Residential Life Maintenance Takes on New Responsibilities

The Residential Maintenance (RM) department now oversees maintenance for Einstein Bros. Bagels in P.G. Hoffman, Starbucks in Melcher Hall, and Subway at the Law School. HVAC and general technicians support these operations by performing tasks such as repairing, replacing and ordering of equipment. Items like rerouting drain lines, cleaning of coils and adding a new water filter to an ice machine are common. Carlos Villarreal, director of RM, said, "We perform these duties in addition to overseeing the dining facilities in Moody Towers and Oberholtzer Hall (OB)."

Calhoun Lofts, another building whose maintenance operations is managed by RM, is an entirely different story. When asked about the comparison between handling service calls for Moody Towers versus the Calhoun Lofts, Villarreal said, "The work is all the same; a door is a door, but it’s a really big building and it takes time to get used to all that walking. My feet are sore. You try to think of everything you need [in advance]" because the size of the building demands a lot of detail. Calhoun Lofts has over 600 residents and the atmosphere and residents are vastly different from those who dwell at Moody Towers and OB. "You have older students in the building. They know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it."

RM’s workers have received training to help facilitate the adjustment to Calhoun Lofts. Many vendors have provided various types of training sessions to assist the technicians on the ins and outs of the equipment, such as laundry machines, lift stations and trash compactors. Villarreal said, "It also helped in that Don Delano, the RM technician who was involved with inspecting the building prior to its opening, is now assigned to work in Calhoun Lofts. He’s literally seen the building from the ground up." In addition, maintenance staff that work during the weekend must familiarize themselves with the building.

In spite of the adjustment, Villarreal said, "The good thing about Calhoun Lofts is it prepares us for the Wheeler Housing Project that’s coming up."