Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not listed, please contact Campus Facilities.

Energy Management

Why do we use coal?
Our goal is to keep energy costs as low as possible. Coal has been MU's lowest cost fuel for more than 100 years. Burning coal saves MU $18 million – $20 million annually when compared to natural gas.
I have seen what looks like smoke coming from the top of the power plant (not from the chimney). Is this pollution?
What you are seeing is water vapor, much like a rain cloud. The large structures on top of the power plant are cooling towers. These towers cool 100 degrees F water to 85 degrees F. This phenomenon is similar to the steamy look that ponds, lakes and rivers take on when cool air blows across them. The "steam" is really fog, often called "steam fog." There are also cooling towers on the roofs of some campus buildings that are used with the building cooling systems.
While walking past the power plant, droplets sometimes fall on me. What is this, and is it dangerous?
You are feeling water from the water vapor cloud (just like rain from a rain cloud) that comes from the cooling towers. When the air gets super saturated with water, the water drops out of the air. This water is carefully monitored and is completely safe.
What is the role of Energy Management?
Energy Management literally "manages" the campus energy requirement. This includes operating the power plant to produce steam and electricity for the campus. We operate the "chillers" on campus to produce cold water used to air-condition campus buildings. We maintain the steam and water lines and the electrical distribution systems serving campus buildings. We also provide energy conservation services and install energy-saving devices in campus buildings to keep the campus energy bill as low as possible.

Facility Operations

My office is too hot/cold. What do I do?
Call the Customer Service Center at 882-8211 to report the problem.
How do I report broken building fixtures or burnt-out light bulbs?
Contact the Maintenance Zone Manager responsible for your building, call or e-mail the Customer Service Center at 882-8211, or use our online service request form to report the problem. We appreciate your help!
Who should I call about insect problems?
Exterminators routinely treat campus buildings each Monday. If you find insects or other pests in your building, please call 882-8211 or fill out the online Service Request Form to report the problem. Maintenance will take corrective measures to rid the building of the insects or pests. Extermination in all buildings covered by general operation funds is free. However, there is a charge for extermination services in auxiliary and recharge areas. Payment is done by IOF.
What should I do if I notice a problem with my building?
Contact the Zone Manager responsible for your building or call the Customer Service Center at 882-8211 to report the problem. We appreciate your help!
When will our office be repainted?
Contact your Zone Manager or the Customer Service Center at 882-8211. Someone will contact you to review the area you would like painted and determine when it will be prioritized based on the condition of the space.
Who is responsible for maintenance in my building?
Your Zone Manager.
How often should custodians empty the trash can in my office?
Trash cans in offices are emptied once a week when the office receives its weekly cleaning. The custodian, however, will be glad to empty your trash whenever needed if you place it outside your office door.
Should the custodians move items to dust under them?
Custodians do not dust in offices except on a prearranged re-charge basis. In areas where they do dust, custodians have been instructed not to move items to dust under them. We don't want to risk damaging property that may belong to you or your department. If you clear an area of objects, your custodian will be glad to dust it.
What part do custodians play in the MU recycling effort?
As a result of 2002 budget reductions, we no longer remove recycling barrels from buildings. We are, however, working with the recycling agency to develop convenient pick up locations in the buildings for the barrels. As always, we continue to encourage recycling.
What should I do to dispose of cardboard boxes?
Your custodian will be glad to dispose of cardboard boxes if you break them down first. Please attach a note indicating that the broken-down cardboard boxes are intended for trash. Custodians are extremely hesitant about throwing out items that are not in the trash.
Who do I contact if I have a cleaning concern or special request?
Contact the Team Supervisor for your building or call our main office at 882-6648.

Landscape Services

How do I get a bicycle rack at my building?
Landscape Services does not have a capital fund for landscape improvements or additions (benches, bulletin boards, bike racks, etc). We are funded only for maintenance and repair. Therefore, all improvements have to be funded by an outside source. If your department would like to fund an improvement, you can call Landscape Services at 882-4240 and we will help you through the process.
What kind of grass seed do you plant?
We use a blend of improved varieties of turf-type tall fescue.
How often do you mow, and how high do you cut?
We mow every seven to 10 days. Our mowers are usually set to mow at a cutting height of 3 inches. Although this is much longer than the fairway on a golf course, it is a good height for the type of grass that we grow in a non-irrigated situation. Taller grass has more roots and is better able to compete with weeds and resist wear damage and disease.
How many flowers do you plant each year?
We annually plant about 40,000 annual flowers, perennials and bulbs.
Will you plant flowers at my building?
Landscape Services maintains the campus in accordance with an approved landscape management plan, the purpose of which is to maximize the use of our limited resources. Since annual flowers have a high maintenance cost per square foot, we only plant them in large beds where they make the greatest impact, and not at particular buildings. However, we have planted lower maintenance perennial flowers around buildings and try to include them in all our landscape designs.
Can my department plant flowers outside my building?
Sorry, no. Although Landscape Services sympathizes with your desire and appreciates your interest in the landscape, years of experience have proven that enthusiasm is high in the spring but often wilts in the heat of August. We hope you enjoy the floral displays around the rest of campus, though!
Where do I go to get approval for an outdoor event?
First fill out the On-line Application for Temporary Use of Facilities. If there are no scheduling conflicts and your event is not conflicting with University policies, the form will be forwarded to Landscape Services for approval.

Planning, Design & Construction

How do I start a project?
For construction projects costing less than $80,000, please complete our Internal Order Form (IOF). For new buildings, additions, upgrades or building improvements, please complete our Project Request Form (PRF).
How can I get a cost estimate for a project?
Our project managers and designers are avaiable for a pre-PRF consultation to assess your department's needs; determine the general scope of the work; and gain an approximate idea of the costs involved to complete your request. These consultations also provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have regarding your project.
What happens after I submit an IOF or PRF?
When PD&C receives your completed form, the work is assigned to either: Planning and Design, or Construction. Upon assignment, you will be contacted to make arrangements to begin the project.


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