2022 Employee of the Month News

April 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Ronnie Wells


Celebrating Ronnie Wells on being Facilities’ April Employee of the month. He was nominated by Kristal Miller, Anastasia Triplett, and Susie Mueller.

Ronnie is always quick to respond to any concerns or maintenance reports that are sent to him regardless of the time of day. He has responded to multiple pipe leaks and floods and stayed to help clean up all of the water. Some examples include:

  • Him and his team worked diligently throughout the weekend to fix the hot water heater that broke at the residence hall.
  • He replaced all of the exterior door sweeps due to multiple snakes entering the building underneath the doors. He’s highly motivated, creative, and eager to fix things.
  • When a student dropped a necklace behind the toilet in her dorm room and it somehow fell in between the toilet and the wall. The young lady was very upset because her aunt gave her the necklace and unfortunately the aunt died. Ronnie went above and beyond when one of his coworkers failed in getting to the necklace. When Ronnie heard that it wasn’t recovered he stepped in and removed the whole toilet and he found the student’s necklace. We thought it would be a lovely idea if Ronnie give her the necklace. Tearfully she thanked him and told him it meant the world to her to get it back and how grateful she is to him to go to through all the trouble.
  • When Ronnie was leaving after his shift, he noticed a student in the parking lot was having car trouble. There was no hesitation whatever in Ronnie helping the student and he was able to get the car started.

No matter how bad of a day he had or how tired, Ronnie’s focus on quality customer-service is unprecedented. He always has a smile on his face and a willingness to help. Whenever there are projects requested by the Executive Director, Ronnie is specifically requested because of his workmanship and attention to detail. In addition, on numerous occasions Ronnie has come in after-hours to help address emergency situations. He has been an excellent resource for SMSC and it is reassuring to know that everyone can count on him to help address the facility needs.
Ronnie’s work ethic is off the charts. He gives 100+% to any and all jobs. Ronnie possesses a “can do and then some” attitude. He is always upbeat and ready to help in any way he can. The level of which he cares about his job is inspiring. At the drop of a hat he is there for us at the Front Royal campus.
Many, many times people have had to call in the evening and weekends for him to come and fix something and his answer is always, “I’ll be there shortly.” For many, if Ronnie works on any work order, they do not need to wonder if it has been done right. He is extremely communicative. He lets everyone know that he received the work order and when he plans on coming out to address it. Also, he will follow up with what plan of action he had to take to complete the task.
Ronnie is cordial and warm to everyone he comes in contact with: just the other day he mentioned again that “It’s all about the students.” During the pandemic when everyone was safe at home, facilities personnel had to work to make sure the campus buildings were operating. To many they are the unsung heroes of the university. It is the norm for faculty to be recognized but without the hard work of facilities to keep the wheels in motion, the university would not function.

2022 News

50 Years in Buildings

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Blast from the Past

Before and After

2022 Employee of the Month News

March 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Gordon Lansdowne


Nominated by: Dwain Wise-Spain, Zone 3 Supervisor, Facilities Management

Gordon has played a central role in conducting and maintaining the HVAC Preventive Maintenance program in Zone 3 Facilities Maintenance Department. By keeping our maintenance program running smoothly through completed scheduled PM assignments and addressing unforeseen issues when they arise. Providing double checks of filter inventories for all E & G assigned buildings so proper stock can be ordered in a timely manner. Through his knowledge of Preventive Maintenance Procedures, he has successfully trained HVAC Apprentices to maintain this level of performance.

Nominated by: Quenton Justice, Zone 3 Manager, Facilities Management

Gordon has consistently demonstrated enthusiastic and knowledgeable participation in all areas of his responsibilities with a positive and professional attitude. He continues to go above and beyond his duties if needed, for the improvement of our Zone and facilities and to provide great customer service. Approaching every work order with same since of urgency from hot & cold calls; roof leaks to bad smells etc., that our customers truly appreciates. Gordon has a great working relationship with his colleagues and partnering Zones and is always willing to help out other tradesmen when and where needed, without hesitation or complaints.
On top of his daily job responsibilities. Gordon also has taken reigns and assembled a small team “THE CLEAN TEAM” and start a much-needed process of cleaning out mechanical and electrical rooms throughout the ENG buildings and to gather the HVAC equipment information in our new buildings to be added to the PM schedule.
Gordon sets a great example of a true team player and is an asset to Zone 3 and Facilities Management as a whole. He is an ideal candidate for this award.


