Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Holiday Luncheon

Thank you to all who attended the 2010 Holiday Luncheon, and congratulations to all of the prize winners this year!  Please visit the Plant Operations' Facebook Page to view all of the pictures from the event, but below is a little preview.  Thanks to the Holiday Luncheon Committee and the many, many people who put countless hours into the preparation of the event.  This especially includes those who made the associated service project possible.  This was the fourth year we tied blankets to donate to the University Hospital Pediatric Dialysis Center, and it was the first year we also tied blankets to donate to the University Hospital Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Center.  This special service project is one for which countless Plant Operations employees donate their personal lunchtimes throughout November and December to tie blankets, including the big manly men (with the big hearts) in our numerous shops.  Words can't thank you enough!

We wish each of you a very happy and safe holiday time.  May you spend it with loved ones, relax and have fun, and stay warm.  We look forward to having another great year in Plant Operations!


See you next year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Plant Ops Holiday Party 2010

To Plant Operations' staff: don't forget about the holiday party on December 16, 2010 at 11:30 to 1:00.  You must be present to win any of the giveaways, so come, grab some lunch, and sit back and enjoy the entertainment.  Durven is making a comeback this year, so you know it will be a ton of fun!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Service Awards

Introducing the service award recipients of 2010!  Plant Operations thanks these dedicated employees for their service to the University!

Five-year recipients: Left to right, front to back: Tim Mounteer, Eldridge Williams, Shera Kostrencich, Scott Mounteer, Barbara Todd, Stacy Hendrickson, Travis Flygare, James Kane, Catherine Osborne.

Ten-year recipients: Left to right, front to back: Gayle Godfrey, Judy Gradney, Dan Heister, Susana Sanchez, Bob Hoskins, Joe Weber, Rich Wilcox.

Fifteen-year recipients: Left to right: Cynthia Garcia, Ann Williams, Lilly Ferrell.

Twenty-year recipients: Left to right: Kevin Thomas, Michele Thomas, Duane Parkin.

Twenty-five year recipients: Left to right, front to back: James Staples, Sue Pope, Wyatt Peterson, Jack Baxter, Dennis Bouck, Mike Peterson.

Thirty-year recipient: Richard Coombs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Joint Effort

Recently, three shops from Plant Operations joined efforts to fabricate new storage cabinets for the volleyball team.  The structural frame was fabricated of steel tube by Clint Andrews (Metal Shop), and decorated with the beautiful formica finish by Dan Bills and Brent Dixon (Carpenter Shop).  The painting and lettering were completed by Dean Ottesen and Stephen Pratt (Paint Shop).  It's another example of the fine work our shops do.  It looks great, so if you get a chance, go check it out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Plant Operations wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving, with hope that you will spend it with loved ones!  Please stay safe if you are traveling, and try to recharge your batteries over the long weekend.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Campus Snow Closure

Due to an impending storm and likely heavy snowfall, a campus snow closure is in effect for Tuesday, November 23 beginning at 2 p.m.  A decision on tomorrow’s operations will be made by 8 p.m. tonight. This applies to students, faculty and staff with exception of University Health Care physicians and staff, and other departments and staff identified as providing critical research and service functions. All classes are canceled. If you have questions about specific events on campus, we encourage you to contact the respective host organization. Shuttle service and student union operations will continue until 6 p.m.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grounds Department Update

The Grounds Department has been winterizing the irrigation systems on campus; you may see sprinklers spewing during the day, but please don't be alarmed.  They will continue winterizing through the month of November.

At the newly remodeled engineering building, grass has been removed and drought tolerant plants have been installed.  It will be interesting to see how they turn out as the snow starts melting in the spring!

Thirty-nine new trees have been planted in various locations around campus as a result of the nineteen trees that had to be removed in order to install new utilities in the middle of campus.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Did you know that Plant Operations has a department called Moving Services? Bob Wilson and his moving crew, Todd Langston and Trent Parker, are here to help you with all of your moving needs. They provide all of the moving of office furniture and laboratory equipment on campus. Moving Services prides themselves on safe and efficient work, complete to their customers' satisfaction.  If you have any moving needs, please call the Plant Operations Dispatch Office at (801) 581-7221 to schedule your next move.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Safety

Now that we are well into November, we'd like to remind you to be aware of snowy walking and driving conditions on campus.

When walking around campus during the winter:
  • Wear the right footwear, rubber and neoprene composite sole shoes.
  • Walk slowly, shuffle your feet while walking, and take small steps to keep your center of balance under you.  Bend slightly at the knees.
  • Wipe your feet before entering a building and use handrails whenever possible.
  • Test potential slick areas by tapping your foot on them.

When driving on campus during the winter:
  • Make sure your tires are in good condition.
  • Don't forget to put a shovel and a 50-pound bag of salt in the trunk of your vehicle; you never know when you may need it (even if it's to help a fellow-driver).
  • Landscape Maintenance and Transportation cannot assist in removing cars that get stuck in the snow.  You will need to call a two truck.
  • If driving conditions are bad, take public transportation to campus.
If you have any snow removal concerns, please call the Plant Operations Dispatch Office at (801) 581-7221.  We wish you health and safety this upcoming holiday season!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Paint Shop

 The University of Utah's Paint Shop performs a wide array of duties, more than you might think.  They paint interior surfaces and can make your dirty office walls look new again with a fresh coat of paint, or brighten your space up with new colors.

