Classrooms to benefit from facelift

Crews put priority on ensuring basics such as classroom blinds, windows and lights are back in working order

University classrooms and washrooms are undergoing a major facelift this spring as a result of one of the main strategies of Trek 2000.

The initiatives--dubbed "Class Trek" and "Operation Scrub"--are aimed at reducing deferred maintenance to 103 core classrooms and eliminating the backlog of washroom maintenance requests.

"Here are two areas that affect most people on campus on a daily basis," says David Woodson, associate director of Operations Engineering at Land and Building Services.

He says the classroom and washroom work serve as a kick-off for the Facility and Infrastructure Management Plan presented to UBC's Board of Governors last year. An important component of the university's vision document, Trek 2000, is to "make the campus more attractive...upgrade and maintain our buildings, landscape and infrastructure so that UBC is seen as a model of a sustainable community and campus: safe, clean, livable, and environmentally friendly."

"What we are doing is repairing the kind of things that people notice when they use the classrooms and affect how they use the rooms," says Woodson.

He says that repairs to the windows, blinds, lights, walls and ceilings of classrooms will not only improve their appearance but also allow students and faculty to make the most use of the premises.

The average building on campus is 33 years old with three-quarters built 21 or more years ago, he says, so there is a pressing need for the classroom work.

Two crews of five--two carpenters, two painters, and one electrician--have been assigned to the project which got underway last month. To minimize disruption to classes crews work in the afternoons.

Work on the 103 classrooms is estimated to cost $750,000 with completion anticipated June 30.

With 1,102 core washrooms on campus, the task facing the six-member plumbing crew assigned to eliminate the backlog of maintenance requests and respond to trouble calls is daunting. Two of the plumbers have been dedicated to attend to trouble calls with the goal of reducing response time to less than two days. The four remaining members work on ongoing repairs and upgrades. Currently 30 per cent of the washrooms have been serviced under the program which started in January. The initiative will cost $600,000 with completion of the first phase by June 30.