Many facilities management staff members are among the Pitt employees who have continued working on campus, even as the majority of their University colleagues have shifted to remote work in response to COVID-19.
Their daily efforts have ensured that Pitt buildings and grounds have been kept clean and well maintained for the portion of the University community that has remained.
While University operations prepare to restart on campus, these essential workers have been on the front lines indoors and out—planting greenery and maintaining lawns, adapting cleaning protocols, restarting construction projects, adding signage and ensuring that University grounds and systems are ready and waiting—all while maintaining their own social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions.
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources David DeJong, acting senior vice chancellor for business and operations, offered his thanks to these essential workers on behalf of the entire University. “I am deeply impressed and grateful to all of you and your teams for the tremendous work you have all been doing, and will continue to do,” he said in a recent message to Facilities Management leaders.
Scott Bernotas, associate vice chancellor for facilities management, commended the leadership of Dan Fisher, assistant vice chancellor of operations and maintenance, and Will Mitchell, director of facility services, in leading the campus-wide group of facilities stakeholders who developed a detailed facilities checklist. He also thanked Ernest Robinson, custodial services manager, and Pat Bigley, senior manager of maintenance and emergency service, for leading their staff in preparing facilities in accord with the checklist.
Teams led by Al Agostinelli, senior manager for building systems and commissioning, and Mark McKenzie, senior manager for mechanical systems, were lauded for their work in ensuring that campus HVAC units are operating smoothly in accord with the latest CDC guidance. Andy Moran, senior manager for grounds, and his team received praise for maintaining and beautifying the campus grounds.