Office Services building in full operation

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Office Services building in full operation

Photo by: Martha Armstrong

The Office Services Building, near the Academic Computer Center, provides print and mail services.

Joshua Lloyd, Staff Writer

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The newest building on campus, which is located between the Academic Computer Center (ACC) and Fine Arts Center (FAC), is an upgraded version of the former Office Services facility.

The new facility, used for all on-campus print and mail services, was completed in May of this year and became fully functional shortly after.

According to Tucker Mitchell, executive director of Public and Community Affairs, the total cost of the building project was $713,213, which was less than what the university originally anticipated.

“They [the construction companies] were actually able to build it for a little less than the budgeted cost … and there were costs to furnish it and the cost to prep the site, which were added,” Mitchell said.

The former Office Services building, which is no longer standing, had been in use since 1961 and was in terrible shape, Mitchell explained.  There was a constant need for repair due to structural issues and water damages from continual flooding.

At almost 4,000 square feet, the new facility provides Office Services with sufficient working space.

“We actually have about the same amount of room as the other building, but we’re able to use it more efficiently,” Franklin Larrimore, director of Printing and Mail Services, said.

With the installation of the new building, Larrimore added, Office Service is able to work in a more comfortable and structurally sound environment.

“It’s a new building on campus, but it’s replacing a building that exceeded its life expectancy … and wasn’t really conducive to Office Services because it wasn’t designed for that,” Darryl Bridges, FMU Foundation’s vice president for Development, said.

Bridges added that most of the equipment in the new facility was already up-to-date and in use by Office Services, so there was no need for the university to spend additional funds on new equipment.

“The only furniture, fixtures and equipment were a few chairs and couple tables,” Bridges said.  “It wasn’t much at all because most of it [equipment] was just moved right over from the old location.”

The new facility is home to two of FMU’s most widely used amenities: print/graphic operations and mail services.

The Printing Department provides a selection of print options for FMU administrations, as well as certain budgeted student organizations.

Office Services provides several different print options, such as regular copied paper, posters, banners, event programs and booklets.

The printing service processes between 80-230 projects, ranging from large to small, per month.

“The job could be anything from one poster to 150 student handbooks, which is 15,000 copies,” Larrimore said.

Larrimore added that the Printing Department uses approximately 2 to 4 million sheets of standard paper per school semester, not counting colored and specialized papers.

While the print operations are only available for staff, faculty administrations and funded student organizations, the mailing services are open to anyone in need of United States Postal Service (USPS) shipping.

Students and faculty are able to pay for postage to send letters and packages through the Office Services mailing department, Larrimore explained.

“Students can buy stamps, envelopes, send priority and certified mail,” Larrimore said. “We can handle that for them, but not all printing.”

Office Services’ move to the new location has had its challenges, Larrimore said, but in the end, it was a positive step for the department.

“We’re still adjusting a little, but I think it’s all going to work out pretty good,” Larrimore said.

The location of the former Office Services building is currently being converted into a green space that will become a part of Hanson Park, Mitchell added.

“It will feature a pond, plants and a walkway that will connect to the nature space near the Cottage,” Mitchell said.

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