You may not know Jim Scripp, but you know his work. It’s all around UB.
As Senior Field Supervisor, Scripp leads a team of around three dozen staff responsible for ensuring that the campus is maintained and looking its best – mown lawns, pruned plants, mulched flower beds, emptied trash cans, parking lots. paved and repaired, and in the winter, roads and paths plowed and salted.
It never ends. Between the North and South campuses, maintenance includes 600 acres of lawns, 33 acres of athletic fields, 38 miles of road, 46 miles of walkway, 8,000 trees and 16,000 parking spaces.
“Just about anything you would consider doing in your home, we do it here,” Scripp says. “It’s just on a larger scale.”
Scripp, 54, began his career at UB in 1987 as a cleaner. After a few years he moved on to grounds maintenance, where he rose through the ranks to supervisor about five years ago. Scripp prefers to stay behind the scenes, but if you’re on campus early enough, you might see him driving his truck inspecting the grounds.
“I go out at 6 am, walk around the neighborhoods on campus and watch what’s going on,” Scripp says. “I have several lists in my truck and I always write down the things that need to be done. “
Mondays, for example, can be unpredictable, depending on what the weekend may have brought. Rain or a phone call about a fallen tree branch can disrupt the schedule for the rest of the week.
“We have a schedule for mowing the grass and a lot is based on what Mother Nature gives us,” Scripp says. “If the grass grows, that’s pretty much what we do on a daily basis. Once things start to slow down, as they do now, we start pruning and mulching the trees and flower beds, pruning the plant material. We plant a lot of flowers, whether in flower beds or flower pots. “
Scripp enjoys working outdoors, but not so much in the winter. Staying one step ahead of the elements can be stressful. He’s spent more than a few winter nights on the couch in his office, so he’s on campus ready for an impending storm.
“Jim and the entire Lands Department work incredibly hard,” says Stacey M. Modicamore, Assistant Director of Facilities Operations.
“They work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that our campuses are beautiful during the warmer months and that they can navigate safely by car or on foot in the winter,” explains Modicamore. “University facilities regularly receive positive feedback regarding our lands department and all of their beautification efforts.”
Scripp gives credit to its staff, but recognizes that it has high expectations. He treats UB like his own home and asks them to do the same.
“When I quit a job, I want to be proud of it,” Scripp says, “and I want everyone to be proud of it too.”
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