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UNT facilities’ purchasing efforts contributes to EBE award

UNT facilities’ purchasing efforts contributes to EBE award

UNT Maintenance vans parked on campus. These white vans we often see riding around on campus are called when something needs repairing, as it says on the back of the vans "Need Maintenance call UNT Facilities." Jackie Torres

UNT facilities’ purchasing efforts contributes to EBE award
March 27
16:15 2017

The UNT System was awarded the E Award for the Emerging Buying Entity of the Year for 2016 at its annual gala this past November, according to the Solution Source newsletter.

With a 24-hour maintenance capability, UNT fulfills between 36,000 and 40,000 work requests a year, David Reynolds, associate vice president of facilities, said. The university purchases their supplies predominantly from local sources in the Denton and Dallas area from various of companies, doing their best to buy from historically underutilized business vendors.

“We buy thousands and thousands of different types of items, and no one company supplies everything,” Reynolds said.

There are roughly 165 buildings on campus, approximately covering 7 million square feet, equivalent to 122 football fields. The facilities have a small warehouse on campus where they keep their supplies, repair items and other things like paint and hand soap, for which the university spent $400,000 last year.

A compact campus

During the week, UNT has about 40,000 people visiting the campus. UNT reportedly has a “high” density factor, Reynolds said.

“It is higher than many other universities, in terms of the university using the amount of square footage we have for classes and offices,” he said. “We are more compact.’”

UNT facilities has a staff of 325 total workers in their organization. They take care of every issue from the large scope of operating the electrical air system and doing custodial maintenance, to small things like emptying the trash every night and landscaping.

“The flowers are truly one of the things that makes people enjoy being here and wanting to come here, because it makes the campus look good,” he said.

During the day there is a full staff and at night there are standby technicians who come in for issues regarding the campus and areas like residence halls.

Funding for the residence halls works in partnership with UNT auxiliary services, who keep the residence halls running. They pay for maintenance with student fees and pay for maintenance to the dining halls with its fees, Reynolds said. For the classrooms and classroom-type facilities, money comes from specifically allocated funding and tuition.

This past winter there was no severe weather, making it “easier” on the facilities staff, Reynolds said. When there is no snow or ice, the staff does not have to worry about snow and ice removal, a laborious task for a handful of facilities workers.

“This very mild winter has made life a little bit easier in terms of maintenance,” he said. “You’re not dragging mud, sand and dirt into the buildings from the snow and ice. That being said, we would like a little bit of rain in the spring before we go into the summer.”

Reynolds said maintenance staff generally coordinates “closely” with the construction team. And for larger projects, the staff coordinates with the UNT system construction team.

“We make sure they don’t create extra work for us and vice versa,” he said. “It’s a good partnership.”

When issues arise

If students, faculty or guests see anything on campus or see any kind of facilities maintenance problem, they are asked to call the maintenance number at 940-565-2700.

During normal duty hours, phone calls are answered by facilities personnel, but at night it rolls over to the police station and they pick up that line, Reynolds said. The police can call out the UNT facilities technicians if needed.

“The biggest thing is letting people know that something is wrong,” he said. “I’d say that is an area we can always use help [with]. A lot of people just assume somebody else has called the issue in. With a campus this big we can’t always know, but we certainly want to know.”

Featured Image: UNT Maintenance vans parked on campus. These white vans we often see riding around on campus are called when something needs repairing, as it says on the back of the vans “Need Maintenance call UNT Facilities.” Jackie Torres

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Jacqueline Guerrero

Jacqueline Guerrero

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