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Facilities Fall Prep 2022

 

“Walking around campus ahead of the first day of school, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the campus looked!  Imagining all the parents who would be getting that final drop off selfie with their students, and the clear impression the students would have of our campus as a serious place of learning and growth, I was really grateful to Facilities for our best foot forward.”  -Kenneth D Walsh, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Office of the President

During the summer months, in preparation for the start of the fall semester, Mason Facilities runs through an extensive checklist to get all campuses ready.  From landscaping upkeep to classroom refreshes to updating signage, Facilities ensures that each experience on campus is one of quality.  Below are just some examples of how Facilities handles the operations of making Mason run smoothly.

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Employee of the Month News

September 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Jerome Wallis


Celebrating
Jerome Wallis as the September 2022 Employee of the Month

Jerome, a Power Plant Shift Supervisor, specializes in overnight central heating and cooling. His proactive communication regarding plant issues and concerns contributes to efficient plant operation. Jerome is a highly, selfless supervisor – his willingness to work the night shift enables other employees to maintain their work-life balance.

“In his time at the Central Heating and Cooling Plant (CHCP), Jerome has selflessly given up opportunities for overtime so that other employees could take advantage of such opportunities to support their families,” said Matthew Unger, Boiler Operator for Facilities Management.

Jerome is described by his co-workers as personable, collaborative, and committed to excellence. Jerome also has a reputation for his reliability, especially in difficult situations or emergencies. During the pandemic shutdown, he worked on-site for 12-hour days, and even came in for 4 hours on his day off. Not to mention, he forfeited weekends for an extended period of time to support Mason’s heating and cooling efforts. Jerome’s work ethic inspires and boosts the morale of those around him. He is a great contributor to the Mason Community and highly deserving of this award!

Interested in submitting a GMU Facilities Employee of the Month nomination? Check out the new process here!

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Facilities Management News

20+ Years of JDI Partnership

 

Mason Facilities has partnered with Job Discovery Inc. (JDI) for over 20 years and together we have positively impacted the George Mason University community.   

JDI is a human services organization that provides employment support opportunities, learning challenges, and job skills development for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The nonprofit organization seeks to provide its workers with a stable and rewarding source of income – assisting with individual independence and increased opportunity for independent living.  

One way JDI creates opportunities for individuals with disabilities is through physical activities that are both productive and stimulating, such as Mason’s sustainable initiatives. While on Mason’s campuses, students, faculty, and staff have most likely encountered both support staff and part-time employees committed to environmental stewardship for our university campuses and surrounding communities.  "Mason's Waste & Recycle program plays a major part of day-to-day operations," said Kevin Brim, Mason Facilities Management Waste Recycle Supervisor.

JDI’s partnership with Mason started as a small team that serviced exterior parking lot trash and recycle cans. The team’s responsibilities soon grew to include working alongside Mason’s classified staff, collecting trash and recyclable materials from buildings on the university’s central and satellite campuses located in Fairfax, Arlington, and Sci-Tech. Over the years, JDI expanded its program to promote growth, increased efforts, and department efficiency.

“We wouldn’t be successful in what we do without the JDI Program, ” said Tan Nguyen, Mason Facilities Recycle worker.  

Today, the JDI team consists of a collaborative effort of part-time, support, and classified employees servicing all buildings on the Fairfax campus for all recycle waste streams. "I love how well the JDI team fits in.  They have a passion for the work and what they do every day,” said Brim. 

"I've worked with this group for a long time," said Wiredu Adade, Mason Facilities Recycling Supervisor.  "I'm retiring soon, and I've worked with Mark Ammann the full 20 years I've worked at Mason.  He's very dependable at his job."  The group’s commitment is reflected in their years of service and explementary work. Mason is grateful for the continued partnership with the JDI team and the positive impact on the Mason Community.

Years Of Service 

Mark Ammann: 22 years  
Justin Klein: 17 years  
Richard Schneider: 15 years 
Timothy Corrado: 15 years 
Christopher Falls: 14 years 
Anees Rehman: 9 years  
Scott Starkey: 8 years 
Gerald Robinson: 8 years   
Lyle Grant: 7 years 
Christopher Hilliard: 7 years 
Jacob Cisarik: 5 years 
Norman Tawil: 5 years 
Seung Ho Lee: 4 years 
Daniel Thompson: New Hire 
Marlon HSU: Training  

 

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Facilities Management News Sustainable

Organic Land Care Beta Testing

 

Mason Facilities is excited to announce the launch of a new pilot program centering around organic land care in a 7-acre area surrounding Merten Hall and Petersen Hall on the Fairfax campus. Within the testing site, 100% natural fertilizers and environmentally sensitive, gardening products will be used to measure the environmental and financial impacts and feasibility to the Mason Community. 