The Paint Shop performs all of the building maintenance painting; it usually runs every ten to twelve years.  They also take care of all of the hardwood floors on campus, and are responsible for taking care of all of the exteriors of campus buildings that need it.

The Paint Shop is happy to put fine finishes on desks, filing cabinets, etc.  They have a state of the art sign shop, so they 're able to produce logos and designs for most customer needs, along with their basic door and desk name plates.

They also wash graffiti off campus buildings with their 500 gallon high pressure washer, and take care of all glass on campus.  Please remember to call on them when you need any of the services mentioned above.  Please call the Plant Operations Dispatch Office at (801) 581-7221 to schedule the Paint Shop.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Since 1998, the University of Utah Veterans Day Committee has selected Utah veterans to be honored in a special military service at a November commemoration ceremony--one of the biggest college campus events of its kind in the US. Our Electronics Shop plays a key role in these ceremonies, and this year is no exception. On November 11, 2010 at 8:45 a.m., the shop will be in the Union Building for the Veterans Day panel, providing support for the microphones, press feed, internet streaming of audio, and archive recording of the audio. That evening at 7:00 p.m., the Electronics Shop will be at the Huntsman Center to produce the sound, feed the television audio, and intercom communications for the 55th Annual Veterans Day Concert.  All of the events of the day are free and open to the public, so you are welcome to stop by.  For more information about the schedule and events of the day, click here: Veterans Day Events

This event is a very special one, and we are honored to participate in the recognition of those who sacrifice so much for the rest of us. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nathan Howell

We would like to welcome Nathan Howell to Plant Operations.  He is the new Building Automation Programmer in Building Operations, and he started here on October 18, 2010.  He was raised in Riverton and now lives in Lehi with his wife and their seven children.  His kids names are: Makenzie (19), JJ (17), Kayley (16), Tyler (13), Katelynn (7), Kelsey (4), and McKenna (2).  He spends most of his time with his family.  They enjoy camping, sports, biking, and outdoor activities in general.

Nathan worked at CCI Mechanical for about year before coming to the University.  He worked briefly for the Department of Corrections, and before that, he worked for Siemens for 11 1/2 years.

We are excited to have Nathan here to help us transition from contracting our building programming out to programming the buildings in-house.  Please welcome Nathan to the University when you get a chance to meet him!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jacob Thurgood

Please welcome Jacob Thurgood to Plant Operations' HVAC Shop as a Systems Instrument Repair Worker.  His first day was October 11th.  Jacob is in his third year at Davis Applied Technology College as an apprentice electrician.  He worked for Utah Yamas Controls for four years before this job.  He is a big sports enthusiast, and he has a daughter who was born in May.

We're happy to have Jacob join our organization, so please welcome him when you see him!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Utah vs. BYU

Here is a link to a funny youtube video, worth watching.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Service Project

Even though it is only the middle of October, Plant Operations is kicking off our annual holiday service project.  We always enjoy making quilts with Plant Operations' staff, and this year the quilts we create will be a little bigger because we have taken on an additional University Hospital area that desperately needs donated quilts.  We will be creating adult quilts for the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, whose patients also need comfort as they are receiving their transplants.

We will again be donating toys, books, movies, and games to the Pediatric Dialysis Unit.  Thanks to everyone who manage to contribute to these projects every year, no matter what your situation is.  We recognize the generosity of Plant Operations' staff and know that we can count on you each year to participate somehow.  Donation bins and jars will be delivered to the shops this week; we hope to start purchasing the quilting materials as soon as possible.  Let's have another great service project and thanks to you all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spencer Anderson

The HVAC Shop is happy to introduce their newest employee, Spencer Anderson.  He is a new Refrigeration and A/C Mechanic who started on October 4th.  He worked at Brenntag for a few years, and then worked for Carrier, which is where he got most of his work experience.  Spencer lives in Layton and also coaches soccer at Layton High School.  If you get a chance to meet him, please welcome him to our organization.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Shirt Order

Plant Operations is once again distributing shirts to its staff.  Please look over your order and let your area secretary know if there are any problems.  These shirts have been a great benefit of working in Plant Operations and are very much appreciated!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Steam Leak Vandal

James Steed in Energy Management has produced a fun video with the help of Plant Operations' staff.  Take the time to watch it... I'm betting you'll laugh!


James better watch out now that we all know how talented he is!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Motor Pool Update

The Motor Pool manages all state vehicles for departments on campus.  They make sure that we are always in compliance with state laws, and they perform all maintenance on the vehicles.  This year, the Motor Pool took over small engine repairs on campus.  Examples would be portable generators, golf carts, and trailers.  If you think you have an item that may fall into this category, please feel free to call Dave Rees in the Motor Pool at (801) 581- 8155.

The Motor Pool has recently purchased the state fleet's first Smart Car, partly due to its small stature and efficiency on fuel.  It will be driven by Commuter Services, so don't be surprised if you see a parking enforcement officer driving around in one of these.

