I was just reflecting on the many wonderful posts from Jim Collins and ITS and realized it's been a while since there was anything from Facility Services. December 10, in fact. It's been a very long time indeed. I'll write about a couple of things.
First, flags. We have two types of flags on campus - American flags and the Graceland flag. The Graceland flag flies because we want it to. There are no rules or guidelines for flying a flag of our choice other than it can never fly higher than the American flag. If they were on the same pole, the American flag would be on top. If they were on adjacent poles, they could fly at the same level, but the American flag would be in the most central position. Because there are no rules, we can choose when to raise and lower it. We've made it an internal practice that it is by order of the President of the University that we lower the Graceland flag. Most recently, it was lowered due to the passing of football assistant coach Bob Helmeister.
The American flag, on the other hand, has many rules which are outlined in the US Flag Code. These can all be found online in many places. Some sites are even designed to break it down and explain it in detail. And although the flag code is advisory and not required to be followed by individuals or private businesses like Graceland, there is a certain respect due and we choose to follow. So when the President of the United States makes a proclamation to lower the flag to half mast, we choose to do so. That automatically lowers the Graceland flag to half mast, for us. Presidential proclamations are posted online, and some websites turn them into e-mail lists that can be subscribed to. That makes it easy for us to know when to lower and raise the flag.
Today was meant to be the last day of the flags at half mast due to the incident in Nice, France. However, due to the incident in Baton Rouge, LA over the weekend, the flags will remain lowered until Friday, July 22 at sundown. It should be noted that on occasion we will wait until the following day to raise flags, just for employee convenience.
The second thing I wanted to include in my post is about some of the outdoor work being done by Facility Services. A lot of what is happening is ongoing maintenance on the grounds. You see our student workers out mowing and string trimming and pulling weeds and other general lawn maintenance. You see our full-time staff mowing the perimeter of campus and spraying weed control chemicals as needed. You've seen the building maintenance crew working on concrete around campus, as well.
Primarily this summer, the building maintenance crew has been updating the sidewalks near Gunsolley and Graybill main entries, as well as the emergency access on the east side of the MSC. The main project you'll soon see (after Spec) is a new trash/recycling/grease enclosure on that east side of the MSC. It should hide all the receptacles and make the entire walk from central campus to the Commons a much more pleasant one.
Next you'll see our building crews over on the north side of Walker Hall reworking how the ground and sidewalks drain. The goal is to move any water, including melting snow and ice, away from the building, especially the entrance to the Health Services and International Programs offices. They'll also do some work on the sidewalks, widening them to the new 8' standard width, and completing the northbound sidewalk that dead-ends in the trees.
By summer's end, the building crew will be on the north side of Closson Center replacing sidewalks, especially at the entry closest to the Athletic Training offices.
Thank you for your patience and maneuvering around the construction zones in a safe matter. --Jim M