Posted: Tuesday Jul 17, 2012
July 17, 2012
While the news media focuses on the hard work the Steelers endure during their annual summer training camp, some of the really heavy lifting is done by the Saint Vincent College Office of Facility Management beginning weeks before the arrival of the players.
A staff of 33 groundskeepers, custodians, HVAC and Access technical specialists, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen are assigned detailed lists of tasks that all have to be completed before the players and coaches arrive. “The facility management staff will devote nearly a thousand hours to getting the Saint Vincent campus physically ready for camp,” noted Larry Hendrick, director of facility management. “The plan is developed months in advance and constantly tweaked to accommodate dozens of requests although most of the actual work is done in about two weeks of intensive execution. All of our employees are great and know what they have to do since we have done this so many times before. But new Steelers coaches and staff sometimes mean changes in the routines. Unfortunately, we can’t start preparations earlier because of classes, summer sports camps, student events and special activities that are held on campus during the summer.”
“Ninety percent of our work is completed before the coaches arrive,” Mr. Hendrick added. “Only about 10% involves support while the team is on campus and tearing everything down and putting things away in late August.”
The work orders include the erection of more than a mile of temporary fencing that designates where fans can watch practice or stand for autographs, more than a dozen tents of varying sizes, 25 Port-A-Johns, dozens of tables, chairs, barricades, refuse containers, dumpsters, barrels and signs. “The electrical and carpentry needs are extensive and challenging in the field setting as well as indoors,” Mr. Hendrick noted. “The Steelers request power for trailers, freezers, ice machines, copiers, Steelers Experience, water coolers, projectors, recorders, temporary walls to be put up, special signage and the list goes on.”
“Some of the work is challenging because a large amount of heavy furniture needs to be moved from residence hall rooms and lounges to create special rooms for training, offices and other needs,” Mr. Hendrick continued. “Eight rooms are being converted to player classrooms with overhead projectors.”
“Bees, wasps and gnats are always a problem in an outdoor setting so we check and remove nests from around all of the railings, the seating of the stadium and other places where they may nest,” Mr. Hendrick concluded. “We do everything we can to provide good hospitality to the players, coaches and fans.”
While most of the physical preparation is unchanged from previous years, fans will appreciate the relocation of the large tent from the side of the field. Another new addition this summer will be recycling containers for bottles and cans.---Photo: Larry Hendrick, second from left, director of facility management, poses with the grounds crew, from left, Dan Smith, Charles Shirey, Jeff Kopetsky and Stephen Snyder. Missing from photo are Dennis Sedlacko and Jeff Steele.
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