News • September 02, 2021

Facilities and Planning Services aims to ‘enhance the learning environment’

Facilities and Planning Services aims to ‘enhance the learning environment’

Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2021) – California Baptist University is busy preparing for the return of students this fall semester. For many campus offices, work slows down during the summer, even without a pandemic. But not for all departments.

“Summer is essentially a summer sprint. We try to get as much done as we possibly can so not to interfere with the students when they're living on campus,” said Brenda Flores, associate director of business administration for Facilities and Planning Services.

The office oversees the maintenance and operations of all campus structures, from the buildings themselves to the internal systems, such as ventilation, plumbing, lights, etc. It also is involved with construction and remodeling on campus. Projects this summer included turning a classroom into faculty offices, upgrading the fire alarm system at Tower Hall student housing and building a new soccer field.

Facilities and Planning Services aims to ‘enhance the learning environment’Have a leaking faucet or a light that needs to be replaced? Facilities and Planning Services gets the call.

“My preference is that we are behind the scenes,” Flores said. “If you have to get in contact with us, we hope that we're very customer-service oriented, that we take care of it in a timely manner and clean up after ourselves. We want to be the facilitator for the educational environment.”

Robert Gurrola, associate director of maintenance and operations, is all about preventative maintenance. Just as a car needs an oil change every 5,000 miles, buildings and systems need maintenance as well, he said.

“My philosophy is whatever asset we have on campus, we try to get as much longevity from it as we can. We’re oiling, checking, fixing or repairing,” Gurrola said.

For him, problems arise when someone brings an unauthorized appliance or uses several extension cords. He wants people to ask first and encourages them to refer to the Facilities page on InsideCBU for more information.

Jonathan Rogers, general maintenance technician, worked on preparing living areas during the summer housing turnover.

“Summer is our busiest season as we try our best to get everything looking as new and clean as possible,” Rogers said. “Turnover time is absolute madness. But through teamwork, dedication and a lot of prayer we somehow manage to make it happen.”

His favorite part of the job is that it is never the same.

“The mystery of the new day is a double-edged sword, but I love it,” Rogers said. “It gives us a chance to constantly try and learn a new skill or the ability to work with other skilled technicians that can pour into you and teach you. I have been blessed to have a truly amazing manager and co-workers.”

Carlos "Buddy" Perryman, fire and safety specialist, has worked at CBU nearly 19 years. His recent tasks included regular testing of fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems and coordinating the new fire alarm in Tower Hall.

With so many cyclic inspections and tests to do along with other duties, time management is critical, Perryman said. His favorite part of the job is looking at the inspection log at the end of the month and seeing all the boxes filled with completion dates and initials.

“There is so much to do that I don’t get to see that every month, but even so, it makes me feel proud to be part of the team that provides so many different layers of protection for our students and staff,” Perryman said.

Part of the department’s mission statement says it strives “to provide an environment conducive to the intellectual and spiritual growth of the students of California Baptist University.”

“We’re not to be a hindrance but enhance the learning environment. The staff and faculty can do their jobs, and the students are able to learn because they're comfortable and they feel safe,” Flores said. “That's what we're really about, making sure that we're taking care of those things so that people can learn, because that's our business, right?”