2022 Employee of the Month News

January 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Joseph Illig


Nominated by: Steve Vollmer, Director, Facilities Management Operations

Joe Illig, our plumbing supervisor, took the initiative to monitor the Peterson kitchen and see if anything else could be done to minimize any remaining gas odor (an ongoing problem with the kitchen).  He determined that even when all the pilot lights were lit, a very small amount of gas was still coming through the valves on the range tops and out of the burners.  Because the amount was so small, it didn’t ignite and burn off, allowing it to be detected as an odor.  He and his techs pulled each and every gas valve core, cleaned them all, greased them with gas valve grease and re-installed them.  This not only properly seals the valves, it also makes them operate more smoothly which will be appreciated by the instructor and her students. 
Joe stopped in the kitchen this morning after finishing all the valves yesterday and the odor of gas was undetectable!  This doesn’t mean there will never be an odor in the kitchen again; a pilot can still go out and cause one.  But, this is a great find by Joe’s detective efforts and should help the issue greatly. 

In addition to this, Erich Miller, our grounds manager passed along the following nomination for Joe:

Joe exemplifies the meaning of a collaborative effort.  Often times, there are projects around our campuses that require multiple trades/shops to work together toward a common goal.  In my experience with Joe, every single time his skills and knowledge are requested for projects that involve my department, he has jumped in with both feet and displayed nothing other than a can do attitude and the flexibility to work longer, harder, and judiciously by my side.  A few project examples are:

  • Eagle Bank Arena “mud room” leaks and concrete v-ditch swale/new stormwater infrastructure
  • ICA & Game Day water main break at grounds maintenance facility
  • CDC new outdoor concrete patio (irrigation re-routing and upgrades)
  • FFX Campus irrigation repairs, campus wide.
  • Over the course of the last several years, the existing zones around the FFX Campus have either been destroyed by construction, left in need of numerous repairs, or simply shelved due to the huge amount of time needed to assess existing deficiencies and to actually make the necessary repairs. This includes a large amount in the Residential Housing areas too, which is pretty diverse. 
  • Joe and his team have taken on this task, and seem to have a personal goal of restoring all of the areas to operating condition. I admire his drive and ethic on this. 
  • Inclement weather
  • While it was only this past winter that I really took notice of this, but Joe has displayed a strong work ethic and team effort to help whenever called upon for snow removal operations, etc.
  • He has also taken on the brine making operation by setting up a new pump/mixing station, and manning the process and distribution of brine. We had an unusually “icy” winter and the brine operations helped in numerous occasions.
  • One last comment…on Mother’s Day (a Sunday, don’t forget) I was needed to be on campus to ensure mowing, etc. was getting completed before a week-long outdoor graduation ceremonial period. At 8:30pm, almost dark, I got my mower stuck on the far side of the west campus with no vehicle or tools close by to get out of trouble. I was able to contact Joe, who was responding to another issue at the Krasnow Bldg.  He had already left campus, but stopped what he was doing, and turned back to come and help me.  No one else was here.  He put his personal agenda on hold, to help me out.  If not for him, I would not have been able to finish the job that day, which was imperative.
2022 Construction News

Construction kick-off on Arlington Campus the ‘start of something big’

Story by Damian Cristodero

The first steps of the construction project that will reshape and reimagine George Mason’s Arlington Campus are scheduled to begin this week, weather permitting.

“This is the start of something big for Mason,” Carol Kissal, Mason’s senior vice president for administration and finance. “And when it’s done, it will have fundamentally changed our campus, as well as the broader Arlington community.”

The action won’t be dramatic at first, said Cathy Pinskey, program director at Mason Facilities, but will ramp up over time, given that the scope

of the $235 million renovation includes construction of an approximately 400,000-square-foot building on the site of the old Kann’s department store that will support Mason’s School of Computing and other innovative ecosystems.

Construction fencing will be reconfigured, primarily by the driveway of the FDIC building. There will also be some excavation for sheeting and shoring, and preparation of the site for the new building with relocation of an existing underground storm pipe.

A water line and electric line will be relocated, and drilling for “soldier beams” to support the sheeting and shoring will begin, perhaps later in the month, Pinskey said.

“There may be some noise. You may feel some vibrations,” Pinskey said. “But it’s all safe and done in compliance with rules and requirements. The reality is, the end result will be worth it.”