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University thanks staff for efforts in crisis recovery

ATHENS, Ohio (May 31, 2006) -- In appreciation for the massive effort of facilities and management staff in response to a recent pipeline break at Ohio University's Grover Center that flooded the building April 2, an ice cream social was held on South Green on May 25.

Though parts of the building are still being repaired, classes resumed in Grover within a week of the flood because of the team effort of all the facilities management departments.

"The effort was awesome. It was a testament to the quality of staff that we have," said Terry Conry, associate vice-president for Finance and Administration, Facilities and Auxiliaries, "It wasn't just maintenance ? custodial, grounds worked as well and put in long hard hours."

Dave Logan, Life Safety maintenance, was one of the first to arrive on the scene early in the morning on April 2 in response to a page.

"It looked like Niagra Falls in there. Water was flooding down the stairs and ceiling tiles were falling down," he said.

Logan oversaw one of the first tasks of replacing the damaged fire alarm system equipment after the damaged water valve was fixed. It had to be done before staff could begin clearing the water and tackling the crisis to ensure everyone's safety.

Logan thought the social was a nice way to recognize their work. "People take the maintenance employees for granted. If you live on campus, when you get up in the morning and you have a hot shower and heat and light, that's because of us," he said.

Randol Roberts, Zone Maintenance, and Steve Schall, Custodial Services, agreed that the recognition was appreciated. Roberts noted that the efforts brought everyone together as a community.

"There was no distinction between departments," he said.

"The social was held for Facilities Management to celebrate a strong team effort," said Doug Franklin, assistant dean for Recreation and Wellness. "They did a fantastic job in a tough situation. Today is just a small way to say thank you."

Greg Cohen, assistant director of maintenance and operations for Zone Maintenance, had similar praises. "The efforts at Grover were amazing. From the beginning, it was just astounding. It was a tribute to the men and women of our staff. It made me proud to work here, again. I've always been proud to work here."

Parts of Grover Center are open for classes and other daily functions at the university. Renovations and repairs are expected to take place over the next few months to make the building fully operational.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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