( From the Physical Plant Division of the University of Florida
www.ppd. ufl. edu
We create and maintain facilities for the university community.
UF Physical Plant Honored With 2005 APPA
Award For Excellence
Physical Plant Division is very pleased to announce that thanks to our hard work and dedication, we have been chosen to
receive the 2005 Award for Excellence in Facilities Manage-
ment from the Association of Higher Education Facilities
Officers (also known as APPA). APPA is a worldwide orga-
nization of physical plant administrators and employees,
dedicated to the "maintenance, protection and promotion
of quality educational facilities". The Award for Excellence
is the highest institutional honor APPA can bestow, and
provides opportunities for national and international rec-
ognition for outstanding facilities management.
"This award is something that (former PPD Quality
Office Coordinator) Jean Sweitzer and I had outlined as one
of our eventual goals back when the Quality Department
was first created at PPD, about 10 years ago," said UF PPD
Director Dave O'Brien. "In 2005 felt we had achieved the
APPA's Site Visit Committee (seated, left to right): Dave necessary goals to be recognized as a top-tier organiza-
Button, Greg Fichter, and Joe Rubertone. tion.""
PPD's Award Committee (standing, left to right): Mark "These awards are modeled after the Florida Sterling
Ivanowski, Donna Agerton, Pam Walker, Fred Gratto, Awards, or the National Baldridge Awards," said Sweitzer.
Allan Preston, and Bob Bell. (not pictured: Harold "The application guidelines are very specific, with sections
Barrand). dealing with leadership, strategic and operational planning,
customer satisfaction, information and analysis, develop-
ment/management of human resources, process management, performance results, and miscellaneous details of your organiza-
Sweitzer and Pam Walker, Administrative Assistant to the Director, put together an award committee consisting of PPD's
Donna Agerton, Mark Ivanowski, Fred Gratto, Allan Preston, Bob Bell, and Harold Barrand. With Walker serving as committee
chair, they compiled a 35-page application documenting PPD's processes and results for presentation to the APPA Professional
Affairs Committee. This document was the first part of the application for the Award of Excellence. If successful, UF PPD would
be considered for an on-site review as a follow-up of the written application.
"The entire Award application was documentation of all the hard work our service partners do each and every day," said
Preston, current Quality Office Coordinator. "Each Committee Member would write our section and then Pam Walker edited the
final product. Pam was instrumental in keeping us all on track and merging all our bits and pieces into a professional document."
"We were all pretty confident when we submitted our application," said Gratto. "This was an enormous undertaking, but we
were confident that we had done all the necessary work to show that UF PPD was deserving of such an award."
Greg Fichter, Assistant Director of Building Services at Indiana University Bloomington, and member of the Professional
Affairs Committee, said, "The committee consists of seven members who represent each region of our organization. Each member
reviews and scores the application individually, and then the committee meets as a group to discuss their scores and come to a
consensus opinion. It takes quite a bit of energy and effort for a university to reach a level where you would even consider
sending in an application; all our criteria must be met in full and all issues must be addressed thoroughly in order to be selected
for this award. If even a few of the issues we look at are not fully documented, we have to deny the applications. It was the opinion
of our committee that UF Physical Plant had met all criteria satisfactorily, in writing, and our next step was to schedule an actual
visit to the campus to verify that all the information submitted was, in fact, true and correct."
See APPA AWARD Cont. On Pg. 3
VOLUME XXI, No. 1
Student Design And PPD Labor Create New Courtyard
When last year's hurricanes caused damage to the 600-square foot courtyard just south of the University Gallery in the Fine
Arts complex, Dr. Amy Vigilante, Director of the University Galleries, decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to have the
area thoroughly renovated. _.
"There had been a big tree uprooted and just a lot of dam-
age done," she said. "I had felt that that area could use some a
design upgrades for a while, and so after the hurricane damage, ,.
I spoke with a friend of mine from the Landscape Architecture aa .
Dept., Tina Gurucharri, and she suggested that I get in touch d I
with Dr. Robert Grist at Landscape Architecture, that perhaps '"
his students could come up with some design ideas and sug-
__, However, as Vigilante
S- was making plans for the
courtyard, Physical Plant
had already designated the
area as needing work.
i L a n d s k e e p i n g / The finished courtyard, viewed from the northeast
Groundskeeping Superin- corner.
tendent Marty Werts said,
"(Assistant Director of Grounds) Fred Gratto and I had identified that area as one that had
-.. sustained hurricane damage, and we sent a crew over to begin working on renovations."
