Facilities Challenges and Opportunities

Facilities Challenges and Opportunities

When I became a Christian at the age of 16, I memorized Romans 8:28. I learned it in the King James Version, but the NIV makes it easier to read. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose.”

In 2004 I began my work at Fresno Pacific University. One of my sons was a student here and as a father, I thought it would be great to work where my son was going to college. Being a Christian university made it even more appealing. Consequently, my two other sons were destined to attend and graduate from FPU as well.

The Facilities Office was much simpler back then but had many challenges. God allowed me to advance in the department from technician to director. Each level of growth continued to stretch me and my experience in both my Christian walk and my intellectual understanding of the department and its complexities. There were many times I would question if I had made the right decision in advancing in the department. When this would come up, the scripture in Romans would remind me of God’s promise to me: “All things would work out for my good.” This promise would give me peace in every situation I would face. Often after a season of prayer, he would provide his perspective to my situation.

When COVID 19 hit the university and everyone else, it was a very difficult time for all of us in facilities, but our work embraced the principles of GEIST—GROW Strategically, ENGAGE Collectively, INNOVATE Creatively, SERVE Courageously, TRANSFORM Purposely—especially two of the principles.  

As the director, I struggled through the process like everyone else. Trying to keep some sense of normality was a challenge. Engaging Collectively, we decided to make changes slowly and not simply jump from one thing to another. The crew in facilities was great about keeping level heads and working as a team through the process. With the campus being shut down, we began to consider what we could do during this time.

For many years I was in production management. In that fast-paced world, we often had to remind ourselves that circumstances are always filled with challenges and opportunities. You would have to look for the opportunities in every challenge that you face. The opportunities were always there if you were willing to look for them. In Matthew 7:7 it tells us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” 

With COVID 19, the obvious opportunity was that with the campus closed, we had a “perpetual summer.” This meant that we could Transform Purposely by working on things that we normally would only have a few months to complete. This included dorms repairs, office repairs, outside landscape repairs and many other things too numerous to mention.

We would continue to struggle with staff absences due to COVID 19 but would continue to work with those we had available. It was during this time that we were able to give the university a considerable face lift, with many outside structures and upgrades. Our staff was tireless in getting these things accomplished with the perpetual changes that COVID 19 imposed on the FPU community and everyone else. Many of us felt like first responders when it came to taking care of the COVID 19-related issues, trying to stay safe and keep everyone else safe in the process.

Now we are facing other challenges with our economy, supply chain issues and high inflation which call us to Innovate Creatively. As a department we are looking at everything we do to find more efficient ways of doing things as well as how we can do more with less. We prepare for the future by purchasing inventory items that may be hard to get.

We continue to hold onto the promise that, “All things work together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”


Gary Metcalf

Director of Facilities