You are here

New Facilities Chief on the Campus Climate

Karl Reynolds says he enjoys playing a role in helping students fulfill their dreams of a college education.
People  |  Dec 2, 2013  |  By Diane Russell
UNLV's Karl Reynolds, seen outside the Student Union, says his favorite spots on campus are those places where he sees the reason he works at UNLV — the students. (Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services)

What's the biggest challenge facing the fellow charged with keeping UNLV's 330 acres of grounds and more than 80 buildings looking good and running smoothly?

Climate control. Not the outside climate, but the temperature in offices and classrooms. People are too hot. People are too cold. And sometimes those people are sharing the same space. Often, it isn't possible to please everyone.

Just ask Karl Reynolds, who became UNLV's new executive director of facilities management on July 1. He was chosen as the successor to Harold "Arch" Archibald, who retired in July after 21 years at UNLV.

"We have temperature targets that we try to maintain," Reynolds said, explaining that the range is 75 to 77 degrees in the summer and 72 to 73 degrees in the winter. "These temperatures keep the vast majority of our campus community customers at a reasonable comfort level."

Reynolds, who is approaching his 15th anniversary at UNLV, says he enjoys a challenge.

"Maintaining the campus with the daily turnover of our population is always a challenge, but it is rewarding at the same time," he said.

The facilities staff of about 285 includes administrative staff, grounds workers, folks in motor pool, electricians, carpenters, painters, welders, warehouse workers, custodians, roofers, plumbers, repair technicians, and locksmiths.

Keeping the campus in tip-top shape, he said, is part of the university's overall mission.

"The satisfaction of working on a university campus is one of the best kept secrets out there," Reynolds said. "Most people like to feel they are doing something to make a difference, something satisfying. Here we are educating students and helping them fulfill their dreams. I can't think of a better mission to be involved with."

Reynolds said his favorite campus spots have nothing to do with aesthetics.

"I enjoy the area in front of the Student Union because that's where I get to see the main reason we all are here -- the students," he said. "That's where I feel a sense of accomplishment, of helping the students advance their careers and their lives. I like the area outside the Lied Library for the same reason."

Reynolds, who has a degree in mechanical power technology from Oklahoma State University, came to UNLV on the recommendation of Tim Lockett, the university's director of construction, who already was working on campus. Reynolds' first UNLV job was as the assistant director of building services. Later he became the associate director of facilities management.

Before arriving at UNLV, his jobs included working for Cox Communications helping to build the Sprint PCS wireless network in the Las Vegas Valley and working as a civilian employee on the stealth fighter program before it became public.

Having worked in the private sector previously, would he consider going back?

Reynolds said he has no desire to return. "Working at UNLV and supporting the students is something I am proud of. I hope to stay here until my retirement."