SVigilante continued, "I came out the next day and PPD was already there! They had a
i% crew in the courtyard, digging out the old foliage. So I asked them about getting involved
with the design aspect of the courtyard and from there I was introduced to Marty Werts. I
explained to Marty what I had in mind for an approach to the design process, and he was
Werts and Vigilante contacted Grist about soliciting design ideas for the courtyard from
D Grounds shpedand his students. Grist said, "Every spring I teach a planting design studio, and this seemed like
toured custo pavg a great opportunity for the class to get some real-world experience with landscape architec-
stones fth rture. We decided to turn it into a contest, with each student submitting an entry and then
Marty, Amy and myself wouldjudge them and decide on a winner."
Grist and Werts laid out guidelines for the project, and then the 26 students drew
up individual plans for the space. "We had a clump of sago palms, and a large queen
palm tree, that were already in the space and that we planned to keep," said Werts.
"The students had to incorporate those existing trees into their designs. Also, I
wanted the designs to use drought-resistant plants, since there is no irrigation in the
The winning design was submitted by third-year student David Heffelfinger.
Werts said, "There were some really intriguing designs entered in this contest. How-
ever, we had to pick the one that was best for a real-world application. The winning
design was aesthetically very pleasing, as well as being the most functional of the
Grist added, "David's design is beautiful in it's simplicity it has sort of a Zen-
like quality to it, and it utilized the existing plant structure very well."
Heffelfinger's design incorporated triple-trunk Robellini palms, a pair of concrete
pedestals on which to display sculptures, and rectangular paving stones laid in a
symmetrical pattern, forming a path through the courtyard. PPD Grounds had to
custom-form and pour the paving stones on-site, since the irregular sizes were not
available through vendors. Grounds also installed a pair of custom wood benches for
The project features native foli- seating. The existing sago and queen palms were integrated into the design, and
age, three types and colors of counties, a native, fern-like perennial, were used to fill out the foliage around the
gravelstone, andstylish wood palms. Finally, three types of decorative colored gravel were added to the area, with
benches. the colors chosen by Vigilante and her employees.
"This was just a really fun project to be involved with," said Vigilante. "PPD was
extremely helpful throughout, and the courtyard is a wonderful addition to our space at the University Galleries. It's so inviting,
and it's changed the social structure of our openings and exhibits people love to just hang out outside and talk in that space,
and I think that's wonderful because it facilitates traffic between our two galleries."
9 Director: Dave O'Brien
Elevator Renovation At Health Science Center
The Health Science Center arm of UF PPD has recently finished an upgrade project on three elevators in the south tower of
the Dental Building. The elevators' old paint and flooring was cracked, chipped and dirty and the decision was made that they
The old wall panels within the
S. elevator were removed and wrapped
S- with stainless steel for better protec-
tion and cosmetic enhancement.
Meanwhile, the original VCT floor-
ing was pulled up and a beautiful new
woodgrain-look floor was laid inside
Jim Thompson said, "The original
flooring was a material called VCT,
and that has to be stripped and waxed
regularly. The new floor product is
nearly maintenance free, and guaran-
teed to last for 10 years. And as a
bonus, it looks pretty sharp, too."
Thompson said that PPD origi- Black laminate panelling was
nally planned to paint the walls, and installed over the old paint, and
the Dental Dept. chose black as the the existing decorative wall
new wall color. However, after the first panels and railings were
elevator was finished and had been wrapped with stainless steel.
in use for a few days, the crew no-
ticed that the paint wasn't holding up very well.
"The paint was just getting gouged and chipped too much in a high-traffic
Top: The old walls and flooring were
attere d chipped application like the elevators," said Thompson. "So what we did was cut sheets
battered and chipped.
of black laminate to fit the walls, and we installed those in place of re-painting."
Bottom: A new, scratch-resistant wood- Members of the HSC Physical Plant who worked on this project included
look floor was installed. Harley Ingle, Charlie Seroki and Ben Werts, who removed the original paint on
the walls. Marvin Davis and Jerry Cooksley removed the original wall panels
and VCT, and wrapped the panels with stainless steel. Finally, Dan Crenshaw and Walter "Pete" Bradley installed the black
laminate sections and the re-wrapped wall panels.
APPA AWARD Cont. From Pg. 1
After review of our application, UF Physical Plant was chosen to receive an on-site visit, which was scheduled for May 3,
2005. PPD Application Committee Chair Pam Walker said, "Everyone on the committee was thrilled when we learned that the APPA
representatives would be coming to Gainesville to review our programs. There was a lot of work involved to get ready for the visit.
