Facilities Department Makes Due with Limited Staff

Sharese Mirzakhanyan

The GCC staff cutback from three years ago has left facilities workers at a loss to keep up the maintenance of the campus, leading to student discontent.

The cutbacks in the facilities department affected the school greater than any other department, especially since it had to freeze its hiring. The maintenance staff-carpenters, electricians, plumbers, locksmiths, and the operation staff-focus on the day-to-day tasks of the campus.

Many students feel that the restrooms in particular are not well maintained.

“I expect to walk into a clean restroom- not a restroom covered with toilet paper and filth. . .” said GCC student Sevana Meserkhani, 19.

Students attending the school believe there should be more effort put into some areas.

Horace “Lew” Lewis, director of facilities, has worked at GCC for about 15 years. He said that since the cutback, two custodians have been hired, with six positions remaining vacant.

Workers were removed because of the large staff and big budget-a little over $4 million at the time of the cuts, not including benefits, according to GCC Controller Ron Nakasone.

“We work with less people now,” Lewis said. Because of the cutback, the workers have to work extra hours in order to complete their work.

Lewis said they put 75 percent service into classrooms and 100 percent service into the cafeteria, child center, and restrooms.
Their main concern is to maintain the college as well as possible. Instead of sweeping the floors daily, the staff only does it when necessary, instead putting more time into a cleaner environment for students to use.

“We have done so much for so long with so little,” said Lewis, “that we have gotten to the point that we can do it without anything; but I hope that does not happen.”

The staff has had to maintain the school with only a limited amount of workers since that they seem to have gotten the hang of it-but it would help a great deal if more people were hired.

There are new facilities on campus that need to be maintained almost daily, including the new Health and Sciences building. The new parking structure has lights to be changed, graffiti to be removed from three columns in three different locations (reported in November 2007), and everyday tasks to be done.