A Day in the Life: HDS Facilities Dining Maintenance

HDS Facilities Dining Maintenance team

The HDS Facilities Dining Maintenance team, left to right: Dallas Quam, Jeremy Deneke, John Jay, and Noah Christensen.

If there’s an emergency in a Housing & Dining Services kitchen on the Colorado State University campus, there’s the team ready to respond. The Facilities Dining Maintenance team is made up of four State Classified employees. Dallas Quam and John Jay are Pipe/Mech Trades II; Jeremy Deneke is an Electronics Specialist II; and Noah Christensen, the supervisor of the team, is an Electronics Specialist IV. Their shop is located in the old kitchen in Newsom Hall.

A typical day for this team means responding to all manner of kitchen issues. They complete both reactive and preventative maintenance work orders for a variety of equipment, such as gas-fired ovens, steam kettles/steamers, hydraulic lifts, 480-volt Meiko dish machines, and pulping systems. In fact, they repair everything that HDS uses in their kitchens and dining sitting areas — yes, everything!

Most of the CSU community would never guess that this team maintains five dining halls and a bakeshop on campus, totaling over 1,500 pieces of kitchen equipment and over 300 work orders a month. Recently, the team researched and changed some of their preventative maintenance materials and saved HDS over $20,000, including cutting over half the materials they sent to the landfill. They also researched a plan on utility savings that could save the university over $100,000 a year.

Responding safely, efficiently and effectively

Because of COVID, the technicians now schedule their repairs to allow for social distancing, which can present some challenges if a chef needs a technician immediately. If the kitchen equipment is not working, the chefs can’t prepare the food. However, the technicians respond safely, efficiently and effectively as soon as possible on the repairs to ensure there is no disruption to CSU students’ dining experience. The team also takes a COVID test once a week, and HDS has provided them all with the necessary PPE to let them do their job safely.

At the end of April 2021, each person on this team will have received certification for completing the Supervisor Development Program through Talent Development. “Do the right thing” is their shop’s motto, which indicates integrity in all their experiences – from making a correct repair no matter how tedious the task to helping a student who is having a bad day.

Three words that best summarize their day-to-day efforts are: challenging, innovative, and rewarding. Challenging because every day they experience a new problem that they must solve; innovative because sometimes they have to fabricate their own parts and develop creative ways to make repairs; and rewarding because they appreciate putting in an honest day’s work and looking back on their accomplishments.

HDS Director of Facilities Carolyn Bell said they are a “critical team to ensure we are able to feed our residents and community.”

The Classified Personnel Council thanks this group for their invaluable service to CSU.

 A Day in the Life

“A Day in the Life” features the stories of State Classified colleagues to help the CSU community get to know and recognize their diverse responsibilities and duties.

To recommend a State Classified individual or group for a future “Day in the Life,” visit the Classified Personal Council website. Follow the CPC on Facebook at facebook.com/ColoradoStateUniversityCPC.