Tag Archives: Facilities Services

Laney-Walker enhancements to begin soon

Over the next six to eight months, the stretch of Laney-Walker Boulevard running through the heart of Georgia Regents University’s Health Sciences Campus will undergo a transformation.

On May 11, crews will begin work to improve the safety and aesthetic of the .36-mile-length of Laney-Walker between 15th Street and R.A. Dent Boulevard by narrowing the road from four lanes to two, adding raised crosswalks and new landscaping buffers. Bike lanes will also be added in each direction.

The improvements will decrease pedestrian travel from curb to curb; reduce the number of pedestrian mid-block crossings; eliminate the need for crosswalk guards in the morning and evening; improve driver visibility; and improve Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility for GRU personnel and the community.

Motorists will be temporarily detoured around the impacted section of Laney-Walker for the duration of the project. Signage will be placed at each end of Laney-Walker May 4-May 5 to notify motorists of upcoming detours.

Through traffic will be directed to travel 15th Street, R.A. Dent and Walton Way instead of Laney-Walker. Access to the Student Center, the Kelly Administration Building, Central Distribution Warehouse, the Cancer Center and Cancer Center parking deck will be maintained and managed with signage and flagmen.


Facilities Services staff keeps enterprise running through holidays

Elstress Key spent Christmas Day at Georgia Regents Medical Center, but not as a patient or visitor.

Key, who has been with the Medical Center’s Environmental Services Department for 1 ½ years, made the rounds of about 28 patient rooms in 4 South over the holiday. While others were gaily opening Christmas presents, she made sure surfaces were dust free, floors were mopped and trash removed.

Even though many did not work Christmas Day and many businesses were closed, operations at Georgia Regents Medical Center continued as normal.

“Of course we have to keep the hospital clean. This place never closes,” Key said. “Everybody has a part in taking care of patients here.”

Key was just one of several staff in the Facilities Services Division who worked or were on-call over the Christmas holiday.

Facilities Operations Maintenance Technician Jeffrey Shepard reported to work at 7 p.m. Christmas Day and ended his shift at 7 a.m. the next day. He monitored vital equipment in the Central Energy Plant on the Health Sciences Campus, watching for abnormal activity in the air handlers, compressors and chill water, for example.

“If certain areas are too hot or too cold, a software program sends an alarm. We go and look at the particular system controlling it. We try and figure out what it is to remedy it,” Shepard said.

“As a research hospital, thousands of freezers hold millions of dollars and untold man-hour’s worth of experiments. We monitor those systems to ensure these freezers are working properly,” he said.

Not only were patient care areas kept clean, patients also were provided food on Christmas by Food and Nutrition Services Cook Jeremiah Batts and others. Batts worked a full shift Christmas Day – 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – prepping and preparing two meals for an average of 250 patients.

“That’s my responsibility because the hospital can’t shut down. Everybody wish they could be home, but we love our job,” Batts said.

Physical Plant Specialist Steven Lakoduk has worked every holiday since joining the Georgia Regents team almost one year ago. He anticipated responding primarily to hot and cold calls on Christmas.

“If your mom is freezing in the bed, you want someone to come turn the heat up,” he said. “You’ve got to keep the place running. The customer service aspect is key.”

Key planned to have a little something special for the patients whose rooms she visited on Christmas Day.

“I was going to try to get them little trinkets,” she said. “It’s just something they can open. We be with these people every day, and you establish a relationship with them. The patients make me happy. It makes me happy to make them happy.”

Click here for photo gallery.

Washington Hall roof to be replaced

Work will begin Monday, Sept. 15, to replace the roof on Washington Hall on the Georgia Regents University Summerville Campus. The five parking spaces behind the Washington Hall dumpster will be closed. However, the two handicap spaces will remain open. The side entrance next to the Dome Room will not be accessible during this project. The JagCard swipe located at the door will not be available, so students will need to contact Public Safety at 706-721-2911 to gain access after regular business hours. The sidewalks near the building will remain open. The project should take two months to complete, weather permitting.

Save the date: J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons Grand Opening

Take a peek at progress on the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons. A grand opening has been scheduled for the nearly completed facility on Oct. 16.

The 172,000-square-foot building on Georgia Regents University’s Health Sciences Campus includes a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, auditoriums, and classroom space for the Medical College of Georgia and the College of Dental Medicine. The building is named for the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison, a renowned vascular surgeon and 1948 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia. Watch time-lapse photos of construction here.

Working to keep the lights on and spaces up-to-date

Facilities Engineering Manager Mark Williams and Senior Planning and Design Manager Fred Ricketson have been working on ways to make consolidation work for Georgia Regents University. The two gave a presentation at the GA Physical Plant Administrators Association (GAPPA) annual meeting at Jekyll Island over Memorial Day weekend on how they have used consolidation to their advantage .

Williams discussed how he worked on developing a new relationship with Georgia Power to help manage the campus power systems to make sure the lights stay on, and if they go off, that they come back on quickly.

“In the past, if we lost a transformer, we might have to wait a week or two to get a replacement,” Williams said. “But with our new agreement, we call Georgia Power, and they have the equipment to replace it and get the power back on very quickly.”