We had to provide written documentation of our goals and programs. Dolly Warner, Program Assistant in Operations, and I put
together several bound notebooks with pictures and examples of work performed, training provided and awards received,
including our community service programs. This was a great experience for me and I learned so much about PPD. We're such a
large organization that it's hard to really know everything that goes on, but I feel much better informed now."
During the site visit, APPA officials (Fichter, Joe Rubertone, Director of Facilities at Quinnipiac University, and Dave Button,
PPD Director at Regina University, Canada) met with PPD's award team to review documents and further inform themselves of
PPD's policies and procedures; had lunch with PPD's Executive Council, and UF Vice President of Finance and Administration Ed
Poppell; and took a van tour of the UF campus with Dave O'Brien. Finally, they spoke with several prominent PPD customers to
get a better impression of the level of customer service provided by UF PPD.
Rubertone said, "The on-site visit is primarily used to be able to view actual documents and records which verify that
everything in the original application is factual. We were all very favorably impressed with UF Physical Plant. The organization's
policies and resources were well-documented, and the grounds and buildings are very well-maintained."
Fichter said, "This is a very prestigious award, and UF's Physical Plant should be very proud to be selected as a recipient. We
found a very good operation on our visit, with good key people, and a very positive, pro-active group of employees. You have an
impressive, well-maintained campus, and obviously have a workforce that cares about the quality of their work, and who have put
in a lot of time and done a great job in meeting all of APPA's criteria. UF Physical Plant is extremely deserving of the APPAAward
Editor: Jeremiah McInnis
Physical Plant Division
PO Box 117700
Gainesville, FL 32611-7700
UF Football, Students And PPD Team Up To Plant Trees
The University of Florida's new head football coach, Urban Meyer, has a strong philosophy of building good relationships
between his athletes and the campus student body. Recently, Physical Plant Division became a big part of Coach Meyer's plans
to promote goodwill, by helping coordinate a day of tree-plant-
ing in the southwest area of campus.
"I was contacted by Myra Morgan, Associate Director at
the Reitz Union, about an idea that Coach Meyer had devel-
o oped," said Fred Gratto, Assistant Director of Physical Plant.
"The idea was for the losing team in the Orange and Blue spring
t football game to spend the following Saturday doing some kind
of campus beautification project, and they were wondering if we
had any suggestions for something that could occupy about 60
football players for a while. I mentioned the idea of planting trees
on campus, and Coach Meyer really liked that suggestion so we
started working out the details."
Gratto began working with Orange and Blue Cabinet Direc-
tor for Student Government Gary Goldberg to iron out the details
and organize student participation. As the project developed, the
number of students involvedjumped from 60 to several hundred.
2-Time National Coach of the Year Urban Meyer McGuire Village, Radio Road, and Bledsoe Road were selected as
also wields a mean shovel, suitable locations for planting. Physical Plant donated 385 trees
to the project, including crepe myrtles, bald cypresses, chestnut oaks, pond pines and swamp dogwoods. "We wanted to use
crepe myrtles along the roadsides," said Gratto. "The other trees were planted in or near retention ponds and other appropriate
The event, dubbed the Inaugural Orange and Blue
Campus Beautification Project, kicked off on the morning
of April 16. Participants included Coach Meyer and most
of the Gator football team rather thanjust the losing squad
from the spring game, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley,
assistant coaches Charlie Strong and Chuck Heater, Physi-
cal Plant staff, and more than 300 fraternity members, stu-
dents, and football players.
"The cooperation that we received from Physical Plant
was just incredible," said Goldberg. "Their staff was ex-
tremely enthusiastic and Dr. Gratto was a great help we
couldn't have pulled this off without his expertise and
assistance. I can't say enough good things about the Players, students andstaff get ready forsome tree-
project and PPD's help, just a superb effort by everyone planting.
"This was a well coordinated event," said Gratto. "It's something that everybody involved in can be proud of for years to
come. When the students and football players visit campus they can see the fruits of their labor and feel good about their
contribution to making this campus a better place. The excellent cooperation between Physical Plant, the football team, athletic
department, Student Government, and the fraternities contributed to our success. Coach Meyer mentioned that he'd like to make
this an annual event, and that's a nice idea so Physical Plant will be able to shine on campus again next spring."
PPD staff who contributed to the project included Charles Hall, James Graham, Curtis Mann, Steve Corbitt, John Black,
Jeremy Joiner, Steve Tompkins, Larry Peoples, Darvin Hall, Kenneth Williams, RomanAbadia, Kenny Kruger, Bruce Robinson,
Wayne Carawan, and Fred Gratto.