Facilities roundtable plans for change at Simpson


Max Bertrand

The roundtable met at Fiesta Jalapeño to discuss facilities on campus.

by Max Bertrand, Staff Reporter

After reports of incomplete work orders which lead to building issues, Simpson College is working on improving residential housing and maintenance. 

Recently hired Brian Schultes will serve as director of facility management. Schultes will oversee the operations of the maintenance grounds and housekeeping departments, make arrangements for fleet vehicles for athletic and theater departments and help set up labor for event setups. Schultes will replace former director Randy Rice. 

Schultes’s official service contract with the college begins on April 14. Schultes arrived earlier in February to better accustom himself to different projects on campus. 

Some projects in the works are a new HVAC system for Cowles Fieldhouse, a new turf surface for the baseball and softball fields, new turf on the football field, new renovations to the Dunn Library and a remodel of Jordan Lecture Hall. 

Schultes has also started a facilities roundtable where students can voice some of their concerns outside of residence life. The roundtable includes students from Residence Life, Greek Life, Student Government Association, The Simpsonian and athletics. Schultes is also open to new recruits. 

“I want there to be a person on campus services available to hear students’ concerns and complaints,” he said.

Schultes said that facilities management is about communication, coordination and collaboration. Student input and open communication may help Schultes coordinate some of the projects and get financing put in place while promptly getting projects done. The goal would be not to inconvenience students. 

Katie Pantzar, a senior studying biochemistry and history, is a facilities roundtable member. Pantzar is a senior class senator and team lead community advisor for the apartments in residence life. Pantzar attended the first meeting on Thursday, March 31. 

During the first meeting, the roundtable discussed why some problems are given quick patchwork rather than fixing the problem altogether. A lot of the meeting was dedicated to discussing and understanding student frustrations.

“There’s just been a lot of ongoing issues that seem like they don’t get fixed until something bigger happens,” Pantzar said.

Pantzar said she believes that facilities will see some major changes. 

“I think even having this meeting is a sign that things will get a lot better. Brian is really adamant on handling the maintenance issues that we’ve seen,” she said.

Schultes said he intends to continue the roundtable and make it a monthly meeting. The goal is to make sure that all problems are addressed and add more students to get different perspectives. He hopes to improve living quarters to improve students’ time at Simpson. 

Pantzar believes that if students pay a high price for their education, they should have adequate living conditions. 

“We’re all students who are paying close to $50,000 a year for our education,” Pantzar said. “I think that having an adequate maintenance response and keeping on top of that makes our living spaces better. This is the bare minimum that we deserve.”

The roundtable will meet next on April 21.