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People standing in room with missing ceiling tiles and rubble in the background
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

Late Friday afternoon before Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Jodene Davis returned to her office in Mary Gates Hall, where she works as a director in Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Her colleagues pointed to the ceiling in the hall of their ground-floor suite. Water was coming out of the tiles, making its way down the wall and out the bottom of a doorframe. 

snow plow clears snow in front of Suzzallo library
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

Don Satko has lived in the Puget Sound region all his life. He doesn’t remember there being many snowstorms growing up in the 1970s, but “now it seems like it's every year,” he said.

As a heavy equipment operator with UW Facilities, Satko sees the impact of snowier winters up close. He runs the snowplows, de-icer truck and other equipment used to keep the Seattle campus safe. 

four people standing in a row
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

While more than 1,000 people work in UW Facilities, most employees interact with a much smaller set of colleagues in their day-to-day jobs. Mechanics work with other mechanics and custodians with other custodians in their individual areas or shops. Building cross-team awareness is one of the goals of Stepping Stones for Success, UWF’s longtime leadership program for front-line staff. 

people in line on Red Square at night
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

The challenge: Prepare the UW campus to host a live national TV show, manage hundreds of students lined up before dawn, and do it all on the busiest spot in campus. You have less than a week. Go.

Husky Stadium bathed in purple light
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

Every September, UW sports fans return to campus decked out in Husky colors — but this year, they won’t be the only ones creating a purple haze on Montlake. The venues can turn purple too, thanks to new sports lighting.

man shows a group of people a mop in a hallway
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

On a Friday morning, a dozen people dance around a hallway in the Physics/Astronomy Auditorium. Chatter and laughter fill the air, but there’s no music. They aren’t dancing with each other, and their partners aren’t people. 

They are dancing with mops.

U District light rail station
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

According to the most recent survey, 13% of the UW community is driving to campus alone, a record low. The numbers reflect the continued impact of remote work as well as support for mass transit despite post-pandemic declines.

man with computer looks at control panel with lit up switches
Sustainability
• Misty Shock Rule

At home, there are simple steps you can take to save energy: program your thermostat, fix a leaky pipe, tell the kids to turn off the light when they leave the room, and so on. Smart home devices make doing this even easier, automatically increasing or decreasing energy usage to match your activity.

At the UW, the same principles apply. But instead of one house, there are 170 buildings with a range of functions, from labs to residence halls. Instead of 2,000 square feet, there are 19 million. Instead of one thermostat controlling a few pieces of equipment or zones, at the UW, each building may have 100 zones.

graduation cap with words 'hello world'
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

Internships take education beyond book learning to hands-on learning. Students get to put a skill or knowledge into practice ahead of their career journey — experience especially valuable for the UW Facilities interns who are graduating this year.

group of people standing in two rows
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

This article was updated on May 8 after it was announced that UW Facilities' Mike Morris won the DSA award for career achievement.

The UW's Distinguished Staff Award (DSA) is the University's highest staff honor, recognizing employees who exemplify excellence in collaboration, innovation, impact, career achievement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Congratulations to Mike Morris, Program Support Supervisor 2 with Maintenance & Construction, who has earned the DSA in the career achievement category. He and the other awardees will be honored at the Awards of Excellence ceremony at Meany Hall on Thursday, June 8.

man in a cherry picker examines the branch of a cherry tree against the background of a building in the Quad
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

A lot has changed on the UW campus over the years. New buildings go up, old buildings get renovated and light rail tunnels down below. One thing remains constant: The cherry trees in the Quad bloom every March. 

coyote walking on UW campus near Denny Hall
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

The UW campus is not only a home for higher learning, it’s also a home to wildlife. Rabbits, ducks, geese, deer, squirrels and more all enjoy the UW’s hundreds of acres of lawns, hidden gardens and green space. And then there are the coyotes. 

purple and gold fire hydrant
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

