Central Plant employs the heart of campus

December 7, 2018

Electricity is used.

The air conditioning clicks on and off.

A heater blows.

Water runs.

The Wi-Fi is strong. (Well, most of the time.)

There are many different cogs in the machine that is MSU.

At the heart of it all is Mark Morgan, Central Plant Superintendent, overseeing it all in his standard denim overalls. His office is located near the center of campus in a building that goes unnoticed by many. This 10,789 sq. ft. building is home to MSU’s utility operations. All the buildings within the blocks of Louis J. Rodriguez Drive, Midwestern Parkway, Taft Boulevard and Hampstead Avenue have their utilities supplied from the Central Plant. Without the efforts and dedication of Mark Morgan and his staff MSU would not run smoothly.  

“I started out here in 1989. I started as a grounds keeper and worked my way up,” Morgan said. “I enjoy what I’m doing. It’s a big responsibility, I’m over the plumbers, HVAC guys, electronic techs and all our plant operators. With the size of the campus it’s a lot to take care of. It gives you purpose.”

Morgan may clock out at 5 p.m. but his day is never over. As the Central Plant Superintendent he is on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In his past years as superintendent he says there hasn’t been to many after hours emergencies that his staff couldn’t handle. He credits this to their hard work and dedication to their jobs.

“We’ve got a good group of people out here. They don’t call unless its a dire emergency or they can’t fix it themselves,” Morgan said. “They all take pride in their job.”

The Central Plant has 13 staff members, four boiler operators, two plumbers, two air conditioning technicians, a water treatment technician, an assistant superintendent and a superintendent. The Central Plant runs 24/7 to supply water, electricity, air conditioning and heat to 26 buildings on campus. There are technicians monitoring every aspect of the Central Plant around the clock to insure nothing goes wrong.

“We have certain temperatures we monitor every hour for the boilers and chillers,” Ron Hall, boiler operator, said. “We make the steam, chill water that is pumped to all the buildings and monitor everything that comes in and out of every building on a day to day basis.”

Some of the staff at the Central Plant have been with MSU for almost 30 years but there is one individual who had recently joined the ranks of the Central Plant. After working for the City of Wichita Falls, David Kurl joined MSU as an electronic technician.

“MSU is a great place to work. Everybody I’ve ever asked said if you have a chance to work at MSU, I should try,” Kurl said. “People are friendly the crew is great, very knowledgeable, I’m learning a lot. I haven’t been here that long but they make me feel very at home.”

After 29 years at MSU, Morgan has worked at the Central Plant the longest. He started working at MSU for the benefits but stayed for the security and the people.

“They always say you’re never going to get rich working for the state. You work for the benefits,” Morgan said. “This has always been a secure job. You look at the campus and know it’s not going anywhere.”

For a glimpse into the Central Plant flip threw the following gallery.

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