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Sharing ideas about managing facilities

Rich Egger
Troy Rhoads, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management at WIU (left), and Tracey Campbell, Assistant Director of Facilities Management at Lake Forest College, at the vendor fair during the conference.

Even though it was spring break week at Western Illinois University, around 100 people still took in lessons on campus.

They gathered for a statewide conference held by the Illinois Chapter of the Association for Physical Plant Administrators (ILAPPA). The international APPA sets the standards for cleaning and facilities management, according to ILAPPA Secretary Tracey Campbell of Lake Forest College.

Most members are from colleges and universities.

Campbell said many public and private institutions across the state face the same challenges, such as with deferred maintenance.

She said the conference was an opportunity to brainstorm and share ideas.

“That’s the main reason for having everyone get together. Not only is it training so that you can be a better supervisor, manager, employee -- but it’s also to find out how other institutions are handling the same problems that you are,” Campbell said.

She also said many institutions face the challenge of doing more with less -- there is less funding and fewer people for facilities management.

The conference included a vendor fair along with sessions on topics such as conflict resolution and GIS systems.

Attendees also learned about the planning, designing, and other aspects of building the Center for Performing Arts at Western.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.