Recognizing the commitment and hard work of Saddleback College’s facilities and maintenance staff, more than 150 guests attended a ribbon cutting and dedication on Friday, July 27th to celebrate the opening of the college’s new bridge that connects the upper campus to the newly-renovated Learning Resource Center. Brian McMahon, a 34-year veteran of the college and the longest-serving member of the facilities and maintenance department, was asked to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
“This event is all about our facilities and maintenance staff and the gratitude we have for the work they do each day,” stated Dr. Burnett. “At least a few times a week I hear someone mention how beautiful the Saddleback College campus looks. The staff has done a fantastic job and it shows.”
Marcia Milchiker, clerk of the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, spoke at the event, “Having been a professor, I know that a clean, well-maintained campus is vital to student success. The work that the facilities and maintenance staff does has a huge impact on helping our students achieve their goals and it is important that they be recognized for their hard work.”
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SOCCCD Chancellor Gary Poertner stated, “The bridge symbolizes a new era for Saddleback College and it is very appropriate that the facilities and maintenance staff be honored with something that will be a prominent fixture on campus for many years to come.”
John Ozurovich, director of facilities, thanked his staff, district personnel, and the architects and contractors who worked on the bridge. “There is never a problem that the facilities and maintenance staff do not try to fix. It is a joy to work with everyone in the department and I am always proud of the work they do.”
Also in attendance were Dr. Jim Wright of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees, and Trish Kelley of the Mission Viejo City Council, who is also a member of the Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors. Martin Paine, district director for Senator Mimi Walters, presented the facilities and maintenance department with a special certificate from the senator thanking them for the work that they do. Tony Lipold, dean of kinesiology and athletics, also spoke at the event and presented new t-shirts to the facilities and maintenance staff.
During the event, Dr. Burnett thanked each area of the facilities and maintenance staff, including the custodial services crew, ground maintenance, building maintenance, automotive and equipment maintenance, HVAC maintenance, and electrical and mechanical maintenance. The department’s management – John Ozurovich, Michael James, assistant director of facilities, Louis Sessler, facilities, maintenance and energy project manager, Anthony Rodgers, night facilities operations supervisor, Walt Rice, district director of facilities, and Brandye D’Lena, executive director, facilities planning, purchasing, and material management– were also recognized.
The bridge provides quick access from the campus quad to the Learning Resource Center, which will be opening for the fall semester on August 20th. The bridge, which was designed by R2A Architects and built by the Griffith Company, is made of steel- framed construction that is extremely sturdy and requires minimal maintenance, and backlit with high-efficiency LED lighting.