In February, 2015, the LICC launched the Proactive Maintenance Program with the goal of ensuring proper maintenance of LICC facilities and equipment.
The LICC owns a large number of valuable assets that were donated by our partners or acquired through their generous financial gifts. Scripture tells us that God commissioned us to be good stewards of these assets (Genesis 1:28-30, 2:15). As good stewards of these assets, the LICC seeks to preserve their value by maximizing their useful life. A proactive maintenance program is a prerequisite for attaining this goal.
Program objectives include:
- Hire a Maintenance Manager to oversee maintenance operations.
- Develop a comprehensive Maintenance Process that includes requesting, scheduling, and performing work.
- Capture needed Maintenance Data such as inventory, job schedule, and maintenance history.
- Build a locked Storeroom for maintenance equipment, tools, materials and spare parts.
- Establish an annual Maintenance Budget that covers salaries of the maintenance staff, the acquisition of spare parts, and the outsourcing of maintenance work (when needed resources are not available in-house).
- Update the Organizational Structure to treat maintenance holistically by closely aligning facilities, financial, purchasing, administration, and academics.
- Establish a Maintenance Baseline by conducting an extensive assessment of LICC facilities and identifying areas of greatest need.
Short-term projects identified during the facilities assessment are described in the following sections:
Academic Building Restoration
Diagnosis. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, when the first floor of the Academic Building was built, there was a shortage of quality building materials and skilled contractors. As a result, this floor has aged must faster than the second floor. Floor tiles are cracked or missing, and paint is peeling. Moreover, the LICC Academic Building has seen a lot of hard use since it opened in 2009. In its early years, it housed all college functions: classrooms, computer lab, library, chapel, administrative offices, clinic, and storage. As functions moved into new facilities, there was no money to update old spaces to reflect their new use. When the LICC prepared to go on the power grid, the building was rewired twice to meet Liberia Electric Company requirements. The walls have been patched, but not repainted. Roof leaks, common in any building during rainy season deluges, have stained the second story ceilings. Power spikes, a side effect of using generators, damaged the ceiling fans, leaving them still.
Work Needed. Work needed to restore the Academic Building to “like new” condition includes
- Finish interior wiring (wires hanging out of junction boxes, no box covers, data cables hanging out).
- Patch holes in masonry where pipes/conduits enter.
- Protect exterior wiring (wires not in conduit, wires not buried).
- Reinforcing steel rod to the stairs outside the building.
- Repainting (interior and exterior ground and upper floor).
- Replace broken window glass (two class rooms, upper floor).
- Replace ceiling fan capacitors.
- Replace of damaged floor tiles (ground floor).
- Seal various roof leaks and paint ceiling stains.
Plumbing System Repair/Replacement
Diagnosis. The existing well is too shallow to provide the quantity of water needed by a campus that has doubled the size of its academic space and its enrollment since it was dug. Unskilled plumbers who built the 2009 water system did not include proper filters. As a result, mud has clogged the entire plumbing system.
Work Needed. To meet sanitation needs of the academic area, the LICC needs to:
- Expand water tower storage capacity from 1000 gallons to 1500 gallons.
- Dig a deeper well.
- Replace the water supply system, and add filters to it.
Community Research Center Completion
Diagnosis. The LICC received adequate funds to build the Community Research Center (“CRC”). However, as the school’s needs have changed, several Change Orders were approved that increased construction costs. Also, a final building inspection (“punch list”) revealed several construction defects that needed to be corrected. As a result, the CRC remains incomplete.
Work Needed. To complete the CRC, the LICC needs to:
- Complete all painting.
- Convert north end of upper hallway into a computer server room (wall and locking door, electricity and data cables, air conditioner, window).
- Install door locks.
- Install doors to the male and female bath rooms.
- Install hallway interior windows.
- Install windows in the project room (northeast corner, upper floor)..
- Patch remaining holes from exterior scaffolding.
Diagnosis. A walk through the LICC campus gives visitors a distinct impression of “unfinished.” There are no paved roads or footpaths. Drainage is poor. There are no decorative trees or shrubs. There are no gardens except for the fountain in the Academic Quadrangle and the flower garden in front of the Agricultural Education Center. There is no identifiable main gateway for the school. Large areas of bare earth contribute to erosion and flooding. Meanwhile, other small colleges, such as the African Bible College at Yekepa have beautiful campuses.
While campus beautification might be considered a “nice to have” (and it is indeed secondary to education and spiritual development), an attractive campus provides advantages that may be considered essential:
- Faculty, staff, and students are more motivated to come to campus daily, to be proud of their school, and to work hard.
- Faculty, staff, and students feel more valued and they work harder in return.
- Partner organization, grant makers, alumni, and other financial supporters will see the school as good stewards of their contributions.
Work Needed. Campus beautification is a long-term project. Short-term activities include:
- Review the current LICC Campus Master Plan.
- Visit other beautiful university campuses in Liberia neighboring countries observe great design ideas.
- Confer with maintenance people on those campuses to identify general costs to install and to maintain the features. Also discuss the amount of upkeep work they need.
- Evaluate the design ideas and identify those that bring the greatest amount of beauty for the lowest purchase, installation, and upkeep costs.
- Consider meeting with a leading architect(s) that specialize in high-beauty low-upkeep African buildings and landscaping, such as Kéré Architecture.
- Produce a Campus Beautification Plan that describes proposed long-term changes, their justification, and estimated costs.
Diagnosis. Liberians are highly resourceful, “can-do” people. If something needs to be done, they will use whatever they possess to accomplish it, even if this means using something for other than its intended purpose. Classroom desks and chairs have been taken outside for chapel services, graduations, large seminars, and more. They have been used as scaffolds for painting projects, and they have been left in buildings under construction for contractors to use on breaks. As a result, chairs and desks that were like new 3-5 years ago are now dirty and scratched, wood veneer is chipped, and some desks are broken.
- All chairs and desks need a good scrubbing.
- Some chairs and desks must be discarded and replaced with new ones.
- Wooden components with damaged veneer needs to be replaced.
- Some wooden components need to be refinished.
- Some metal components need to be welded.
- Some metal components need to be repainted.
How You Can Help
Thankfully, the LICC has an experienced Facilities Director, the school has identified talented local craftspeople and technicians, and the school has architectural and construction advisors in the US. The biggest needs are funds, materials, and equipment.
Funding Needs. Estimated costs for maintenance projects include:
|Academic Building Restoration||20,200|
|Plumbing System Repair/Replacement||7,200|
|Community Research Center Completion||5,500|
|Campus Beautification Research Study||1,000|
|GRAND TOTAL||$35,100 USD|
Materials and Equipment Needs
Materials and equipment purchased in country are typically of very low quality. Fortunately, ULICAF (LICC’s “parent” organization) ships containers to the campus about twice a year. You can donate high-quality materials and equipment that we send on these containers.
We Need Your Participation
Your tax-deductible contributions can be sent to:
P.O. Box 1158
Carmel, IN 46082
ULICAF is a qualified non-profit under IRS 501(c)3.