Facilities, Mail Services and Environmental Health To Left Bank

 This month the march to The Left Bank takes place for Facilities Services, Mail Services and the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety. They will occupy new offices on the track level of the former GE Building, adjacent to the Penn Children's Center, which has already settled into its new home on the northeast side of the building earlier this semester. There is a driveway, accessible from Chestnut Street, to allow for drop-off and pick-up at the Children's Center. However, the loading docks for Facilities, Mail Services and The Left Bank are reached via Jones Way, off 31st Street. See the map below for the location of this new road named for a Penn trailblazer.

Division of Facilities Services

The Division of Facilities Services will be relocating to the Left Bank during the week of Spring Break, starting on Friday, March 9 and ending Sunday, March 18. We are working hard to keep our level of service to the Penn community as seamless as possible. During this time period, we may experience minimal disruption of phone service. However, there will not be a disruption of voicemail service. If you need to reach anyone in Facilities Services, please leave a voicemail or contact the individual as instructed in the voicemail message.

We look forward to better serving our customers from this new and improved space. We welcome everyone in the Penn community to visit us.

--Facilities Services

Environmental Health & Radiation Safety

The Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) will move to Suite 400, 3160 Chestnut Street/6287 on March 22 and 23. The main phone numbers for EHRS, (215) 898-4453 and (215) 898-7187 will remain the same.

We will be available for emergencies throughout the move and expect to be in full operation on Monday, March 26. P-32 is now distributed from room 421 Anatomy-Chemistry, (215) 746-6649.

--Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety

Penn Mail Services

Penn Mail Service will open operations at its new facility in the Left Bank on March 19. Penn Mail Service, Express Service and Bulk Mail Service will be located at the new facility. All Mail Service phone numbers will remain the same as currently listed in the Telephone Directory. For pick up and drop off service use Jones Way, located off 31st Street between Chestnut and Walnut Sts. If you are walking to the new facility, access is available via the stairs at the Class of 1923 Ice Rink on Walnut Street. Limited service will still be available at the Franklin Building Annex but there will be no window service. The Stamp Machine and Fed Ex drop-off box will remain at their locations in the Franklin Building.

Mail Service will be providing two additional services at the new facility: folding and inserting, and CASS Certification of mail.

--Janet Wetherill, Manager, Mail Service

Keeping Up With Mr. Jones

William Rush Jones, a Philadelphia native, enrolled at Penn in 1895 as a freshman in the Towne Scientific School (as SEAS was then called). After graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1899, he worked for four years as a draftsman in the office of the Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company. In 1903 he returned to Penn as inspector of the Central Light and Heat Station (which was on the northwest corner of 34th and Spruce). By 1909 he was chief engineer for all construction in that building. In May 1910, the Trustees appointed him to "see to the drawing of specifications and contracts and to the superintendence of the installation of lighting and heating equipment in the University buildings." In October 1911, they made him Engineer of Construction.

On November 9, 1914, the Trustees authorized Provost Edgar Fahs Smith to engage a Superintendent of Grounds and Buildings for a salary of $3,000 per year; the Provost promoted Jones to this new position. He was then in charge of both engineering and physical plant--maintenance and repairs thereby came under a single administrative head, as did some aspects of construction and operations.

The modern office of Facilities Services dates back to June 22, 1921, when the Trustees adopted resolutions centralizing decision-making and budgetary authority in the hands of the Engineer of Plant. The Trustees promoted Jones for the third time in ten years, naming him Engineer of Plant. He was therefore, the first modern chief of Facilities Services. However, his health was failing.

Less than two years later, in March 1923, the Provost extended the umbrella of centralized authority by creating the new position of Executive Engineer and reorganized Facilities Services so that the respective chiefs of each function reported to the new senior manager. Five Facilities Services--each with its own superintendent--were placed under the management of the Executive Engineer: Light and Heat, Maintenance and Operation, New Work, Plant Engineer, and Repairs. Jones reported to this new administrative officer.

By 1924, the department had a staff of 325 employees who performed a total of 5,000 work orders annually. It was considered "a model of efficiency and cost containment, saving tens of thousands of dollars annually in architects' and engineers' fees; construction management fees; and skilled labor wages."

In November 1925, the Pennsylvania Gazette reported that Jones had died in the University Hospital on October 26, 1925, "after a long illness."

This detailed chronology of the life of Mr. Jones is based on the Facilities Services' history written by University Archivist Mark Frazier Lloyd. Visit the University Archives website for more about Penn's history.

click map for larger version

Map courtesy of James R. Mann, Facilities Services

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 25, March 6, 2001