St. Olaf College Facilities Department
DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES
Elaine Trnka firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Wolf email@example.com
Bill Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org
ASST. DIRECTOR, CAPITAL ACCOUNTS
Kevin Larson email@example.com
ASST. DIRECTOR, ENGINEERING SERVICES
Gregg Menning firstname.lastname@example.org
ASST. DIRECTOR, BUILDING SERVICES
Steve Rasmussen email@example.com
ASST. DIRECTOR, CUSTODIAL SERVICES
Jim Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
David Leake email@example.com
COORDINATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
The St. Olaf facilities department is charged with
providing and maintaining a high quality, clean and safe
environment that supports and enhances the residential
liberal arts college experience.
The department office is located in the Heating Plant on
the second level. The office is staffed from7:00 AM to
Noon, and again from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The office phone
number is 646-3280. We are served by a voice mail system,
and problems can be reported via voice mail at any hour of
On campus calls DO NOT switch to voice mail if the line is
busy. Please use the call-back feature of the campus phone
system if the line should be busy. If you are calling from
off campus, voice mail takes over if the line is busy. If
we are not in the office, voice mail takes over after four
rings, please be patient.
If an emergency problem comes up during the business day,
call in to 3280. Again, on campus call DO NOT switch to
voice mail if this line is busy. If the line is busy,
please call 3281. This number is answered twenty four
hours a day in the heating plant. PLEASE, DO NOT USE THIS
NUMBER FRIVOLOUSLY. The shift engineer must leave boiler
operating duties in order to receive the call and dispatch
the proper person to attend to the problem.
REPORTING EMERGENCY PROBLEMS
Routine maintenance problems can be called in to the 3280
number at any time. During business hours our staff will
receive your call and log the problem into our work order
system. It will be assigned to a specific worker at that
time, and most often will be reviewed by the person within
an hour or two. After business hours you are welcome to
explain the problem on the voice mail system, and it will
be logged into the work order system as soon as the office
staff have an opportunity to poll the message system.
REPORTING ROUTINE PROBLEMS
Please be prepared to clearly explain the problem and where
it is located, with a building name and room number or
reference point. Let us know the time of the report, who
you are, and how you can be reached, especially if you are
leaving a voice mail message. If the problem is with a
piece of department equipment, or is in some other way not
routine building maintenance, please be ready with an
account number which will pay for the work.
When you call in or e-mail your request, the office staff will log it
into our work order database. The date and exact time of
the entry are filled in automatically by the program. This
can be helpful for us and the caller if there is a problem
later on. Our office assigns each work order to a shop and
specific worker when it is entered into the system. In
most cases, the worker will see each order within an hour
or two of the time it is generated. Our staff is in
contact with the office by two way radio, and emergenciy
problems will be dealt with immediately.
THE WORK ORDER SYSTEM
When the work is complete, the order is returned to the
office with the completion date noted. The office staff
will then update the database so that we can track what was
done and when.
Our program allows us to search for anything on the form.
This capability also helps us to evaluate the work load for
any given shop. We can call for a report which will give
us the total number of unresolved work orders by shop and
decide if we need to get more help, or if it is possible
for a group with a light load to take over part of someone
The assistant director of facilities, engineering services
is responsible for all utility issues. The assistant
director manages the heating plant, mechanical maintenance
and electric shop, the water system and the electrical
The mechanical maintenance group is responsible for all
plumbing, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning
equipment and controls. We also have licensed
electricians, and do repair and maintenance as well as new
installations. It is our intent that most of this group's
time be dedicated to maintenance, however, we can take on
larger project work when the load allows. In most cases
larger projects will be handled by contractors under the
direction of the assistant director.
Each building has a mechanic and an electrician assigned to
it. Work orders for each building go directly to the
person responsible for it. We believe that this
facilitates the process by eliminating several steps in the
office. Each person is able to become more familiar with
conditions in the buildings, and develop a real sense of
ownership working in this system.
