WCU Facilities Division

Download the WCU Facilities Division Document

The Facilities Division at West Chester University is comprised of numerous departments who collectively manage and oversee the natural and built-environments on the West Chester University campuses.

The following is a summary of the major departments with which the Design Professionals will interact during the course of a project’s development.

Project Workforce

The University’s Project Workforce is charged with the implementation the construction of small projects using University personnel. This may include limited site work (HERT), landscape/hardscape inclusions (GROUNDS), mechanical/electrical modifications, carpentry work and limited interior components (PWF). On these projects, the scope of work for Design Professionals is limited, and may not require fully defined design documentation. In most cases, the Design Professional will be responsible for preparing sufficient documentation to secure PA Labor and Industry (L&I) approvals for the work.

Energy Management

The Energy Management component of the Facilities Division monitors the University’s energy consumption to assure that usage is efficient and economical. To conserve resources, this office reviews the University’s consumption of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, water, and sewage. This office also manages energy conservations projects and oversees the design, implementation and support of ongoing operations of the WCU geothermal system including the siting and standards for our ‘stand-alone’ and district wellfields; and, the ongoing operations of these programs.

General Guidance:

All new projects, and renovation projects entailing large scale retrofit of existing buildings, will be designed to accommodate a geothermal heating/cooling system in accordance with our ongoing geothermal energy program. All costs related to the HVAC system within the building will be accommodated by the building project budget. Use of, connection to, or expansion of, existing well-fields, and determination of capacity and design standards will be determined by the Energy Management Office on a project by project basis.

View more information regarding sustainability and energy savings programs at WCU

Plant Operations

The Plant Operations department of Facilities operates, maintains, and repairs the building components and utility systems of the University. The Department Shops provide carpentry repair, HVAC upkeep, emergency generator maintenance, electrical power, water, and sewer services, painting, maintains campus wide locks/keys systems. Plant Operations does NOT implement or oversee construction projects.

Plant Operations shop divisions are as follows:

  • Electric Shop
  • HVAC Shop
  • Carpentry Shop
  • Paint Shop
  • Elevator Services
  • Plumbing Shop
  • Off Shift Maintenance Shop
  • Lock Shop
  • Student Affairs Maintenance shop
  • Remote campus support (Graduate Business Center, Cheyney University)

General Guidance

  1. The University endeavors to maintain consistency in the design of its buildings, particularly as it relates to the selection of materials and systems. Design Professionals are encouraged to involve key Plant Operations personnel in design / project review sessions at the 20% and 95% completion points.
  2. Design Professionals shall include in all general and technical sections of its project specifications the provision for training sessions (both in person and video format) for Shop personnel on all major building, and specialty systems.

Specific Design Guidance:

  1. Access to Mechanical/Electrical Rooms must be independent of other building maintenance (i.e. trash or custodial) areas. Exterior access with double doors shall be provided for primary Mechanical and Electrical Rooms when feasible.
  2. Areas devoted exclusively to mechanical or electrical equipment should be designed so that their visibility from public areas, including walkways, is minimized.

Custodial Services

The Custodial Services department within the WCU Facilities Division is responsible for providing cleaning services to all administrative and academic buildings and select residence halls. It is NOT the responsibility of Custodial Services to address cleaning issues instigated or required by construction operations.

General Guidance:

  • The University endeavors to maintain consistency in the custodial operations and upkeep of its facilities. Design Professionals are encouraged to involve key Custodial personnel in design / project review sessions at the 20% and 95% completion points.
  • Design Professionals shall include in all project specifications the provision to provide specific material information related to custodial upkeep; and, training sessions (both in person and video format) for Custodial personnel on all building finishes and/or systems which will require periodic cleaning or upkeep.

Specific Design Guidance:

