12/22/20 2020 Accomplishments

Dear FPM Colleagues,

As we approach the end of 2020, I want to wish each of you a happy holiday season and send my gratitude and appreciation for all of you and our Facility, Planning and Management (FPM) accomplishments during a unique and challenging year. I am proud of FPM’s collaboration, innovation, and dedication as UWM quickly moved to remote instruction in the spring and then successfully welcomed students and staff back this fall. Even more impressive are the non-COVID related accomplishments that you were able to achieve in 2020. A few examples, provided from the FPM Directors, are listed below. Please know this is not all inclusive but includes some of the many examples of the many projects and activities that FPM staff have completed.
  • Campus Planning
    • Launching the Space Optimization project
    • Approval by BOR of all capital projects submitted in the requested 21-23 capital budget
    • Completion of South Tower renovations and start of construction in North Tower in Sandburg Hall
    • Authorization to construct several capital projects including Chemistry, EMS 9th and 10th floor renovations, Student Union and a Holton Hall classroom project. Release of capital funds from the Building Commission to do planning of SWQ and the new engineering building.
    • Completion of the Connected Systems Institute (“CSI”) gift-funded project in the library
  • Facility Services
    • Increased utilization of electronic systems for preventative maintenance management
    • Mechanical shop identified and created approximately 230 PM’s to drain and winterize chilled water coils. Will help in maintenance and reduce the chances of freezing/water loss events.
    • Our Architecture/Engineering (A/E) and FS staff continue to work diligently to document and advance deferred maintenance and state-funded projects.  With 30-50 smaller projects or more identified, UW-Milwaukee has many projects underway, funded and/or prioritized including Central Heat Plant controls upgrades ($2.1M), Kenilworth Chiller upgrade (1.6M), multiple building lighting upgrades ($2.9M)m URSB roof ($2.3M).
    • In response to escalating supplies costs, Environmental Services (ES ) bid out paper products and anticipates a 30-40% savings in costs over the previous Georgia Pacific products, without sacrificing quality for our customers.  Stores staff work hard to negotiate a favorable return of unused stack to save even more. 
  • Waukesha and Washington County
    • Theatre railings for both campuses
    • Launching security camera projects for both campuses
    • Painting and general improvements campus wide at both locations
    • Waukesha campus Commons bathroom renovation completed
    • Waukesha Nursing program and exercise area (daycare) renovations started
    • Washington County landscaping project
  • Sustainability
    • The Resiliency Assessment milestone was completed for the Carbon & Resiliency Planning effort.  All vulnerabilities and strengths of UWM’s infrastructure, environment, and community assets were assessed based on climate hazards of SE Wisconsin.
    • The new, internalized recycling hauling was launched in early 2020.  This new operation saves UWM $130,000 annually, by avoiding contamination fees from Waste Management.
    • Office of Sustainability staff at UWM successfully worked with DOA staff to provide recommendations to the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change.  Many were included and the task force’s complete report can be found here.
    • A new annual report was launched by the Office of Sustainability, built and delivered as a full team effort.
  • Transportation Services
    • garage occupancy dashboard displays live parking availability in the gated garages across campus.
    • The rates on our website update each day with applicable proration on permits without requiring users to login as previously.
    • An updated version of the interactive web map shows available spaces for garages and prorated prices for all facilities across campus.
    • U-PASS management is now integrated with our website through Activation and Error Reporting forms as well as their Parking Portal accounts. This allows students to get assistance outside of office hours.
    • Power BI Reports track departmental performance, including parking revenue and facility occupancy as well as usage rates for BOSS, Prowl Line, and U-PASS programs.
  • University Safety and Assurances

    • Transition of Animal Care protocols to IManager for electronic protocol management.
    • Development and implementation of Canvas courses for Biosafety and IRB Basics.
    • Successful Laboratory Safety Audit that also identified a couple UWM practices as best practices for other UWs.  Also, closure/completion of the Hazardous and Universal Waste Audit.  Both audits were conducted by UWSA Office of Internal Audit.
    • Organizational transitions in the department, including adapting to and performing onsite operations and telework in the current working environment that UWM must operate to serve US&A stakeholders.
  • FPM COVID-19 Contributions
    • Participation on multiple COVID-19 related committees and working groups at the institutional and system-level.
    • Assistance with Residential Student moveouts, cleaning, packing, moving, storage and return or disposal of residential student belongings. In addition, many items were donated.
    • Sustainability/Surplus staff, along with CTS, fast-tracked computers sales (over 100 in 3 days) to students at the onset of the pandemic.
    • Environmental Services updated cleaning and disinfection procedures to adapt to COVID-19 requirements. Including rapid responses based on COVID-19 cases.
    • Mail Services and Stores staff creatively and quickly updated processes to successfully meet critical campus needs at the start of the pandemic and throughout the uncertain times to order, warehouse and deliver packages, PPE and other needed supplies.
    • FS staff responded quickly to campus safety and sanitation concerns and needs to ready the campus for the return of staff and students and fall classes: 
      • 350 Sanitizer stations designed and manufactured by Carpenter shop and Paint shop with support from Surplus staff
      • 260 4’x8′ sheets of plexiglass made into custom and prefabricated shields located throughout all of campus and off campus buildings 
      • Researched and responded to building safety, ventilation and efficiency concerns related to COVID-19 
    • Staff at Waukesha and Washington County campuses prepared facilities and adjusted work practices and room capacities for social distancing guidelines, prepared and posted all signage, and maintained facilities/spaces.
    • Within a short time period, implemented BINAX testing at branch campuses, setting up areas, ordering and putting up all signage.
    • Transportation Services implemented contactless payment options for surface lots and parking garages, reduced parking rates, added new disinfection procedures and installed Plexiglass behind the driver’s seat of all BOSS vehicles to help prevent spread of COVID.
    • Development of safety guidelines and training for researchers, staff and students.
    • Reviewing safety plans for researchers, departments and buildings and tracking/tracing COIVD-19 cases on campus.
    • Campus Planning staff determined elevator/classroom/meeting room capacities and layouts under social-distancing guidelines and created related signage.
    • Maintaining facilities throughout the pandemic, dealing with staffing shortages, quarantines, abrupt shifts in operations, etc.
I realize this is a long email, but as you can see, we have much to be proud of in FPM. These accomplishments are the results of excellent, dedicated staff and I am grateful to be part of the FPM team with you. I wish you each a happy and healthy end of 2020 as we look forward to a promising 2021.
With gratitude,