The Facilities Management (FM) team is leading this pilot program, which began in Spring 2022, and will be evaluating the viability of “green” landscaping and organic land care for the next three years. During this time, testing will be conducted on landscaping systems and their ability to absorb possible enhanced biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil activity in an organic capacity. "Organic" means landscaping with no synthetic pesticides of any kind (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.) and with no synthetic fertilizers or soil amendments.  

"The site will be routinely monitored, while findings and conditions will be recorded in order to determine the overall effectiveness and prospect of the practices required and how the flora and fauna react,” said Erich Miller, FM Grounds Program Manager.  “These necessary steps are required to provide the most accurate responses. Unfortunately, in this field, it is a rather lengthy process of trial and error, as it will take some time for the soil reactions and changes in plant growth habits to manifest and produce levels that can be recorded and analyzed.”  

Additional efforts tested within the pilot program include, but are not limited to: water conservation, soil testing, inland wetlands and watercourses preservation, lawn maintenance, renovation, organic plant and tree care, and proper disposal for plant residues and other landscaping materials. 

FM is partnering with BrightView, Mason’s contracted landscaping vendor, to ensure testing continues to be in compliance with best landscaping management practices, while showcasing Facilities’ efforts to advance Mason’s mission.  

Once this research program is completed in 2025, Mason Facilities will assess the practicality and feasibility of organic landscaping within the Mason Community. If the trial is successful in its use of organic vs. synthetic landscaping products, the Facilities Department will strive to review and consider, on a case-by-cases basis; a shift away from traditional lawn care practices.  

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News

GMU SWaM Conference

 

George Mason University
GMU SWaM Conference
Offices of Contracts & Finance and Purchasing
September 21, 2022

 

Come join us on September 21, 2022, 10:00 – 1:00 located in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall on the Fairfax Campus of Mason for a vendor expo, bringing together key contractors, vendors, suppliers and buyers to support better procurement decisions throughout the fiscal year. Faculty and Staff are welcome to attend as well as other localities and state agencies.

Staff from Mason’s Contracts and Purchasing Departments will be available to discuss the needs of Mason. This is an opportunity for both buyers and vendors to strengthen existing relationships as well as to form new relationships/contacts for a varied group of goods and services.

Interested Vendors:

Interested in a table? Registration available through Mason’s Facilities website or follow the link below, until September 15, 2022. There is a $50, non-refundable, registration fee per table. Space with electrical outlet access is limited, please be sure to reserve early.

If you have any questions, email sborzi@gmu.edu for more information.

Note: There may be photographs taken at this event and used in education, news and promotional materials, whether in print, electronic or other media sources. By participating in this event, you grant Mason the right to use your name and photograph for such purposes. All postings become the property of Mason and may be displayed, distributed or used by Mason for said purpose.

Register Here!

FAQs

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Employee of the Month News

August 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Daniel Chappell

 

 

Celebrating Daniel Chappell as the August 2022 Employee of the Month

Daniel, a Zone 3 team member, is a valued employee who solely conducts and maintains all of George Mason’s ice machines on a monthly basis, along with his regular preventive maintenance HVAC duties. He is always the first to volunteer for holiday and winter break duty, providing Facilities Management with reliable service and maintenance. In addition, Daniel works the night shift and is tasked with addressing the concerns of the entire Fairfax campus HVAC maintenance concerns during the evening.

“A number of staff members have contacted me praising his performance in maintaining and assisting with their maintenance concerns. He is highly recommended for this award for his dedication and commitment to HVAC Maintenance,” said Dwain Wise-Spain, Zone 5 Supervisor for Facilities Management.

Interested in submitting a GMU Facilities Employee of the Month nomination?  Check out the new process here!

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News

Stream Restoration on Fairfax Campus Will Create Scenic Pathway

 

Work has begun on the “Necklace Phase One and Stream Restoration” project on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, Mason Facilities announced.

