Ted Chavez Hall Dirty, Plagued by Maintenance and Custodial Concerns

By: Stefany Olivas, Business Manager | Photo By: Stefany Olivas, Business Manager

The CNM Chronicle is still investigating claims of poorly maintained facilities around CNM. Send your concerns to stefanychronicle@gmail.com.

Claims of unsafe, faulty and unclean facili­ties in the Ted Chavez building on Main campus have been made by stu­dents, staff and faculty to the CNM Chronicle.

The CNM Chronicle investigated some of the issues and found evidence, then pre­sented them to the appro­priate staff.

Nursing major Veronica Hernandez said she has attended CNM part time for four years and has taken a fitness class nearly every term and has not seen the workout labs consistently in good condition.

She said two out of three showers are broken in the wom­en’s locker room.

“I think it’s a huge inconvenience because we need to get ready for our next class. Being down to one shower with three ladies wait­ing for it, that’s a lot of time,” said Hernandez.

Director of Mechanical Services Blaine Henderson said the showers have been out of service because the partitions that separate the stalls are rusted on the bottom and present a hazard to students.

“If it’s a life safety issue, in the context of it being related to health; that moves it up in the queue,” said Henderson.

The maintenance department has not been fully staffed for at least two years and the hiring process has taken a very long time because several people have to interview each applicant, he said.

Henderson said he is also acting Maintenance Director, a position for which applicants are not being interviewed.

The duties of that position often require immediate atten­tion, so that is usually his prior­ity, he said.

“It’s difficult to get every­body together, it’s difficult to review the applications and do the interviews. It’s a hard thing to do and it drags out longer than it should,” said Henderson.

Currently, there are four maintenance employees and all CNM campuses are split among them, he said. The department receives at least 20 work orders per day, he said.

“They are spread pretty thin,” said Henderson.

Hernandez said she thinks that more time and money should be invested in maintain­ing conditions in the labs.

“I feel that our tuition, part of that goes to the fitness depart­ment. They should be able to do something about this in an orderly fashion,” said Hernandez.

Full-time Fitness instruc­tor Debbie Romero said she feels like the workout labs are often neglected. Work-study students maintain the cleanliness of the workout labs every day, but the bathrooms are not thoroughly cleaned by custodians.

“When we were a part of Applied Technologies, things were fine. Now they seem to have forgotten about us,” said Romero.

As for the shower stalls in the female locker room, Romero said she was informed just prior to print that the par­tition parts were ordered and that the stalls will be fixed as early as this week.

A used condom was dis­covered in one of the shower stalls that are out of service in the women’s locker room by the CNM Chronicle on Sept. 10. The condom was there until Sept. 27.

Director of Operations Anthony Real said that his department does not provide cleaning services every day in any of the TC labs because of the sensitive equipment. They do provide necessary cleaning materials so the lab techs and student employees can perform the work, he said.

“In order for us to iden­tify which areas are being cleaned properly and which areas need improvement, our Custodial Supervisors and Lead Custodians conduct routine area inspections,” said Real.

He said the department will respond to work orders and special requests, such as power washing the restrooms or for floor maintenance, during the term break.

The Vice President for Finance and Operations Katherine Ulibarri, who over­sees maintenance and operations, declined an interview and redi­rected all questions to Marketing and Communications Director Brad Moore.

Moore said in an email that CNM is developing a new model for staffing main­tenance workers because of the more high-tech and energy efficient systems that have been installed.

“CNM is seeking main­tenance workers who are multi-skilled because this profession, like so many others, is being transformed by technology,” said Moore.

The school’s state fund­ing was also cut by 30 per­cent, and this forced CNM to implement a budget reduction plan which included hiring contractors to perform the more com­plicated maintenance tasks, he said.

“We are currently evaluating the best balance between contract work and work that is best handled by CNM maintenance staff,” said Moore.

The funding that CNM receives from prop­erty taxes and from voter-approved bond issues are required by law to be used for projects such as facility renovations. Operational funds, for things like staff­ing, are received primar­ily from the state, he said. Each area of the college is budgeted a limited amount of money for its operational expenses.

Budgeting decisions for the state funds are decided through budget hearings, and planning processes overseen by the Governing Board, said Moore.

All employees can submit work order requests through cnm.edu, then click on the following links; faculty and staff resources, services, Physical Plant, Maintenance, then work order forms.

If there is a custodial or maintenance emergency that needs to be addressed imme­diately, students, faculty and staff can call the Physical Plant at 224-4574. The near­est custodial staff member will be called to take care of the problem.

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