  1. Sustainable design including compliance with LEED design concepts is of utmost importance to the University (Refer to “Sustainable Design Guiding Principles” elsewhere in this manual). On all projects, the University will implement a “green-clean” style or “low environmental impact” method of maintenance and cleaning. During the implementation of new or renovation projects, this will require specific design considerations in the selection for finishes that will allow for the use of environmentally safe products and equipment that will support LEED requirements and provide improved indoor air quality.
  2. Areas devoted exclusively to building loading and services, to the removal of trash, or to mechanical equipment should be designed so that their visibility from public areas, including walkways, is minimized.
  3. The Design Professional shall study the anticipated trash flow patterns to disposal areas to ensure best placement of trash and recycling rooms and/or dumpsters. Include recycling centers. Consider aesthetics of the location of disposal areas, and provide enclosures/screening where appropriate. Do not compromise access to Fire Department connections.
  4. Access to Mechanical/Electrical Rooms and Custodial/Janitorial Rooms must be independent of each other. Provide exterior access with double doors for Mechanical and Electrical Rooms.
  5. All new facilities shall have a Custodial Storage Room (one per building unless otherwise dictated by program), in addition to the Custodial Closets (on each floor), large enough to store bulk supplies and to provide space to accommodate Custodial lockers and furnishings for breaks (in the absence of available common facilities). The room shall have minimum dimensions of 10'x15' needed to store bulk custodial supplies such as paper goods, detergents, lights, mechanized floor equipment and other supplies. The room should be equipped with a utility floor sink (20"x32", with a depth of at least 6" with industrial type water faucet), and GFCI electrical outlets (for charging batteries). It should be located near a loading dock or elevator.
  6. Custodial (“Janitor”) Closet: Each floor should be equipped with at least one centrally located custodial room with adequate ventilation, and opening directly onto a corridor. Recommended room size is 5'x8', or as necessary to accommodate at least one custodial cart (26"x46") and other frequently used equipment. The room shall contain a utility floor sink 20"x32", with a depth of at least 6", an industrial type water faucet; shall be large enough to accommodate an A steel shelving unit, 16"x36"x7'; and, shall be installed with (6) mop caddies.
  7. Break room (one per building). A room with minimum dimensions of 10'x15' is needed for an employee break room. The room should be equipped with one full-height locker per custodian with built-in padlock attachments, standard electrical outlets and one computer/phone drop and ventilation.
  8. Trash Disposal & Recycling Area: Space shall be located in or near the loading dock for the collection of trash and for recycling. Recycling facilities should be located inside the building and shall provide for separate storage of cardboard, office paper, co-mingled cans, bottles, plastics and broken glass. Exterior collection area should be in an easily accessible location and on a concrete pad for placement of a dumpster.
    In new Facilities, provide loading docks in locations that do not detract from the building’s appearance, yet are readily accessible. Provide screening as appropriate
  9. Provide waste containers at all appropriate locations on site.
  10. Electrical Outlets: Outlets should be liberally supplied throughout the building including hallways, entranceways, stairwells, and corridors. Electrical outlets are critically necessary in both the main storage area and all custodial rooms as well as in mechanical equipment rooms.

Learn more about the scope of services provided by Custodial Services at WCU.

Ground Services

The Grounds Services department within the WCU Facilities Division is responsible for maintaining all University grounds, landscaping, athletic field maintenance, snow removal and roadway maintenance of approximately 300 acres campuses.

General Guidance:

  • Refer to “Site Design Considerations” in this manual and the “WCU Landscape Masterplan” for specific information
  • Design Professionals should maintain consistent standards for the selection of plant material. Refer to the “WCU Tree Care Policy” for additional information
  • Site designs shall provide for ease of access by University trash trucks to specific areas to enable trash removal processes to occur. Outside waste containers shall be provided in multiple areas. Building design shall also provide one screened exterior dumpster area away from the primary entrances to the building, but close to street access to enable weekly pickup efforts.
  • Site Design shall be such to support efficient snow removal efforts by University personnel. For detailed information on our snow removal priorities, refer to the "WCU Snow and Ice Removal Plan"

Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety oversees environmental protection, fire safety, and occupational health and safety activities on campus. Although housed within the Human Resources Division, this department works closely with the Facility Division to provide:

  • Project Inspections
  • Air Quality Testing/Monitoring
  • Monitoring and analysis of specific building materials and related problem area
  • Provision and coordination of a variety of safety and health training.

Periodic inspections are performed by EHS personnel in existing buildings and construction sites, other than those overseen by DGS. On all DGS projects, EHS is available upon invitation to participate with DGS and/or local agencies in conducting inspections and monitoring when required. EHS personnel monitor all adverse environmental exposures; and serves as the liaison for the University with regulatory agencies in the fields of occupational and environmental health and safety.

In addition, EHS personnel are available to provide the following services on all construction projects:

  1. Contaminant Materials Testing / Identification/ Removable Although each project bears the financial burden for testing/removal activities, EHS personnel assists in securing the appropriate professional to conduct the detection and identification of contaminant materials; and, will oversee the compliant removal of any material, if required.
  2. Emergencies procedures: In the event of a campus emergency (which includes emergency events within a specific project site, specific protocols are enforced by EHS and Public Safety staff.
    EHS personnel shall assist the Design Professional in determining proposed evacuation routes during construction, and after completion of the project; and, shall participate in determining the final location and graphics of all evacuation signage.
  3. Fire Alarm / Detection Systems:
    The EHS department is responsible for the ongoing operations, periodic inspection, and maintenance of the building fire detection/alarm/suppression systems on campus. The Design Professional shall seek their input and written acceptance of the specific products and systems to be incorporated into any project design so that the resultant system will successfully integrate into the existing campus fire alarm/detection system. The predominant fire alarm/detection system on campus is that of Simplex-Grinnell for which proprietary (sole source) approval has been granted by the State on previous projects.
    On capital and large campus projects, EHS personnel shall be included in the in design reviews, on a minimum, at the 30% and 95% submissions.

Public Safety

Also housed within the Human Resources Division, WCU Public Safety supports the Facility Division by engaging and supporting the services of The Protection Bureau through an existing State held open-ended contract, to design, install and support the WCU campus building and campus security systems. All new construction and renovation designs shall incorporate the prescribed security systems including secured computerized card key access system, and closed circuit television system with cameras incorporated into key locations of the occupied areas. The Design Professional shall include the Public Safety security team as an integral member of their design team so as to ensure that these systems are design in accordance with WCU Public Safety requirements.