By Eric Gneckow, Jeff Quackenbush and Dan Verel, Business Journal Staff Reporters
Director of Maintenance and Operations, Santa Rosa City Schools, 211 Ridgway Ave., Santa Rosa 95401; 707-528-5124; www.srcs.k12.ca.us
Residence: Santa Rosa
Education: A.A.S Degree in Computer Science
Staff: 3 direct reports, 96 indirect reports
Describe the facilities you oversee: I oversee 23 elementary, middle and high school campuses and three non school site district owned properties. Our school buildings total a little over 2 million square feet on 427 acres.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a proud mother of a soon to be fourth grader, Dasie, newly engaged to Jay and very excited about my new stepmom status to my fiancé’s son Ethan. I am very family oriented and especially love summer time because of the possibility of BBQs in the backyard with family and friends. I love to read, shop, eat good food and lounge.
What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization?: As the maintenance and facilities manager for Santa Rosa City Schools this position requires me to wear a multitude of different hats. On the maintenance end, this position involves managing people from my supervisor staff, maintenance /grounds technicians, head custodians and night custodians; working with principals, teachers, office staff and the greater public on the day to day needs of our schools.
This can involve work request repairs, outside use group needs, emergency preparedness questions and concerns. On the facilities end I manage all of new construction, modernization, deferred maintenance projects. I work with outside consultants like architects, engineers, construction managers and contractors to take a project from concept, to design, through construction. I am also responsible for working with all the approval agencies for facilities such as the Division of State Architect, Office of Public School Construction and California Department of Education.
As a facilities manager, I have a responsibility to provide a healthy, safe and comfortable learning environment for students and staff. I see the facilities manager role with the district as the foundation in which we educate students.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: Personally, that would be my family. Professionally I would have to say getting this position 6 years ago. I applied on a whim and got the job. I had no prior experience with facilities management and have learned so much over the past several years. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am truly passionate about facilities management; its one of those jobs where you learn something new every day. I love the challenge it presents.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Not having enough facilities funds to be able to make the improvements to facilities. It’s definitely a struggle; thankfully, I have a great maintenance staff that helps to keep our facilities up and running.
What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: Piner High School Science and Technology Center. We start construction June 2012 and expect completion June 2013. The single story building will be approximately 4,059 square feet and will have a foyer entrance that has steel framed curtain wall type feature, two classrooms both of which are multiuse classrooms, one that is a computer classroom specifically for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the other is a science classroom with a planetarium dome that also functions as a student project center and presentation theater for students and visiting guest speakers.
This project incorporates very specialized science elements such a pre-manufactured fiberglass observatory that will house a celestial and solar telescopes and allow for viewing of the night sky that can be controlled in the observatory or by computer in the warm room, crystalline and thin film solar panels on the roof of the foyer, an outside wind turbine, an outdoor amphitheater with above ground seating, a sun dial and brass discs embedded in the site concrete representing the planets of our solar system and a survey marker course. The foyer will function as a readout center featuring a Data Wall for the Weather Station, Seismograph, Wind Turbine and Solar Demonstration Platforms, and All Sky Camera.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?: A facility management system. Currently we have a plan room that houses all our projects old and new. With so much access to technology, I’d like to step into the 21st century (when budget permits) and have all our facilities information available at my finger tips.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: I think school districts/facilities managers coupled with educators will be designing schools for the 21st century learning. This concept which incorporates flexible learning spaces where there are no walls, teachers will team teach, incorporate the myriad of technology that is available. I truly believe kids today do not learn in the same way I did when I was a kid; so we need to adapt and teach them differently. A classroom facility can really affect the way a student learns.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: my mother, Lorie Churich. She was a single mom who raised four kids and worked full time. She is simply amazing and taught me so much about what’s important and how to find balance between work and family.
Current reading: I have nothing in my queue. I’m anxiously waiting for the next Emily Giffin book to come out, Where we Belong…July 24, 2012. I’m a huge fan…
Most want to meet: Author Emily Giffin
Stress relievers: I love to nap.
Favorite hobbies: reading, shopping, baseball game with the family
Words that best describe you: Pssionate, loyal, loving, honest, and stubborn
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