Facilities Series: Harper Center is a Well-Oiled Machine






by Aditya Srinath, Class of 2020

by Aditya Srinath, Class of 2020

This is the third of our Facilities series, bringing life to the people behind the scenes at Booth.

Ever wonder how Harper Center keeps humming year in and year out? Thanks to the building engineers, our business school works just the way it did when it opened in 2004! Even more amazingly, almost all of the work is handled by a 4-person team with over 100 combined years of experience!

From left to right: Tim Hinko, Tom Wright, Joe Alesia, and Marty Stauffer are the building engineers who keep Harper Center running smoothly

From left to right: Tim Hinko, Tom Wright, Joe Alesia, and Marty Stauffer are the building engineers who keep Harper Center running smoothly

Tim Hinko, Tom Wright, Joe Alesia, and Marty Stauffer are the all-stars working behind the scenes to keep Harper Center in tiptop shape. Light bulbs and ballasts? Over 5,000 of them to monitor and replace each year. Fresh air? It’s recirculated thanks to over 360 fans in the building. Each fan’s motor goes through a periodic preventative maintenance. Air filters, belts, bearings, and sprinklers are all in the purview of the engineering staff. Yes, even the toilet flush mechanism! As Tim, the chief engineer, told me: “if it moves, it wears out.” Imagine how many times a single toilet flushes in a day, or how many times a door handle is turned.  That’s a lot of moving parts.

Tim also shared that the reason we may not see them too often is because they are careful not to interrupt the student flow during the quarters. During spring, summer, and winter breaks, though, “it’s hell-bent for glory!” Many significant updates take place during the times of least traffic.

As to what students can do to help out, Tim offered some timeless advice that you also hear at airport security lines: “If you see something, say something.” With a staff of four working on the entire building, they welcome any tips on building fixtures that need to be addressed. The best way to alert them is at facilities@lists.chicagobooth.edu, which is monitored by several staff. Another simple way is to leave a note with the security guard at the main desk. It will get passed on to Facilities. Our building engineers do amazing work to keep Harper Center running, and we can all do our part too!