Cal's Painting Crew Gets a Workout Keeping Buildings Spiffy
BY JULIAN SEPESKY
Tucked away on the ever-growing campus of California University of Pennsylvania, behind the Herron Fitness Center and in between what is called the Pottery Shop and Vulcan Hall, is a small brick building with a stairway leading up to the door.
This building is known as the campus paint shop and it houses all the paint, varnish, stains, and tools that are needed to paint. It is also the workplace for foreman Bill Yagnich and his paint crew, Mike Kopas and Kurt Sungala.
The painters are among the skilled workers at Cal U. There are also the carpenters, electricians, grounds crew, plumbers, and custodians. Yagnich has been the painter’s foreman for the past three years.
“We are responsible for pretty much everything here that needs to be painted or varnished -- everything from painting the dorms, to the many different offices, to the scoreboards at the athletic facilities, to the newly renovated smart classrooms,” Yagnich said.
When Yagnich sends his crew out on a job, he will sometimes stay behind to order material and schedule other jobs.
“The way it works is really simple,” Yagnich explained. “If anyone on campus needs something painted, they go through a new computer program called 'Footprints.' For example, the department chair or the secretary sends the request through Footprints, and it works almost like an e-mail account. We get the message on our computer in the
shop, and I order the appropriate supplies and send my workers out.”
He discussed a recent request for painting in the Dixon building. “All five floors of the building need the hallways and common areas painted, so this is a fairly big job,” he said.
He said that before he sends the painters out, he likes to take a walk over and see what the job requires and what materials will be needed.
After Yagnich returned from Dixon and set his crew up for its job, he found another request on Footprints. A cabinet in one of the upstairs classrooms in the Keystone building had been without doors, and the professor wanted cabinet doors.
“The cabinet contains a large amount of class materials, which have been openly visible and needed to be covered up,” Yagnich said. He said the doors were in the classroom, but were in pretty bad condition.
“I’m going to have to prime these doors and paint them a dark shade so most of the nicks and scratches won’t stand out so much,” Yagnich said.
Yagnich then followed through, sanding the doors to give them a smooth surface. He then primed the door and painted it a darker shade of brown.
“I think that shade of brown was the right choice because the door was in pretty bad shape,” Yagnich said. “It is nice to be in sync with my paint crew because we are able to get a lot of work done together.”
Julian Sepesky is a senior at Cal U and is an English major with a Journalism concentration. Additional stories can be found at his website.