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Tom Lockard has worked in the Service Center paint shop at The College of Wooster for 26 years. Lockard gave this interview while driving a golf cart, on his way to tackle a yellowjacket infestation for Security.

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What kind of work do you guys do in the Service Center?

Basically, we maintain everything inside and outside of the buildings. I’m in the paint shop, but I do more than just painting; I take care of wild animals, bees, flags, banners, graffiti, broken windows; we have plumbers, electricians, HVACS (heating, ventilation and cooling systems), carpenters; we have people who do transportation; we have people who do trucking, who haul stuff, move furniture.

A lot of students don’t know where the Service Center is or what you do. What would a week at Wooster look like without the Service Center staff?

I think a week without the service center — there’d probably be lights not working, some rooms would not have power, rooms without air conditioning, there’d be windows busted out, bats flying around in the buildings — I also take care of bats — roof leaks, graffiti that you don’t want to see, graffiti I take care of that nobody ever sees, no packages, no cleaning supplies … I think within a week or two it’d be kind of hectic for the campus to not have us.

What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten during your time working in the Service Center?

God, I’ve had so many strange things. I guess, a beaver? I was called by security to come get a beaver from the golf house. And I’m like, “Where’d a beaver come from?” I honestly didn’t believe it was there. But it was, it was a huge beaver, probably weighed eighty pounds — seriously — and I came and got it!

What’s something you’ve done in your time here that you’re proud of?

I think what I’m proud of is that I have anywhere from six to eight to ten students that work during the school year and then another six to eight during the summer, and they often work for me for all four years … I usually drive golf carts at commencement, and I’ll be driving my golf cart and have these people waving, flagging me down. It’ll be the parents, and the students are like, “I want you to meet my mom and dad.” They’re so proud of the four years they spent with me and the things they’ve learned. So, I’m proud of all the students. That’s why we’re here: we’re here for the students.

Do you think the Service Center is under-recognized for the work you do?

You know, I think that sometimes the Service Center doesn’t get the respect we deserve. A lot of people look at the flowers and trees and say, “Oh my god, the campus is beautiful,” but I’ve always said that if the windows are busted out, the roof’s leaking and the walls are falling down, people aren’t going to think the campus is so beautiful. My point is, look past the green grass and the trees and the flowers, and also see the people who do the work — the hidden work — who nobody ever sees. Everybody that works here, they all take pride in what they do, and I just want people to appreciate that.

How does one remove a bat?

Oh, I deal with bats every day. I go in with a net, catch them, then put them down in a bush outside, somewhere out of the way, so they can fly away — I don’t want to hurt them. Not a big deal. I’m actually going to an eight-hour training seminar on bats in a few weeks.

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