Supporting students living on campus

January 28, 2019

Surrounded by lush forests and mountaintop views, SFU’s student residence buildings on Burnaby Campus provide the comforts of home at the heart of a vibrant campus community. Supporting the operational day-to-day needs of the residences, as well as the wider campus community, Facilities Services Mechanical Division provides critical maintenance support such as plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, and heating.

“Facilities Services caters to a positive living and learning environment by working in the background to maintain critical systems inclusive of mechanical systems,” says Adil Jessa, Assistant Director Mechanical/Electrical/Energy. “Students living on campus should feel like it’s their home away from home while they tend to their academic pursuits. They shouldn’t be burdened by arranging for maintenance services that comes with independence if they were to live off campus. To Facilities Services, that means not only maintaining the building, but also responding quickly with a solution when issues arise.”

For Ali Ibrahim, Plumber, the opportunity to interact with students and assist when trouble occurs is a responsibility taken very seriously. Last week for instance, Ali received a work order notifying him that a boiler in one of the residences was not working properly. As temperatures dropped on Burnaby Mountain, Ali knew that maintaining the hot water supply was of paramount importance. Like a detective in hot pursuit of the culprit, Ali carefully examined the equipment. Through a process of elimination, the plumber with 18-years’ experience zeroed in on the issue – a defective safety switch. Returning a few minutes later with the replacement part in hand, Ali was able to quickly restore hot water to the units in the building. “I can see when I talk to the students on campus that our work impacts the quality of their experience here,” says Ali. “When there is a problem, we know it’s important to solve it quickly. That makes me feel good and satisfied. Proud actually.”

Additional to maintenance and repair, Facilities Services is set to begin a residence washroom renovation project across all residence towers. The intention is to upgrade 40 tower washrooms across three student Residence buildings on Burnaby campus. “Each student floor has one main washroom consisting of four shower stalls, three toilet stalls and four lavatory sinks,” says Gian Gimang, Project Manager. “The towers were built in 2004 and 2005 and because of the high year-round occupancy, they’ve suffered some wear and tear. So, the renovation is going to ensure those common gender neutral washrooms are refreshed and improved.”

Slated for completion in June 2019, the renovation will replace shower and toilet partitions and install overlapping doors to improve privacy. The projects will also replace countertops, mirrors as well as minor repairs. “We’re confident that these renovations will enhance the safety and comfort of the residence experience,” says Gian. “We’re always striving to foster environments for our students to succeed personally and academically and part of that is ensuring our students feel comfortable at home on campus.”