Featured Department - Heavy Equipment Services
Heavy Equipment or HERT Crew, as they are fondly known within facilities (Heavy Equipment, Recycling, Trash) is a versatile and dynamic shop affiliated with Grounds Maintenance. HERT fills numerous roles on campus, but its primary function is excavation, exterior construction and tree service. Their projects include hardscapes (asphalt, fence, paver, and sign installation), landscapes (tree pruning, planting, removal; transplanting; sod installation; and storm damage abatement), and snow removal. HERT often works cooperatively with the maintenance trades such as Carpentry, Plumbing, HVAC and the Electric Shop to help insure safe and timely repairs. They aren’t flashy, but they do more than their share to keep the university functioning in all weather conditions.
Todd Showers (Right) serves double duty as the supervisor of Heavy Equipment and the South Campus Grounds Crew. He has an easy smile and a confidence that is backed up by many years of experience. Todd started with Grounds 20 years ago, paying his dues as an equipment operator before being promoted to supervisor. Rich Hammond transferred from the Power Plant and brought his talents as an equipment operator. Rich has 35 years with the university. Mike Thompson came to HERT 3 years ago as an equipment operator. He brings a wealth of abilities to the position from his years working golf course maintenance and tree service. The energetic Isiah Hurtt is a multi-capable employee with 3 years of experience at WCU. Isiah began as a temporary laborer in Grounds, became permanent, and worked himself up to Heavy Equipment.
The most highly visible improvement HERT has accomplished is beneath your feet. Pervious pavers are installed between the sidewalks and curbs along Church Street and University Avenue. The pavers are placed over a deep stone base. Rain water runoff falls into the gaps between the pavers, down to the base substrate, before it percolates back into the soil. Most pedestrians are unaware of storm water abatement and its positive environmental impact. They’re happy enough that it keeps their shoes from getting muddy.