By Jean Robinson

Like many areas on campus and many organizations across the country, UMass Lowell’s Facilities Department is also impacted by the economic challenges regularly reported in the news: a tight labor market, an increased cost of goods and services and supply chain challenges.

Just as offices around campus have had to pause hiring, and delay expanding programs or new initiatives, Facilities has had to modify our campus services. We know the work our team does has a profound impact on the university’s public presentation. As a result, we want to be proactive and intentional in communicating to you service levels that will change during the 2023 Spring Semester.

The Facilities department remains committed to providing a well-maintained campus and will continue to prioritize our responses to critical building systems that support health, safety and property protection. Areas where you may experience delays or a change in service relative to past semesters include:

  • Non-urgent requests, such as carpet cleaning, painting, blinds and lock changes may be delayed and or deferred
  • Requests for moving assistance, signage, and renewal/replacement of whiteboards, paint, carpet, blinds, furniture may be delayed and or deferred
  • Supply chain challenges may impact timely repair/replacement of light ballasts, ceiling tiles, window/door closure repairs
  • Lab Equipment requests may take longer than anticipated
  • Cleaning schedules throughout the campus are being assessed and adjusted
  • Only projects or planning studies approved on annual call, critical repairs plan, or capital plan will proceed in FY23.

With the entire campus similarly stretched, the Facilities team is asking River Hawks to be aware of small measures everyone can take to maximize the impact and efforts of our Facilities team members.

  • Please make sure your trash or recycling gets into the proper receptacle and pick up that stray piece of paper or debris when you see it.
  • Prepare shared spaces (classrooms/conference rooms) for the next user before leaving by returning tables and chairs to the preferred layout noted on the diagram near the entrance.
  • Carry in/carry out: If you bring food, drink into a space – carry it out with you and dispose it the hallway recycling and trash receptacles.
  • Promote a clean, healthy work environment that can also eliminate pests by removing all trash and food debris from offices and labs daily. Dispose in convenient hallways trash and recycling bins.
  • Respect the sign: If custodians are cleaning a restroom or space during the day – please respect the “closed for cleaning” sign and seek an alternative location.
  • When submitting lab equipment requests, include equipment specifications for timely review.
  • Please continue to report urgent repair needs immediately by calling the Facilities Service Center at 978-934-2601. Continue to use the facilities on-line service request form for non-urgent service requests.

Collaboration and support are woven into the fabric of who we are as a campus. As each member of the Facilities team continues to work harder than ever, we are grateful for the active participation from others to help make our campus shine. Facilities is proud of the collaborative role we play and grateful for any help you can provide our team members.

I have no doubt that our campus will rise to the occasion by lending a helping hand to keep our campus shining and offer creative suggestions on other ways we might work together to provide a vibrant living, learning and research environment for our students during these challenging times. Feel free to contact me directly with questions and suggestions at jean_robinson@uml.edu.