University News

Physical Plant Renamed Facilities Management

January 17, 2013

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- To better reflect its services to Western Illinois University, WIU's Physical Plant has been renamed Facilities Management, effective Jan. 1, according to Facilities Management Director Scott Coker.

"It's about improving the learning environment for our students, communicating better with our campus communities and improving customer service. Most individuals outside our immediate department often confused the Physical Plant with the Heating Plant, and didn't understand what we do on a daily basis," Coker explained. "We manage and maintain the facilities at the main Macomb campus, the two Quad Cities campuses, Horn Lodge, Kibbe Station and the University Farms. Therefore, the name change to Facilities Management just makes more sense."

According to Coker, Facilities Management (FM) maintains more than 200 acres of manicured lawn, seven acres of flower beds and more than 2,800 trees. There are more than 17 miles of sidewalk that are included in the campus' 74 acres of paved surfaces. In Western's 64 buildings, FM takes care of 5,000 motors, 650 drinking fountains, 20,000 feet of steam lines and more than 5,000 thermostats. There are 80 elevators, 100 roofs, 10,000 doors and about 50,000 windows under Facilities Management's oversight, as well as the maintenance of fleet vehicles that travel more than 1.3 million miles annually.

"Our building service workers clean and maintain more than 4.5 million square feet of space, which is equivalent to approximately 1,800 average sized homes. To help keep track of this work, there are more than 30,000 work orders processed each year in FM. All of this work is accomplished with about 350 employees," he added.

A few of FM's current major projects include the Performing Arts Center, the University Drive entrance upgrade, the University Union remodel, the Thompson Hall exterior replacement, steam line upgrades, the coal masonry stack removal and electrical infrastructure replacement.

Beginning this spring, FM will host open forums to garner feedback from the campus community regarding facilities projects and maintenance.

For more information on FM or projects, contact Coker at (309) 298-1834 or or visit the facilities blog at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations