FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Photo captions: 1) Losekamp Hall receives a new roof July 16. 2) Fresh concrete smooths walkways.
Facilities maintenance completes minor and major projects
BILLINGS, July 28, 2014 –In summer 2014, Rocky Mountain College is shortening its list of deferred maintenance by completing more back-burner work than attempted in years. Tackling deferred maintenance demonstrates the College’s commitment to faculty/staff, students, and the educational process, said Vice President and Dean for Student Life Brad Nason. Roofing and concrete work punctuates the construction season.
Deferred maintenance has received line-item budgeting for possibly the first time in the College’s history. “For years, deferred maintenance was operating on contingency,” said President Bob Wilmouth. “Deferred maintenance is a one-time expense that should last us the rest of our lives.”
Led by Nason, the RMC leadership team prioritized projects for campus facilities during spring budget planning. The campus expects to have completed about $500,000 of deferred maintenance this summer, with an additional $200,000 worth in autumn.
First priority items included many roof replacements. Several of the seven roofs of Fortin Education Center will be replaced this summer, with the rest scheduled for 2015. Losekamp and Eaton Halls are also receiving new roofs, all planned before the hailstorm this spring.
“The Losekamp roof was probably 40 years old,” Nason said. Its final cost is only half of initial bids, he said, allowing us “to spread our deferred maintenance dollars further.”
Individual residence halls are receiving fire and security alarm upgrades, stairway repair, and fresh paint, carpeting, and furniture in some rooms. Concrete and parking lot maintenance is smoothing a few campus walking and driving paths. The visitor’s section of the bleachers at Herb Klindt Field will also be repaired.
New louvers and motors in the Fortin Education Center mechanical systems improve efficiency. The College is replacing a VisionNet system to ensure seamless Master of Educational Leadership online course delivery. “These are not really sexy projects,” Nason said, but they are investments in the future.
Each year, a century-old institution’s list of deferred maintenance can grow longer. RMC has made a solid start with its first-priorities list this summer. “My goal is to get every one of these first-priority projects done,” said Nason. Several more years of equivalent investment should reduce the overall list.
Nason pointed out, “It’s our responsibility to ensure our faculty and students have the best possible educational experience.”