Fans and players may see the bright lights, clean stands and waxed floors at athletic facilities but not the necessary maintenance crew.
Keeping athletic facilities in tip-top shape requires maintenance such as waxing the floors or fixing broken equipment by cleaning crews. The Pennington Student Activity Center is cleaned by Physical Plant Services.
Director for Recreational Sports and Wellness Seth Thomas shared how facility maintenance goes beyond cleaning.
“Many people just think maintaining athletic facilities are mopping and just cleaning,” said Thomas. “People also think that all we do is roll out the ball for the students to play. No, we do a multitude of other things. Even though they are big areas of focus, they make up for a small percentage of the actual maintenance.”
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Pennington requires constant refurbishment.
“It runs and generates all the air conditioning,” said Thomas. “In south Louisiana, you need air conditions to run at 100 percent. If not, facilities will be miserable and unenjoyable.”
Another part of maintenance is fitting equipments like new speakers into the budget.
“Another thing people do not consider is how much of the school population uses our facilities and how often they need to be updated for safety,” said Thomas. “For instance, the treadmills are usually replaced every two years. In a perfect world, you’d want to get about five years out of the treadmills, and treadmills are not by any means cheap. We usually replace them every two years. They often cost around the $10,000 neighborhood.”
Thomas shared what makes the maintenance work worth it.
“My absolute favorite part is working with the students,” said Thomas. “That’s one reason we employ so many at Southeastern’s athletic venues and places.”