Finally, if you need to get a vehicle expansion request to the Legislature, make sure you call Dave Rees, who would be happy to help you through the process. Again, his number is (801) 581- 8155.  Thanks to Lilly, Tara, and the rest of the crew for making Motor Pool so easy to work with!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Custodial Conference Room

The Electronics Shop has just finished installing some updated audio in the Custodial Conference Room.  It is interfaced with a new projector, so it is very high tech now.  Please keep this room in mind now as you are scheduling meetings that require media.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Light Bulb Demonstration

Plant Operations' Energy Management department has a new gadget that can demonstrate how much power it takes to light a light bulb.  The above photo gives us a bird's-eye view of the gadget.  Along the top, you can see three light bulbs: the first is a 25-watt incandescent bulb, the second is a ten-watt compact florescent bulb, and the third is a 7-watt LED.  In the lower left-hand corner is a switch that will change which bulb is getting power.  The crank on the lower right side is the crank that you can manually turn to light each of the bulbs.  This is an old telephone hand crank from the early telephones when they had to crank their phones in order to use them. It creates a voltage (about 110 watts) and sends it out.  If you turn the crank, you can see with your eyes how much power it takes to light these bulbs.  Try it for yourself to see the powerful results (powerful, get it?).

The Energy Management department will be joining President Young tomorrow, September 16, 2010 in the Union Ballroom from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the GreenLight Kickoff for the 2010 Climate Action Plan.  They will be demonstrating this cool gadget in a booth, so please go check it out!  If you miss them tomorrow, make sure you check out their gadget at Employee Appreciation Day at Rice Eccles Stadium on September 30, 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lighting and sound system upgrade at Rice Eccles Stadium

Plant Operations has just finished up a lighting and P.A. system upgrade for the field at Rice Eccles Stadium.  This will give Plant Operations individual computerized control over each amplifier.  The tower's P.A. system upgrade will be next.

The electrical system has already been upgraded in the tower, so all the lights automatically turn off at 1:00 a.m. and are out until 6:00 a.m.  This enables Plant Operations to take control of all lighting in the stadium tower for energy conservation purposes.  If you are standing in the parking lot to the west of the stadium right before 6:00 a.m., you can watch the the lights randomly turn back on for about 15 seconds.  It's almost as good as fireworks!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Electric Vehicles

The Grounds Department has recently purchased some new electric vehicles.  You may have seen them around campus.  These cute little things take a bite out of our carbon footprint, and they take up much less room than traditional vehicles.  We hope to see more people in Plant Operations getting creative in order to solve their transportation needs!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Staff changes in Grounds

The Grounds Department is pleased to annouce their two newest Landscape Gardners: Michael Peterson and Shem Hobbs.  Please welcome them if you see them around campus.

The Grounds Department has also promoted two employees to Laborers: Tim Yindeepit and Morgan Hall.  Congratulations on these promotions!

Monday, August 23, 2010

John Estheimer and Martin Pedraza

Congratulations to John Estheimer (top) and Martin Pedraza (directly above) for being the Employees of the Month of July in the Grounds Department!

John was recognized for filling in for the other foremen when they are away, being a great asset to the Grounds Department, having a good work ethic, and getting along well with others.

Martin was recognized for staying current with work orders, keeping the shop running smoothly, helping track the budget, and always doing what is asked of him.

Please congratulate John and Martin when you see them around campus!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome, Rich Miller

Rich Miller was recently hired as a Business Systems Analyst for Data Systems in Plant Operations.  He will be responsible for ensuring that the work management systems are providing the necessary functionality and data to help us reach our goals.

Rich has worked in operations support in energy, IT, and governmental industries.  He enjoys outdoor activities and asking lots of questions.  Rich is very excited to be a new member of the Facilities group, and is looking forward to working with everyone here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plant Operations Dispatch

Plant Opertions' Dispatch office is an essential part of our organization.  They dispatch incoming calls for service, process work requests and sidewalk permits, and they process utility shutdowns.  They are very knowledgeable and hard-working, and we hope they know how appreciated they are.  In many ways, they are the glue that binds us all together.

Kim Collard has been a Dispatcher in Plant Operations for about 13 years.  She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization, along with the skills to communicate with all types of people. 

Joeleen Sikes has been a Dispatcher with us for four months.  She has a six month-old son named Keaton, whom she is crazy about, of course!  Before Joeleen worked in Plant Operations, she was an Administrative Assistant at Ross Equimpent Company for three years.  She is currently in school and is almost finished with her Associate of Arts Degree in Business.  We're excited to have Joeleen on board with us!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Defensive Driving

Plant Operations invites all Facilities personnel to attend the 2010 Defensive Driving Course on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the OSH Auditorium.
Please bring your driver license number with  you.  A short test will be given at the conclusion of the presentation.  Refreshments will be served at the end of the training.  See you there!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Welcome to Plant Operations' new blog!  We will make every effort to keep you up-to-date on projects, major shutdowns, current & upcoming events, and other interesting topics.  Our aim is to keep you well-informed.  Thank you for your interest in Plant Operations!