The sun hadn’t even completely risen on Tuesday and workers scurried about campus, clearing sidewalks, spreading ice-melt, and preparing the buildings for the day.
And Winter Term classes didn’t even begin until the next day.
“Sometimes we get into the buildings and clean them before anyone gets there,” said Amelia Metheny, the facilities manager at the College.
Metheny has been at the College for six years and became the department’s manager about a year ago. She oversees 17 employees who do anything from general maintenance to custodial work to groundskeeping to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). While the work is sometimes done in relative anonymity, it is critical to the day-to-day operations of the College.
“They come to work and have great attitudes every day despite the workload,” Metheny said. “It’s a great team to work for.”
The workload can be particularly heavy in the winter when snow removal and clear walking spaces are so critical to providing a safe environment to the campus community. Preparation for the work actually begins in the fall when supplies of ice-melt are staged around campus and snow-removal equipment is readied for the winter months.
Metheny says custodians are on campus by 6:00 a.m. with the rest of the facilities staff here by approximately 7:30 a.m. Whether it is lead custodian Jorge Aguiar, lead groundskeeper Ignacio Martinez, HVAC technician Gary Briggs, lead maintenance technician David Smith, operations assistant Charlene Dalzell, or any of the other members of the facilities team, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience contributing to the overall campus experience for everyone.
“They’re all individuals and they have wonderful personalities,” Metheny said with a smile. “Getting to know our staff on a personal level helps to know why they’re here to work.”
The College of Idaho has a 131-year-old legacy of excellence. The College is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition, and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.