Project and Maintenance FAQs

This list is intended to provide information on topics that recur with some frequency.  It doesn’t cover everything, so if you have a question that isn’t covered here, feel free to contact us.

Q: Do we have to put in a Work Order for every request?

A: That is ideal, yes.  It helps us track open items much more easily than flagging emails, for instance.

Q: How much will my project cost?

A: Our shop labor rate is set by the College of Forestry Business Office at $50 per hour.  We use that to estimate a labor cost up front, and we enter actual labor hours into the Work Order system as work is performed.  If we need to purchase materials, we will estimate that amount as well, and purchases are also entered into the Work Order system as we make them.  We frequently have materials on hand that can be used or adapted to specific projects in order to re-use items, and keep costs down for users.  You should plan for this to NOT be the case, and be pleasantly surprised when it is.

Q: Can you fix my ______?

A: If the item is under warranty, you should definitely pursue that route first.  If not, then we can often repair broken equipment through troubleshooting (either on-site or back in our shops) to determine needed repairs.  We then coordinate with you to either purchase or fabricate replacement parts as applicable.

Q: Do we have to go through Projects and Maintenance for all building-related issues?

A: If you know it’s a problem that we can’t work on (see “What don’t you do?” below) and you are comfortable filling out a Work Request through OSU Facilities, you can always report issues directly through them.  Bear in mind that we won’t know about the problem in that case, unless you copy us via email.  If you do contact us about a building problem and we can’t solve it, we put the Work Request in ourselves, and we’ll update you on the issue as applicable.

Q:  Will you take care of my Surplus items?

A: If the item is located in a space that OSU Surplus workers can access, or you will be there to let them in, then you can submit a pickup request directly through Surplus here.  If that is not feasible, then submit a Work Order for us to come pick up the items and arrange for appropriate disposal.  If your department intends to recoup the resale value of surplus items, please note that in your request so we can provide the appropriate information to Surplus.  This is only practical for items with an anticipated resale value of about $200 or more.  PLEASE NOTE that surplus items may NOT be placed in hallways to await pickup.  The Fire Marshal will cite us for violations of fire safety code.

Q:  Will you dispose of cardboard boxes for me?

A: If we are delivering or assembling/installing something that was delivered in boxes, we will typically take those away when we finish the requested assembly/installation.  If you just have a lot of cardboard to get rid of, please take it to the cardboard dumpster located to the south of Richardson Hall.

Q: I see that I am required to enter an index and activity code for each Work Order, no matter how minor.  Does this mean that I (or my department) will be charged?

A: For routine work that simply needs to be done so COF faculty/staff/students can do their jobs, we do not charge labor or materials to a specific index, but rather a general support index.  If it is a department- or lab-specific task, with a substantial investment of our time, then we typically do charge to the index provided. 

Q: Can we borrow your tools / machines and do a project ourselves to save costs?

A: If you just need a wrench or a drill or a handful of screws to accomplish a small, short-duration task at your convenience, absolutely. If you’re hoping to send a student worker to perform tasks in our shop using our machines, that is not typically supported.  Any exceptions are carefully considered for safety, adequate training, and the best interests of the college.  You can always ask, but the answer will most likely be “no” and for good reasons.

Q: What don’t you do?

A: Not much!  We cannot perform work on building systems, as a rule – electrical, plumbing, HVAC.  We commonly can replace plumbing fixtures as needed, when we can close supply valves to isolate the work being done.  We don’t provide general cleanup services, unless it is part of taking down a special event, for instance.  We can’t set up work through external contractors in excess of $25,000; projects above that scope require management through Purchasing and Contracting.