And as the campus continues to grow, the relationship with Georgia Power will ensure the campus has the best resources in the area available when they are needed.

“They have already fixed some of our systems that had problems that could have turned into a major outage in the future,” he said. “We want to be prepared and proactive, not wait for the problems to occur.”

Ricketson also discussed his work with Centennial Contractors and how this has aided various renovations around campus. After consolidation, many offices were moving, and during those moves, it was the perfect opportunity for renovations.

“The fast pace of the moves and the renovations forced me to think outside of the box,” Ricketson said. “I had to find a better way to get work under contract and get support from outside of our organization in order to meet the deadlines.”

Centennial Contractors work a lot with Georgia Government and are very familiar with government regulations and renovation processes. They coordinated many renovations along with Ricketson and GRU Planning and Construction Group, and their experience helped make the renovation process move quickly and efficiently. That allowed the offices to get back to work faster and with fewer inconveniences.

FacilitiesNet.com: Outsourcing – Managers discuss this practice

FacilitiesNet.com – August 2013.

chris millerGeorgia Regents Medical Center Facilities Services Director Chris Miller discusses the pros and cons of outsourcing services, especially in maintenance and engineering departments. When used appropriately, outsourcing can bring efficiency and savings to the operation of institutional and commercial facilities and benefit departments with ever-increasing workloads.  Read more about Outsourcing: Managers discuss the often controversial practice.

Baker named Facilities Operation’s Employee of the Quarter

James Baker, Specialist II in the Plumbing Shop on the Health Sciences Campus, has been named Facilities Operation’s Employee of the Quarter.

Baker joined the enterprise in 2011. Mike Cartee, Plumbing Supervisor, said Baker was nominated by his peers for his dedication, dependability, and enthusiasm for his craft.

“Working with James in the GRU-Health Sciences Campus plumbing field has been a pleasure,” said Cartee. “With his knowledge of plumbing blue prints, he has been able to trace out problems on multistory buildings with plumbing supply pipe leaks, drain leaks, and a lot more.”

A native of Edgefield, S.C., Baker has lived in the Augusta area for over 30 years. He enjoys playing video games, working out in the weight room, and tinkering with old cars in his spare time. Cartee said Baker has been a valuable asset to both the Plumbing Shop and the Facilities division as a whole, but said his work with the preventive maintenance program has been the most helpful.

“In the College of Dental Medicine building, we have 30-plus plaster traps that need to be emptied out twice a week,” said Cartee.  “He has taken charge of the six-man rotating roster necessary for the thorough cleaning of these traps and drains. He also makes weekly inspections and, when necessary, services the three purified water systems serving patient care chairs for the school.”

Those inspections and services are vital to the maintenance of the building, according to Cartee.

In the past year, Baker became Georgia State Certified to test Backflow Preventers, which service hundreds of water lines on campus. These tests, an annual requirement set forth by the state, ensure that the institution’s drinking water remains safe to use.

“He volunteers to work overtime on a regular basis,” said Cartee. “When emergencies occur, he is one of the first employees to say, ‘I can stay.’ My hat’s off to this young man for helping to keep the Health Sciences Campus operating day and night with such enthusiasm and dedication.”

Baker is currently studying for his Georgia State Journeyman License and hopes to take his state exam later this year.

GRU signage is in development

GRU Signage
Concept illustrations of GRU signage were on display on May 17.

As consolidation efforts continue around campus, signage is nearing a reality as designs are being shown to the public and being finalized.

Concept illustrations of the signage were on display on May 17 at both the Health Sciences Campus and the Summerville Campus. The signage ranges from large illuminated “beacon” signs atop clinical buildings to simple directional markers to the smallest buildings.

“I think that FMG Design and Ferdinand Meyer did an excellent job in maintaining the integrity, while improving the visibility and functionality of each campus,” Director of Planning, Design, and Construction Jennifer Smith said. “We wanted it to be timeless and echo the history of both institutions, and they have met and exceeded our expectations.”

The designers also focused on certain design elements to bring in both campuses, like incorporating the bricks from the Summerville Campus, according to Smith.

The development process has included the entire enterprise, from the hospital, medical associates, and university to sites that aren’t on the Health Sciences or Summerville campuses. The designers wanted a plan that worked from the largest visible areas–from the tops of buildings down to vehicular and pedestrian directional signs.

The design team is making adjustments to elements and hopes to be finished this fall.

“We will be actively working on a phased installation process after the design is complete,” Smith said, “and will have a better idea about the exact dates and schedules.”

Jaguar of the Week – Kevin Matthews

Dave Freeman, Director of Facilities Operations, presents Kevin Matthews with the Employee of the Quarter for the Facilities Operations Department award.
Dave Freeman, Director of Facilities Operations, presents Kevin Matthews with the Employee of the Quarter for the Facilities Operations Department award.

Kevin Matthews, Lead Specialist in Plant Operations, has been named the Employee of the Quarter for the Facilities Operations Department.

“It is great to have programs like this that recognize the hard work of our employees. It is always nice to know how your co-workers view you,” said Matthews, who was nominated by several of his peers. According to his peers, his quality of work, dependability, and initiative were just a few attributes they admired about him.

Matthews joined the university in 1993, and in his spare time, he coaches his daughter Jessica’s softball team.