Taking Care of UUCA: Building and Grounds

We take advantage of summertime when there are fewer people on campus to do lots of repairing and sprucing up around the campus. Since you’re all owners of this place, I’d like to report the following accomplishments this summer:
  • Independent heating/cooling units in the nursery, Rev. Claudia’s office, and the admin office were replaced.  ($5600)
  • Three ash trees were infested with the emerald ash borer.  Two were taken down, one was trimmed and treated. ($2400)
  • Mold remediation in 21 Edwin basement. Will be purchasing a new commercial dehumidifier for that space. ($1500 for remediation, $1000 for dehumidifier)
  • Spot-cleaning of carpets in Sandburg Hall and 21 Edwin (shared with Friends of Mine Preschool).  ($150)
  • Painting Rev. Claudia’s and Rev. Mark’s offices and adjoining hallway.  ($600)
  • Wall-mounted 3 donated TVs in 21 Edwin classrooms. ($120)
  • Wall lights were added in RE Commons. ($450)
It’s also true that things keep breaking, all year long, even in the summer.  We have a fabulous group of Building Managers who are our first line of defense on many of these things.  Occasionally items escalate to professionals, but I can always count on the Building Managers to check things out.  Our Building Managers are: Ian Fischer, Dena Gettleman, Clyde Hardin, Larry Holt, John McGrann, Tony Reed, Bob Roepnack, and Glenn White.  
All of these things (one is not done) are back in working order (or have been replaced):
  • An electrical wire going from a breaker to an RE classroom was compromised, probably by water.  This line ran under the foundation slab of the main building so a new line had to be run through the drop-ceiling space. (no estimate yet–this one will be tackled next week)
  • Lock repair for exterior entry door in the foyer.  ($150)
  • One of the motorized shades in the Sanctuary couldn’t be closed.  ($60)
  • Half of the performance lights in the Sanctuary stopped working.  ($300)
  • The main office computer server partially failed.  ($400)
  • Light bulbs burn out and a lot of little things break.  (Love those Building Managers!)
  • Our folding machine gave up.  ($2000)
Remember at the Annual Meeting (and it doesn’t actually matter which one) when I referred to an extremely minimal fund for “capital” repair and maintenance projects?  Those are projects that cost us more than $500 and improve or save the value of the place. That $60,000 we spent on the new Sandburg Hall roof is an example. So are the heating/cooling units, the mold remediation, the new dehumidifier, and the painting.  We set aside a measly $10,000 each year for these kind of expenditures (note we’ve spent $8700 already not counting the roof), and as soon as that is spent out (and it happens every year) we start drawing from our Contingency Fund (which is how we paid for the roof).  So far we’ve been lucky the source of funding for the Contingency Fund (25% of bequests) has been adequate to pay these expenses, but it’s not a good way to do business.  Especially since the Contingency Fund is technically a reserve fund that should be used to cover 2 or 3 months of full operating expenses in an emergency situation.  None of this is news, but since we haven’t solved the problem yet, figured it was time to name it again.
Mostly the takeaways are 1) we do a lot of caretaking of our campus, 2) we are underfunded for that, and 3)our Building Managers save us money every year by supplying volunteer expertise and labor. 
Linda M. Topp, Ph.D., CCA
Director of Administration

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