Facilities Management Personnel Recognized for Dedication

Sixty-five team members honored for resolving campus issues during recent winter storm

Members of the Facilities Management staff gather at the Lyceum to celebrate their response to the recent winter storm. Team members responded to frozen and broken water lines, swept snow and ice off walkways and steps, and handled other emergency calls during the campus closure. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Personnel in the University of Mississippi‘s Facilities Management Department are being recognized for their dedicated responses during the university’s ice and snow closure last month.

During the closure, the department’s dispatch area was staffed around the clock, the university’s wastewater treatment plant operation continued and all campus buildings were walked and inspected for issues daily throughout the eight days the storm affected the area. During that time, employees found and responded to fire suppression sprinkler line freeze/breaks in five buildings, water line freeze/breaks in three buildings, water cleanup in eight buildings and electrical outages in three buildings.

Personnel, assisted by Landscape Services staff, also removed ice and snow from roads, sidewalks and steps campuswide.

The winter storm in February transformed the Ole Miss campus into a snowy wonderland, but it required the efforts of dozens of Facilities Management staff to shovel walkways and keep campus safe for students, faculty and staff. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

“Facilities Management had 65 team members respond to campus to cover these repairs and associated cleanups and to keep all campus systems in full operation,” said Mike Dunnavant, associate director of facilities operations. “The building winterization efforts of the last two years by the entire FM team resulted in less freeze damages than would have normally been expected during a weeklong weather event as this.”

The administration is grateful to its team members who were willing to brave difficult road conditions and freezing temperatures over the eight-day period to protect campus assets and keep all building and campus systems fully operational, said Dean Hansen, director of facilities management.

“While our entire 300-person team is dedicated to supporting the university’s mission, I am particularly proud of the 65 employees who came in, despite the hazardous conditions, to respond to emergencies and keep essential services operational,” Hansen said.

“Because of their efforts, the university was able to ensure that the several thousand students who live on campus were safe and taken care of, and that research and other essential activities could continue despite the unprecedented cold weather conditions.”

The team members were presented with certificates of recognition for their dedication and efforts.