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Director of Facilities Services

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Wallingford, Connecticut
  • Client: Institution - Independent School
  • Search ID: 17-0505-07

Choate Rosemary Hall (CRH), an independent school in Connecticut, has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Director of Facilities Services (Director). Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Director manages and directs full-service support of all academic, support, and residential facilities for all students, staff, and faculty at the Choate Rosemary Hall campus.

Role encompasses:

Facilities Management

  • Maintains integrity of the School’s physical assets by overseeing planning, renewal, and general maintenance repair. Staff departments include carpentry, painting, lock shop, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.
  • Ensures full compliance with environmental health and safety regulations and interfaces with various town, state and federal agencies.

Strategic Planning

  • Recommends and develops operating plans to encompass new initiatives of the School including sustainability and energy conservation. Ability to effectively communicate with the Headmaster and the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees is imperative.

Construction Management

  • Oversees annual operating and capital projects budget in excess of $10M. This involves managing the selection of architects and contractors, and keeping projects on schedule and on budget.

Grounds & Vehicle Management

  • Oversees the maintenance and upkeep of 400 acres of campus grounds, 20 fields, ice hockey rink, pool, tennis courts, and fleet management of 50 vehicles.

Responsibilities include:

  • Manages, motivates, and directs all activities of the Facilities Services department. 
  • Communicates clearly and effectively with all levels of staff, faculty, and administration including the Headmaster. Demonstrates willingness to be a partner in discussions and decision making. Makes presentations to committees and to the Board of Trustees as needed. Communicates with the community regarding facilities issues and acts as a spokesperson for the facilities perspective.
  • Fosters a collaborative and proactive team focused on delivering the highest level of customer service. Oversees the work order system and ensures timely response, completion, and closeout documentation related to all work orders. Protects the School's assets through proper preventive and routine maintenance scheduling and workmanship.
  • Manages all operating and capital budgets of the facilities department to ensure needs of maintenance programs and major projects are properly staffed and completed. Accurate pre-planning of projects is essential to ensure all projects meet the School’s design and aesthetic objectives, are completed with top-quality workmanship, and delivered on-time and on-budget.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement by advocating and implementing new technology, processes, and initiatives to improve the efficiency of the facilities staff and the School’s resources. Supports and works closely with the Information Technology department to assist with capital upgrades and associated infrastructure needs.
  • Works with managers to ensure all facilities, housekeeping, custodians, tradesmen, contractors and/or their employees are performing the required work specified within departmental guidelines and School policies. Evaluates performance of all direct reports and staff. 
  • Oversees all campus maintenance, and renewal and capital projects. Must be able to identify, evaluate, and prioritize the needs of the School within budget and personnel limitations. Reviews bids, drawings, construction work, and invoicing to ensure the completion of projects in a cost effective, high quality manner.
  • Provides assistance, advice, and guidance to Community Safety including ensuring safety of all community members, security drills for fire, evacuation, lockdown, and other emergencies. Ensures proper functioning of fire alarm and emergency notification systems, and exit lighting. Oversees key, lock, and security systems for the campus. Works with local safety officials where necessary. Acts as an active leader on the School’s safety and security committees. Participates in disaster recovery planning and management.
  • Sets climate for professional growth and development. Organizes and plans the training of all skilled and support personnel. Promotes safe workplace practices and ensure all personnel are properly certified in their area of expertise.
  • Works with community members to provide proper facilities, utilities, and support services at all school or outside events. Maintains communication with town and state agencies as required, ensuring all required permits, approvals, licenses, etc. are obtained for all facilities, buildings, vehicles, and grounds.
  • Have overall responsibility for the carbon footprint, energy management, and sustainability programs at the School.
  • Prepares information and reports to communicate current status on budget, capital projects, and deferred maintenance for senior management and Board of Trustees.

CRH is a private, college-preparatory, coeducational, boarding school located in Wallingford, CT. The School is comprised of 850+ students and 300+ faculty and staff members. The 458-acre campus has 9 academic buildings and 27 residence halls. There is 37,000 SF of space dedicated to student life. 

CRH is a diverse community dedicated to academic and personal excellence and is rooted in the values of integrity, respect and compassion. Choate cultivates a vibrant community of principled individuals from diverse backgrounds and unites them through common purpose, active engagement, and mutual respect.  The School believes that diversity provides for richer intellectual growth and more creative outcomes as it builds both a stronger community and stronger individuals.  

CRH is committed to recruiting, retaining, and supporting an exceptional faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of the student body and are dynamic educators deeply committed to the entire student experience.

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of facilities experience in a supervisory capacity in a private school, corporate maintenance, or manufacturing environment that is a multi-building organization.
  • Thorough knowledge of building trades, project management, and scheduling.
  • Excellent contractor negotiating skills.
  • Working knowledge of software and internet services to support facilities management and the needs of the department.
  • Experience with security and fire detection technology.
  • Familiarity with protocols for communicating and working with local, state, and federal building departments; life safety services; environmental agencies; and other agencies as necessary.
  • Excellent interviewing skills and a keen eye for talent.

Essential Characteristics

  • Excellent management, communication, and public relations skills with the ability to interact effectively within and outside of the Choate community.
  • Supportive, empowering, and transparent leadership style.
  • Works collaboratively with various School departments.
  • Ability to quickly identify and address critical facilities issues.
  • Reacts quickly and calmly in times of emergency.

Search Consultant: Joe Wargo

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