of the Carpentry Shop is the maintenance of buildings inside and outside, with painting done at least once every six years. The Paint Shop has four standard neutral colors that have been adopted for use in all buildings. Generally there will be no more than two colors used in one building. Extra painters may be employed during the summer months to take advantage of the weather and vacancy of buildings.

    Electrical / Heating / Air Conditioning  

     This department takes care of all electrical distribution, lights, heating equipment, air-conditioning, refrigeration, or malfunctioning electrical devices such as light switches, receptacles, and thermostats. Electrical and air-conditioning services include routine inspection, oiling, greasing, and adjustment to ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration equipment such as refrigerators, testing equipment, and growth chambers. Light fixtures are thoroughly cleaned periodically by a special crew from this department.

    If at any time changes are needed in any aspect of the electrical, heating, or air-conditioning system, a department or individual should not make the adjustment but instead contact the Physical Plant Department.

    Requests for new lighting, wiring for new electrical requirements, and the installation of control systems and sound systems are departmental services. Because all circuits in buildings have limited capacity and characteristics, departments, before purchasing electrical equipment, should determine from the Physical Plant Department the voltage and amps or kilowatt capacity available. The department can either acquire equipment within this capacity or arrange beforehand for a proper circuit.

    This department has a limited public address system capability that can be set up as a Physical Plant service. Arrangements for the use of this equipment should be made to the Physical Plant Department by the departmental liaison in writing 72 hours in advance.

    Environmental Health and Safety  

    The EHS coordinator inspects and maintains all fire equipment on campus, works with the ADA coordinator on physical barrier removal and accessibility issues, provides safety training and supplies for Physical Plant personnel, and advises on compliance with safety- and health-related regulations. This office offers services to other departments on request, such as training classes on safety-related topics, assistance with regulatory compliance, and follow-up on safety or health matters that have been previously reported through regular channels.

    Plumbing 

    The plumbing department is responsible for all phases of plumbing on campus. In addition to performing routine inspections, this department deals with leaks, blockages, and deterioration problems. Much of the maintenance is preventive. Most of the plumbing work is a Physical Plant service, except for additions to existing piping requested by a department.

    Keys / Hardware 

    The Hardware Shop makes all lock changes and repairs and issues all keys to campus buildings. These services are rendered as Physical Plant services, except in self-supporting operations and cases of a department requesting special or unique locks. In those cases the service would be considered a departmental service.

    Request for access to a building with electronic locks which require an I.D. card should be sent to the IT Department and approved by the Director of Information Technology and the Department Head responsible for the request.

    No one other than the Physical Plant Department is authorized to change or tamper with any lock on campus. Keys are issued only after the Physical Plant Department has received a key request card signed by the perspective Department Head. The Physical Plant Department maintains strict control and careful records of all keys. Keys are stamped “State of Alabama – Unlawful to Duplicate”. Any effort to have a key illegally duplicated by outside locksmiths should not be attempted. If a key is lost or found, it should be reported or turned in to the Physical Plant Department. Keys should not be left lying around or loaned to others. Employees leaving the University must return the keys in their possession to the Physical Plant Department. If a key is lost, there is a $5.00 replacement charge issued. A lost master/sub-master key may result in the need to replace the entire keying system in which the department will cover all cost. Changing entire keying systems will be determined by the Director of the Physical Plant.

    Pest Control 

    As a Physical Plant service, complete pest control treatment is rendered on a periodic schedule, usually around the middle of each month for all buildings on campus. The buildings are treated at this time for mice, roaches, and ants. If a problem with these pests is noticed, the Physical Plant Department should be notified before the middle of the month so that arrangements can be made to eliminate the problem. The Physical Plant Department should be notified immediately if termites are noticed at any time.

    Pest control is primarily a matter of cleanliness and good sanitation; therefore, the cooperation of everyone involved in solving a potential pest or disease problem is imperative.

    Receiving and Central Storeroom  

    For control purposes, all goods that come on campus are received at the maintenance and receiving building. Storeroom personnel then disburse them to the proper department. A central storeroom is maintained in the maintenance and receiving building. It contains supplies for housekeeping, plumbing, and painting, as well as materials needed for work on air-conditioning and electrical repairs. Departments may purchase items from this storeroom at cost.

    Grounds 

    The Grounds Department maintains the grounds of the entire campus. Grounds personnel cut grass and care for plants, shrubs, and trees. They are responsible for the construction of new walks, steps, retaining walls and the grading of new areas. They also install storm drains and catch basins. Extra work required on athletic fields for events other than regularly scheduled varsity sports must be paid for as departmental services.

    Moving and Setting up for Special Events  

    For special events, the personnel for moving and setting up consists of a team of a foreman and members of the grounds department. It is their responsibility to move furniture and equipment on campus. The Physical Plant Department maintains a limited number of folding tables, chairs, and platforms for special events. Other equipment and materials such as pianos must be arranged by the sponsor of a special event but can be moved by the aforementioned team. Charges for this service will depend upon the labor and vehicle required. All requests for moving and/or setting up for special events must be sent in writing to the Physical Plant Department at least 72 hours in advance of the event. Requests must come from the department liaison.

    Motor Pool 

    The Physical Plant Department maintains a motor pool comprised of sedans, mini vans, and 15 seating passenger vans. Those desiring the use of a motor pool vehicle must send a completed request form to the Motor Pool clerk in the Physical Plant Department. A vehicle will be made available on a first-come first-serve basis for departmental services.

    Garage 

    The garage is used primarily to service Physical Plant Department vehicles and equipment. It is also used to service motor pool and other University vehicles at cost as a departmental service. The service includes oil change, lubrication, washing, waxing, battery service, tire service, and motor tune-up.

     Special Policies and Requirements 

    The Physical Plant Department must be advised of any planned alterations or additions to any structure or to the grounds, from hanging pictures to complete renovation, even if the work is not to be completed by the Department. Any work done on campus by outside contractors must be coordinated with the Physical Plant Department. All work plans and completed work must be inspected and approved by the Department to insure compliance with State laws and established policies.

    Bulletin Boards: The Physical Plant Department will build and install bulletin boards as a departmental service on written request.

    Fire Hazards: All possible precautions against fire should be taken. No combustible materials should be left in work areas. The State of Alabama Department of Finance provides fire insurance and makes periodic inspections of buildings to check on fire prevention methods.

    Furniture: As a Physical Plant service, the Department maintains regular classroom furniture. Office furniture and furniture used in research departments are the property of the individual departments and are not maintained by the Physical Plant except as a departmental service. Repairs may be requested by calling the Work Order Center at ext. 3697.

    Painting: While maintenance painting is done as a Physical Plant Department service on a scheduled basis, usually a six-year cycle, painting not in accordance with the schedule may be rendered as a departmental service when requested in writing.

    Roofs: No personnel may go on the roof of any building, including dormitories, without authorization from the Director of the Physical Plant Department.

    Special Problems: The Physical Plant Department staff is available to provide any needed service and welcomes the opportunity to discuss or consult with any member of the University family.