As the summer approaches, students and faculty members at Southwestern Seminary are reminded what it takes to run a seminary as they see landscaping crews mowing grass and cleaning the gardens around the campus. The maintenance of a seminary, however, does not only involve landscaping.
“We are a two-hundred acre city,” Josh Minor, associate director of the seminary’s physical plant department, said. “We have all the departments, basically, that a city would have.” The seminary, he explained, manages by itself the equivalent of a city’s electrical company, water department, telephone company, parks and recreations, and much more. These responsibilities are delegated by the James R. Leitch Physical Plant Facility.
Named after James R. Leitch, who served as director of Southwestern’s Physical Plant from 1954-1987, the Physical Plant Facility contains three departments: purchasing, support services and the physical plant. Directed by Oscar Andrews, the purchasing department takes responsibility for researching costs and buying materials for departments across the Southwestern campus.
Support services, directed by Tom Elliot, oversees numerous responsibilities essential to the maintenance of the campus: for example, custodial duties, inter-office mail delivery, airport runs, the movement of offices and furniture, and the upkeep of the seminary’s warehouse.
Three associate directors, Wages Forman, Dan Haase and Josh Minor, supervise the physical plant department. The physical plant is responsible for the physical maintenance and upkeep of the campus and seminary housing. This department includes landscaping, an electric shop, an A.C. shop, a millwork shop, a carpentry shop, an auto-shop, an appliance shop and locksmith, telecommunications, and an architectural and engineering shop.