The project includes the restoration of the main stream channel, as well as adjacent tributaries, beginning at the southwestern corner of the Patriot Circle/Aquia Creek Lane intersection and finishing at the northern end of Mason Pond.

It represents the next phase in Mason’s Master Plan, which is the framework that guides decisions concerning the university’s physical environment.

Illuminated, paved and mulched pedestrian trails will be constructed in addition to the restoration. Once this project is completed in late 2022, the Mason community will be able to enjoy a curated, scenic pathway from the intersection of Patriot Circle/Aquia Creek Lane to Mason Pond Drive.

The restoration process will ensure that Mason continues to be in compliance with state stormwater regulations, which support the revitalization of the Chesapeake Bay, while showcasing Mason’s forward trajectory within the Master Plan. In addition to following these laws, Mason’s goal is to achieve an environmentally sound and aesthetically vitalizing stream restoration for long-term stability and enjoyment.

Natural features and techniques were utilized to develop a design that will mimic the characteristics of a stable, natural environment. Those features will also help stabilize the degraded stream. After removal of invasive foliage, a diverse mix of native vegetation and trees will be planted to reforest and help minimize erosion and improve water quality.

These new features will be a welcome addition to Mason’s nationally accredited Arboretum, which includes labeled outdoor signs on Mason’s campuses with scannable barcodes to its online catalog.

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Employee of the Month News

July 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Keith “Wally” Wallace

 

Celebrating Keith “Wally” Wallace as the July 2022 Employee of the Month

Wally puts in a tremendous amount of work to both prepare and execute everything we need to ensure the degree celebrations and Commencement ceremony are a success and that the University looks good.  Wally’s exceptional work ethic and positive attitude make him a pleasure to work with.  He anticipates needs and problems and always makes things happen quickly.  He worked around the clock throughout the week and weekend to be available for our team. 

“I feel like a broken record because after every major University I feel the need to send this note and recognize Keith Wallace for going above and beyond to ensure these events go off flawlessly,” said Rachel Quinn, Assistant Vice President of Operations and University Events, for the Office of University Branding.  “I am so thankful to have his support and don’t know what we would do without him.  He is critical to the success of all of the events.”

Interested in submitting a GMU Facilities Employee of the Month nomination?  Check out the new process here!

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Employee of the Month News

June 2022 Facilities Employee of the Month – Joe Wilmer

 

Celebrating Joe Wilmer as the June 2022 Employee of the Month

Joe has come a long way from starting as an apprentice and upgrading to journeyman level work without supervision. Joe also completes every task without question and stepped up to the plate.  He helps Zone 3 when they were down a plumber.

“I couldn’t ask for a better apprentice and co-worker,” said Jose Lopez.

Joe has consistently demonstrated enthusiastic and knowledgeable participation in all areas of his responsibilities with a positive and professional attitude. Joe 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.

Interested in submitting a GMU Facilities Employee of the Month nomination?  Check out the new process here!

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News

Mason Custodial Services

June 2022

The University has adopted a multi-contract approach for campus janitorial services, initiating new contracts with the Budd Group, Golden Gate Service and Evergreen Janitorial on June 1, 2022, and continuing contracts with Building Maintenance Service (BMS) and L&G Exclusive Janitorial, to service Fairfax and Arlington campuses. These organizations were selected in keeping with Mason’s commitment to fair treatment of its employees and those of its contractors in a manner that closely aligns with the University’s values. The SciTech campus will be maintained by Mason employees. 

Mason respects and values everyone’s work at the University and recognizes the important custodial role in keeping the campuses clean and safe. Further, the University expects fair treatment for everyone who works on our campuses, whether they are employed directly by Mason or through a contractor. In 2020, based on dialogue with campus custodial staff, the University commissioned an outside audit of its janitorial services contractor and put a campus janitorial services contract out to bid after 30 years with the same company.

Mason now requires that a contractor’s custodial staff be paid a wage of at least $15.25 per hour, that they be considered employees of the company and not independent contractors, and that all payroll records are electronically processed to ensure everyone is paid fully and on time. Each organization offers competitive hourly compensation and benefits and is responsible for their own compensation structures. 

Against the backdrop of today’s complex and shifting labor market, a mix of service providers and these requirements support the welfare of custodial workers and Mason’s Virginia campuses’ needs.