While the mechanics are generally in charge of the same
types of things within their buildings, each has an area
that they specialize in. They rely on each other for help
when they need another person's expertise. We have master
plumbers, welders, temperature control specialists and
refrigeration experts available.
The heating plant provides heat to the entire campus. High
pressure steam is generated and moved through the tunnel
system to the buildings. Because we produce steam at 150
PSI, we have must have engineers on duty twenty four hours
a day, year round. The plant is in the charge of a chief
engineer who is responsible for all aspects of the
production of steam and the maintenance of the equipment
and distribution system.
The high pressure steam is reduced at the entrance to each
building, and the steam is used in a variety of ways to
provide heat. In some of the buildings, steam goes through
a "converter", which heats water. The water is then pumped
through the building to individual radiators. In this
case, the water temperature is set in proportion to the
outdoor air temperature. If it is very cold outside, the
water may be 190 degrees f. If it is forty degrees f.
outside, the water may be 140 degrees f. In almost every
case, each space will also have some type of thermostatic
In older buildings, low-pressure steam goes directly to the
radiation. Steam is also used extensively in the food
service, and for sterilization in the sciences. In the
bigger buildings, another converter provides hot domestic
Chilled water for air conditioning is also produced at the
plant and piped throughout the campus. The air conditioned
buildings have their own chilled water pumps which move the
chilled water to individual units or central air handling
These central facilities are much more efficient than a
system of distributed boilers and smaller chillers. We are
able to produce steam and chilled water with a smaller
staff, and fewer machines to maintain.
While we are not presently generating electricity on
campus, all of the electricity we use comes in through the
central plant. It is sent out to the buildings through a
series of tunnels, and transformed to the proper voltage at
Problems involving electricity, heating, cooling or
ventilating should be reported to 3280.
The assistant director of facilities, building services is
responsible for the buildings as structures, and the
The building services area includes all general
construction, renovation and building maintenance. The
assistant director has a full
Shop, including carpenter, a furniture/cabinet maker, a tuckpointer,
a locksmith, and painters. Each of these persons has an area of special
expertise, and they call on each other as needed. Again,
most of our shop time must be spent on building
maintenance. Occasionally the college shop is able to take
on larger projects, but this is at the discretion of the
assistant director and the shop foreman. Most larger
projects will be handled by contractors selected by the
assistant director, and under the assistant director's
Repair items for this shop should also be called in to
3280. The work request will be logged into the work order
database, and will be assigned immediately to the
individual responsible for the building. Each work order
will be reviewed the same day it is called in.
The assistant director is responsible for the custodial
operation in all St. Olaf buildings. The custodial
supervisors and a purchasing person report to the assistant
director, and manage the operation directly. The custodial
purchasing agent is responsible for purchasing and
warehousing all custodial supplies and equipment. The
supervisors manage the staff and custodial operations in
all of the campus buildings. One of these persons is
responsible for the residences and the other is responsible
for the academic and administrative buildings. Problems
with any aspect of the custodial operation can be called in
to the custodial supervisors at 3463, or the assistant
director at 3612.
The assistant director is also the college representative
on all construction and renovation projects.
The grounds crew is the group first known on the St. Olaf
campus as the "green army". This group is responsible for
a wide range of activities, mostly out of doors. However,
they are also the college moving crew. This is the group
that will move your equipment from office to office or
across campus if you should be moved. We have staff that
specialize in trees, planting beds, other types of
landscape construction and equipment maintenance. We also
send a grounds person and truck into the Twin Cities one
day each week to pick up materials for our, and other,
operations. Pickups can be arranged by calling 3280.
Problems related to any aspect of the grounds should also
be called into 3280. We have radio contact with the
supervisor, and most problems can be dealt with very
The grounds operation has changed as much as any of the
other shops over the years because we have built so much.
New plantings, sidewalks, roads and drives, and of course,
outdoor stairways have expanded greatly. All of this has
added up to a lot more work for a crew which has remained
stable in size for many years.
