24 HOURS DC/UOIT: Maintaining a good flow on campus

There are miles of piping underneath UOIT, the red pipe is for the sprinkler system. Photo credit: Rachelle Baird

Our second-year Journalism – Mass Media students from Durham College have tackled a special project – one we are calling ’24 Hours DC/UOIT’.
On Feb. 5, 2019, the students visited particular areas of the Durham College and UOIT campuses, including north Oshawa, downtown Oshawa and Whitby.

They talked to people, snapped pictures and gathered stories from students, faculty and staff about their campus experiences. This is one in a series of 16 stories from that day.

While students are busy learning and professors teaching, the maintenance department is hard at work taking care of the university and college campuses.

The maintenance department is made up of 21 workers.

There are three plumbers, three HVAC technicians, three electricians, two BAS technicians, two locksmiths, two carpenters, two trade helpers and four general maintenance workers.

Rey Theophille is a plumber who has been employed at DC and UOIT for 14 years.

He says not only does the staff take care of the Oshawa campuses, they also maintain Whitby, the Pickering Learning Centre and other areas.

“We also do the satellite campus, Uxbridge and Bowmanville. So we give them some support as well,” Theophille says.

According to Theophille, maintenance of the university takes up most of their time. “It’s funny, the university is a newer building. So you think it would require less maintenance,” he says.

There have been a few issues with flooding, such as two eroded fire hydrants which exploded and caused flooding in the roadway, a frozen sprinkler in the UA building, and a few floods during renovations, according to Theophille.

As for how much piping, there are kilometres serving the campuses.

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Rey Theophille is one of the many maintenance workers who keep both campuses running. Photo credit: Rachelle Baird

Theophille says plumbing problems have been caused by items left in toilets that shouldn’t be found there.

“We have removed pop cans, cellphones and jewellery from the toilets,” he says.

They even found half a chicken in the toilet once, says Theophille. And one semester some time ago, someone frequently defecated on the floor of the now-demolished Simcoe building, he says.

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The backflow system prevents contaminated water from entering the drinking water. Photo credit: Rachelle Baird

The plumbing department maintains the backflow system which ensures no contaminated water gets into the drinking water.

The plumbing department also helps flush out the HVAC system, which maintains temperatures of the buildings.

Theophille says there have not been many problems with heat, but at one time there were issues in keeping the buildings cool but they have since replaced the air conditioning system.

Theophille says the staff are busy all year long. Work shifts start as early as 8 a.m. and finish at 10 p.m. as that is when most classes end.

Theophile credits teamwork in the maintenance department. He says everyone works together to ensure all the jobs are done.