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Nuts and bolts of a community

Where Maris Grove gets its reputation

Created date

June 19th, 2012

How many residents does it take to change a light bulb at Maris Grove? None! The general services department does it for them and even provides the bulb. Such maintenance-free living is one example of how Maris Grove s general services staff makes life easy for those who live at the Erickson Living community in Glen Mills, Pa. Howard Davis hasn t changed a light bulb since he moved in, and he s only requested minor repairs from general services. But in each case, the response has been timely, friendly, and professional, he says. Howard s career included management and operation of CIGNA Corporation s Philadelphia headquarters building. I have a special appreciation for the work that general services does, he says.

Maris Grove s nuts and bolts

The nuts and bolts of the community lie within general services, says its director, Erik Jost. Eleven sub-departments handle responsibilities that range from snow removal to security to on- and off-campus transportation. Maintenance staff, who provide routine maintenance in campus buildings and residents apartment homes, are on call 24/7. If it comes with your home, we maintain it, and you re one phone call away from prompt, courteous, and efficient service, says Jost. Regardless of day or time, we ll give you a new air conditioning unit and have it up and running within an hour. Maris Grove is responsible for maintaining the appliances, electrical, plumbing, and structural elements of residents apartment homes. Last year, general services completed 4,734 preventive maintenance work orders. When Eagle Pointe, the new residence building, opens this summer, the department will maintain 1,039 apartment homes and more than 1.6 million square feet of buildings. Residents tell me all the time how nice it is that they know and trust the maintenance staff, says Director of Sales Kathy McCrossin.

When minutes matter

More than 90% of Maris Grove s security staff are emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and its emergency response team is on call 24/7. In 2011, staff responded to 1,302 emergency calls with an average response time of 1 minute, 54 seconds. I think general services walks on water, says Joan Stewart. When her husband had a life-threatening emergency at 5:30 one morning, she pulled an emergency cord in their apartment home, and EMTs came immediately. The quick response saved his life, Joan says. Planning for emergencies comes second nature to general services, says Resident Advisory Council representative Walt Copper. Routine preparedness drills keep staff sharp should a tornado, power failure, or flu pandemic occur. People have nothing but interest in this department, Walt says. General services is all over the place, and they do an outstanding job. For example, they recently installed two fountains enhanced by colored spotlights in Maris Grove s water runoff pond. The fountains aerate the water, prevent algae growth, and beautify the campus. Last year, to acknowledge general services contributions to residents excellent quality of life, Maris Grove nominated Jost for an Erickson Living leadership award. Jost says his department s 100-plus employees deserve the credit because of their can-do attitudes. It comes down to the expression, The answer is yes. Now, what s the question? We say that a lot around here, he says.

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