We have been able to keep pace with the requirements by
adding equipment which allows the crew to be more
efficient. This crew is presently mowing over two hundred and twenty five
acres. At one time, part of the crew was assigned
to indoor work during the winter. Because of the increase
in outdoor hard surfaces which must be kept safe during the
winter, the staff is no longer reassigned.
The coordinator of environmental health and safety reports
directly to director of facilities. This position is
responsible for keeping the college in compliance with
the myriad of safety and environmental regulations which
have been promulgated by state and federal governments.
Generally, this person is responsible for all relations
with OSHA, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the
Minnesota Department of Health, the Environmental
Protection Agency. Many of the federal programs are
administered locally by state agencies.
Environmental Health and Safety
If you should have any questions regarding environmental
health and safety issues in your building, department, the
grounds or some other situation, please contact the
coordinator at 3592.
There is a unique twist to this position, as the coordinator also provides these services to Shattuck/Saint Mary's in Faribault and Carleton College. Because the coordinator may be at one of the other campuses, the voice mail in the E. H. & S. office does take over anytime, busy line or not. We do not handle this person's calls through our central office because we want the community to feel comfortable approaching the coordinator with problems.
The coordinator is responsible for a wide variety of
programs on our campus such as: confined spaces, worker
right-to-know training, asbestos issues, hazardous waste
disposal and tracking, blood borne pathogens, lock out/tag
out, fire safety training and so on.
One of the most frequently asked questions at St. Olaf is,
"Will my department be charged for this?" Like many other
things at St. Olaf, the answer is not always clear. Our
basic position is that the repair and maintenance accounts
assigned to each building are generally there in order to
protect the asset. These accounts are for the maintenance
of the building structure and it's systems so that they can
provide a safe and comfortable home for your program.
Almost any problem that is not related to the building as
shelter and environment must be charged against some other
source of funding.
WHO PAYS FOR WHAT AND WHY?
Like most rules, there are probably more exceptions than
not. However, if your lock is broken, window won't open,
shade has fallen down and etc., please call it in. It is
clear that these are building repair and/or maintenance
problems. If your department decides to request new black-
out shades to enhance video presentations, we feel that is
a program related change and will try to find alternative
funding. If you are a scientist, and need to get a new
electron microscope installed, we will need to charge that
type of project against a department or special project
budget. If you have questions regarding any of these
issues please check with us ahead of time so that we can
head off problems before they develop.
Grant related projects should be reviewed by our office
BEFORE application is made. This review may help avoid
painful problems trying to pay for construction and
utilities after the equipment is on site. Many grants
allow a component for facilities issues, but most often
this must be included with the initial application. If
your grant does do not address facility needs, the college
needs to know what expenses it is obligated to in order to
get the project completed.
Grant Related Projects
The process for these types of projects has changed several times over the
past few years, and with the organization of the academic division into
faculties, it has become even less clear than it was. If you have a
project and are not sure if it should be a maintenance issue, please check
with us. If it is work that does require funding from another source, we
can prepare estimates so that your department chair can evaluate the
request and probable cost. The chair would then discuss it with
the associate dean of
your faculty. Some of these projects will eventually become part of the
capital budget, and capital projects within the academic division are
prioitized for funding by the dean's council.
Academic Facility Projects
We need the name of the department, the contact person's name, the location of the proposed work, and a brief description of the work. If there is equipment involved we will need technical specifications as soon as possible so that all of the utility implications are in up front.
A dramatic change in your program triggered by a
fundamental change in the curriculum might require lots of
new and different kinds of spaces. This type of need would
be initially considered by the college's director of
facilities and the associate dean for academic resources.
They are responsible for a long range facilities planning
document that has been prepared in order to help the
college plan and prioritize its larger facility
requirements. The plan is updated frequently, and your
need may be included in updated plans after they are
reviewed. They may also decide that a particular project
might belong in some other que for funding, and redirect
Larger Academic Projects