Grounds & Automotive

What are the responsibilities of the Grounds and Automotive Department?

The Grounds and Automotive Department is responsible for campus-wide landscape maintenance; sports field maintenance; irrigation renovation, maintenance, and repair; solid waste management; hazardous weather condition response; and maintenance of campus vehicles.

What projects has the Grounds and Automotive Department been a part of recently?

The grounds department spent the month of August working on Commencement Hall to get ready for move in. All the plant material was picked out and planted by your grounds crew. We also did a rework of the old landscape at Wyatt’s patio and major tree work on Lawrence St. New sprinklers were added on the baseball field with Baker stadium to be completed by mid-September. The garage rebuilt transmissions, starters, and several other large projects to keep the fleet working and added several new utility carts.

How does the Grounds and Automotive Department incorporate sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices into its work?

The Grounds and Automotive Department is constantly looking to improve campus sustainability as it relates to landscaping, irrigation, and campus-owned vehicles. 

  • Regarding landscaping, Grounds 
    • Uses grass and plant varieties on campus which are more resistant to drought and insects and which do not need heavy use of fertilizers to survive;
    • Is now using low-emission backpack blowers;
    • Uses low VOC athletic paint on athletic fields;
    • Donated the clay from the baseball field renovation to the Tacoma School District for their baseball fields;
    • Uses nutrient-based soil samples to ensure the correct usage of fertilizer on campus;
    • Makes and uses woodchips from plants on campus;
    • And uses mulch to cut down on herbicide use.
  • Grounds does routine irrigation audits to make sure there are no breaks or leaks that would cause inefficient water usage.
  • On the automotive side, the Department stays up on vehicle maintenance and recycles automotive fluids to be more sustainable.

Interested in learning more about the Grounds and Automotive Department, its responsibilities, its current or future projects, or how to get involved with the Department? Contact Grounds Manager Joe Kovolyan!