Basic and Special Services

Policy Statement on Basic and Special Services

Buildings and Grounds receives an annual operating budget for certain basic services to support routine maintenance for the campus. Every effort has been made to incorporate recurring types of activity that are essential to the operation of the physical plant in the B&G budget. The services that are identified as Special Services have been traditionally funded by departmental budgets at Vassar, where managers are encouraged to make decisions about the need for certain types of expenditures.

I. Basic Services – Never a Charge

  1. Normal custodial services for Vassar programs, including maintenance, pest control and routine refuse and recycling collection and disposal services.
  2. Routine repairs and preventive maintenance to building structures and exteriors including roofs, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, locks and closure devises.
  3. Repairs and preventive maintenance of electrical-mechanical-plumbing systems, including lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, elevators, life safety, water supply and waste disposal.
  4. Grounds maintenance including lawns, walks, drives, parking lots and related outdoor facilities including lawn mowing, snow removal, ice control and removal of trash and debris from the grounds.
  5. Basic utilities including lighting, power, heating, water, sewer and solid waste disposal.
  6. Installation of new electrical receptacles, if necessary, in order to meet fire code, to be coordinated through the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
  7. Repairs and maintenance of utility distribution-collection systems, storm drains, and street lighting systems.
  8. Locksmith services for lockout during normal business hours.
  9. Certain types of standard set-up, moving and delivery services
    1. Furniture/equipment set-up, such as a podium, for classrooms as part of the regular academic programs.
    2. Set-ups for small departmental events (such as tables and chairs) requested during normal working hours (Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM).
    3. Delivery of items from Receiving and Stores during normal working hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM). Scheduling may be necessary to avoid overtime charges; coordination with Purchasing is a good idea if a large shipment of items is expected.
    4. Limited moving services on campus (i.e. moving a single file cabinet, desk or bookshelf) with at least five (5) working days notice. Note: B&G staff cannot pick-up or transport materials to off-campus locations. If you require this service, contact the Purchasing Department for assistance in locating a service provider.

When Moving Charges Are Necessary:

A move involving the contents of an entire office or group of offices requires professional moving services and cannot be undertaken by the limited number of custodians available for moving minor pieces of office equipment. Departments and offices requiring these types of services should contact the Purchasing Department to obtain a quote for the cost of these moves. Renovation or major capital project moves should be planned as part of the project, with the cost of the move funded through the capital budget.

II. Cycle Maintenance Program – Centrally Budgeted by B&G

The College maintains a “Cycle Maintenance Program” to renew or replace interior building finishes depending upon their condition. Included in the program are repainting of interior spaces on a regular cycle, replacing carpeting and flooring, and replacing light bulbs. Goals and standards were reviewed with the Committee on Priorities and Planning and the program currently receives an annual funding of nearly $400,000, with a budget goal of $2,000,000 in annual funding necessary for this work. Department heads are encouraged to contact the Executive Director of Buildings and Grounds for Cycle Maintenance concerns for a particular building.

Building renovation projects usually provide additional resources toward the renewal of interior finishes. B&G Services coordinates resources (funds) of the Cycle Maintenance Program with other efforts to maintain and enhance the campus.

Priorities for use of funds are determined based on an assessment of conditions, with priority given to high traffic/heavily worn areas. Cycle Maintenance activities are scheduled to avoid conflicts with programs on campus, as much as possible, with emphasis on Fall Break, Winter Recess, Spring Break, and opportunities in the summer.

III. Services Requiring Funding from Other Sources – Charges Necessary

Certain types of B&G Services require a charge to ensure that facilities are managed and used carefully. Work that requires an estimate by B&G must be requested in advance. Work will not commence until approval from the requesting department head (including, in many cases the appropriate senior officer) is granted.

  1. Renovations or Other Changes

Renovations to a building structure, windows, doors, or its mechanical or electrical system for a new program objective is at the discretion of the requesting department or office. Normally such renovation costs associated with program goals are submitted as “Capital Requests” during the fall budget process, reviewed by the senior officer, and prioritized within the resources of the College. B&G does not control independent funding sources for major or minor renovation costs. Departments are expected to consider installation costs when estimating the cost of new equipment to be funded by a grant, gift, endowed fund or operating budget controlled by the department.

  1. Keys and Lock Replacement/Installation

Replacement of lost keys and re-keying functionally sound locks, as well as the purchase and installation of new security systems, normally result in a charge to the department. Departments that have a need for special security systems should contact the Purchasing Department.

Fixed charges for locksmith services are as follows:

Cut 1-3 of the same key $20.00
Lock change $100.00
Pad Lock installation $50.00

Note: There is no charge for lockouts that occur during normal business hours.

  1. Certain types of installations/repairs/replacement

B&G Services cannot undertake all of the minor carpentry, electrical repair and specialty maintenance work that may be desired on the campus. The following list identifies work that has been traditionally charged to the departments requesting the service.

  1. 1) Installing pictures, projection screens, mirrors and tack boards in offices.
  2. 2) Installing window A/C units where a unit does not exist and providing a dedicated circuit.
  3. 3) Designing/fabricating/installing interior signage. Note: College standards for interior signage have been developed and implemented in renovations and new construction. B&G Services can assist departments that have funds in applying the standards to their space.
  4. 4) Replacing functionally sound glass in doors, windows, or partitions (i.e. changing clear partition glass to frosted glass, etc.)
  5. 5) Installing window treatments other than shades. (Please contact Purchasing to discuss recommended vendors and costs.)
  6. 6) Repairing or maintaining specialized equipment for an office, laboratory, or kitchen equipment. (Please contact Purchasing about maintenance contracts from firms specializing in the required maintenance or repair work)
  1. Special Event Charges

The cost for various types of special events has traditionally been borne by the sponsoring department or office. In some cases, a central budget captures the full cost of recurring campus events, such as Commencement and Reunion. Services for events such as banquets, receptions, major lectures, outdoor events, and concerts are provided according to the specifications of the sponsor. The request must be submitted to Service Response at least ten (10) days in advance of the event.