If you’re walking on campus near the HUB or the Quad, you may do a double take at some of the fire hydrants. Painted in purple and gold, they might seem like a fun expression of school spirit. They’re also all painted the same shades, suggesting that one person or group is painting them all.

two pictures, one on top of the other, of two different groups of people, one group holding certificates
Employee & team features
• Misty Shock Rule

At the Nov. 16 graduation ceremony for Stepping Stones to Success, UW Facilities’ leadership development program for front-line staff, instructor Sarah Lewis-Assink joked, “The word ‘empathy’ has been used 14,546 times in this program.”

snow plow clears snow in front of Suzzallo library
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

With Thanksgiving over, fall has given way to winter, as if on cue. The Puget Sound region has already seen snow, sleet, rain mixed with snow, hail and more — and the winter wonderland won’t end there. Experts are saying it’ll be another La Niña winter, which means wetter, colder weather predicted through February.

Two men standing in front of pipes and equipment
Employee & team features
• Jacob Emmons

My name is Jacob Emmons and I am a metal tradesman at the UW. I’m part of a team in UW Facilities' Shop 16 that maintains and repairs equipment such as fans, pumps, water heaters and kitchen equipment. Most of our repairs are performed in the field or in our workshop located in the basement of Gould Hall.

sunflare seen through trees with people walking by
Sustainability
• Misty Shock Rule

After a blistering summer, fall temperatures have continued to break records. The Seattle area has seen the most ever October days over 70 degrees Fahrenheit and, with temperatures hitting 88 degrees on Oct. 16, the latest day ever in the year to go above 80 degrees. 

signs saying 'tree work ahead' and 'tree removal notice'
Sustainability
• Misty Shock Rule

With record-breaking heat waves and more 90-degree-plus days each summer, increasing temperatures are killing many of our region’s trees. Birch trees, prized for their silvery bark, are becoming more vulnerable to a destructive pest, altering our region’s streets, green spaces and landscapes — including the UW campus.

woman packing up item to put in a bin
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

Amid the scramble to move out of the residence halls every June, waste reduction may be not at the top of most students’ priorities. That’s where UW Recycling steps in, helping students donate things as part of the annual Student Cleanup, Recycle and Moveout (SCRAM) program. In addition to diverting waste, the event aims to prevent illegal dumping and support the local community. 

woman holding baby goats in a warehouse
News & updates
• Misty Shock Rule

As the store for unwanted items from UW departments and medical facilities, UW Surplus sells everything from office chairs and athletic gear to DNA sequencers and a research vessel. COVID-19 moved sales online, but now the public store is open again to customers.

photos of together we will award nominees
Employee & team features, News & updates
• Bettina Jones

Congratulations to custodian Evalina Taganna Romano for being one of the winners of the UW Together We Will award for 2022. She and the other winners from across the University will be honored at the 52nd annual Awards of Excellence reception at Meany Hall on Thursday, June 9.  The Together We Will Awards serve as a temporary replacement for the Distinguished Staff Award (DSA) program, which will be back next year.

boilers one and two from inside uw steam power plant
Employee & team features, Sustainability
• Daimon Eklund
Closeup of cherry blossoms
News & updates, Sustainability
• UW Facilities
Snow-covered bench in Winter 2021
News & updates
• Nancy Gardner
"Property of UW Facilities" sticker on an air purifier
News & updates
• Nancy Gardner

When the University decided last summer to install portable air cleaners, or air purifiers, in small to medium-sized UW classrooms, labs, eating and work spaces, lunchrooms and just about everywhere people gather, Rod Worden, director of Maintenance & Construction for UW Facilities (UWF), gathered his team and began to plan.

In all, about 2,000 air purifiers would need ordering, unpacking, testing and documenting in a database so each could be tracked and maintained. They would then need to be delivered and installed to all three UW campuses (Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma) along with remote sites including Friday Harbor Labs, Olympic Natural Resources Center (Forks), classrooms and clinic spaces at Sand Point and beyond.