By Drew Scofield
Despite budget cuts across the board, departments like the Physical Plant continue to provide service to Lorain County Community College. The Physical Plant on campus is responsible for general maintenance like trash and snow removal as well as repairs that need to be done across the campus.
Robert Flyer, director of Plant Operations and Construction, is always looking for more efficient ways to carry out his department’s responsibilities. “We are constantly looking into areas where costs can be reduced or eliminated,” said Flyer. “Recently we were able to eliminate a small, highly specialized water treatment system by using the same type of water from another system in a nearby building.”
Small changes have significant impact on budget concerns. “We look at outside service agreements for ways to reduce costs. These are typically transparent and are not noticed by anyone,” said Flyer. “We utilize group purchasing agreements whenever possible, such as for purchasing gas, electricity, water treatment chemicals, HVAC, plumbing and electrical parts.”
If the Physical plant needs help with anything they utilize competitive quotes for the work order and choose the contractor that can complete the work for the lowest cost.
“We have close oversight of all our bills coming in for accuracy and to ensure we’re not being overcharged for anything,” said Flyer. “Budget cutbacks have affected our part-time workers recently, overtime has been cut to an absolute minimum and is only used for emergencies. “Our staff does a great job of only ordering what is absolutely necessary to complete a repair,” said Flyer. We are very careful about purchasing spare parts so we don’t have excess inventories sitting on a shelf.”
Despite the drawbacks that these cuts have on LCCC, Flyer assures everyone that they are still able to provide service to the college. “Everyone is 100% committed to the success of our students and to service the needs of all our customers, whether they are students, visitors, staff or faculty.