  • Set-up, break-down
  • Gym floor covering
  • Installing temporary fencing
  • Setting up risers
  • Moving furniture out of a room
  • Installing temporary power
  • Installation of temporary banners and directional signage
  • Utility mark-outs/line detection requests for tent installation
    • NY law requires a signed release when digging to prevent damage to underground utilities. Any utility mark out requires a submitted Service Request.
  1. Major cleaning/trash removal projects

While B&G Services provides for routine cleaning and trash removal, departments and offices occasionally schedule major clean-out of space, and special provisions must be made for the labor and hauling charges associated with these efforts.

Examples of such special cleaning services include

  • Storage areas, attics and basements in College Housing
  • Cleaning services after a construction project (normally the responsibility of the contractor)

Please consult the Manager of Custodial Services to plan for any type of major housecleaning, so we can assist you properly.

  1. The following hourly rates will be charged for 2013/14 billable work:

Custodial and Grounds Services $30.00/hr.
Trade services $45.00/hr.

The charge on the work request will also include any materials that are needed. Estimates will be provided upon request in advance of completing the work. There is no charge for administrative oversight by B&G managers.

  1. Furniture and Equipment Purchase, Repairs or Replacement.

B&G Services no longer attempts to fabricate bookshelves or cabinets on campus; it is more cost effective for the College to purchase stock from outside vendors. However, certain types of minor repairs or refinishing can be undertaken at a cost. Departments are encouraged to obtain estimates from external repair services and compare those to the cost of undertaking the work in-house.

The Purchasing Department works with departments to identify sources for new furniture, bookshelves, cabinetry and equipment. Purchasing is available to assist with initial estimates, and departments can then seek funding through the “Equipment Request” during the fall budget process. Purchasing can also recommend local firms that specialize in the repair, refinishing and reupholstering of furniture.

B&G Services can assist a department in planning and estimating the cost of cabinetry and furniture as part of a major renovation or construction project (See Capital Projects below)

  1. Athletic/Intramural Fields, Boathouse, Vassar Farm

B&G Services schedules staff to meet the routine needs of the intercollegiate and intramural departments, through careful coordination with the Athletic Director and Coaches. Other events that require the use of athletic fields, the boathouse, or the Vassar Farm requires special arrangements, often involving overtime. Please contact the Manager of Grounds for information about special charges that may be necessary.

  1. Grounds Services

Whenever possible, B&G will supply table flowers and plants for decorative purposes for special events. Notice is required ten (10) days in advance of the event. Charges for flowers and plants will be passed directly on to the department.

  1. Student damages

Students are held accountable under College Regulations and the room contracts administered by Residential Life for damage to the residence halls, student apartments and common spaces. B&G Services responds to service requests entered by the Residential Life staff, which is then billed to the responsible student(s). Charges are based on hourly labor rates and material charges where applicable.

IV. Major Capital Projects

Buildings and Grounds Services assists the senior officers of the College in planning and carrying out the major renovation, renewal and construction projects approved in the College’s capital budget, currently a three-year capital plan updated annually in the fall. While a major building renovation that closes the building and requires all occupants to relocate clearly requires detailed planning and the identification of resources, other types of campus renovation work are also subject to the capital planning and budgeting process. Buildings and Grounds Services can assist in clarifying the scope of work, identifying building codes and other regulations that may affect the planning, and providing a preliminary sense of the cost of proposed renovations. Faculty and administrators responsible for campus facilities are encouraged to contact the Executive Director of Buildings and Grounds Services early in the planning process for advice and coordination of effort.

Recommendations for capital projects that should be included in the College’s capital budget will be solicited in the fall budget process, and will be reviewed for urgency both by the senior officer responsible for the area and by the Executive Director of Buildings and Grounds Services.

  1. Feasibility Studies

The College’s budget includes limited funding for early feasibility studies of proposed renovations. Such work may entail the hiring of an architect or engineer. To obtain funding for a feasibility study, the proposed project must have the preliminary support of the Dean or Vice President responsible for the area and the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

  1. Scheduling

The senior officers have developed a three-year capital budget for the College that is annually updated in the fall for review and approval by the Board of Trustees in the spring. Projects in the summer time frame must be planned, approved, and sent out to bid by the preceding February. It is essential to identify renovation projects twelve to eighteen months in advance in order to allow adequate time for planning, budget approval, and contracting. Major projects that involve architectural studies, the closing of a facility, and the relocating of people and programs often require lead time of twenty-four months or longer.

  1. Funding

Buildings and Grounds Services assists the senior officers in estimating costs for campus renewal and new construction, and supports the College’s effort to raise capital from donors and through debt financing. The department has limited funding at its discretion. That said, faculty and staff who become aware of issues that threaten the safety of building occupants or the physical integrity of a structure are encouraged to bring the concern immediately to the attention of the Executive Director of Buildings and Grounds Services. Funding can always be found to address safety issues.

  1. Project Management

Buildings and Grounds Services provides a project manager for each major renovation or construction project on campus. Project managers normally supervise several projects at once and assume responsibility for planning, relocation of occupants as needed, oversight of contractors, the project budget, and completion of the work to specification. Client departments/programs/offices are encouraged to identify a project coordinator who will work closely with the project manager on a variety of issues throughout the project.