A place facilitating good health must stay in good order. Keeping things clean and orderly is exactly what the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center custodial staff does, and it does it with a smile.
Leading the crew is custodial superintendent Jose Arce. He has been with the RWC for four years, and compared to every other place he’s worked in his 35-year career, he feels the RWC is the first place that consistently gives him a feeling of accomplishment.
"When I go home, I don’t go with a bitter taste — always sweet," Arce said.
Like the RWC, Arce’s office is very clean. A neatly displayed bookshelf sits adjacent to his finished wooden desk that has no visible scratches. Aside from a few personal trinkets hanging from a shelf, it is completely clear of debris and very organized. The entire room even has a pleasant, fruity aroma.
He does not spend much of his time in there, though. He often walks around to supervise, look for projects and even get involved in the work himself.
"I always feel that if a manager can walk the floor and the employee sees, he [the employee] knows that he cares about the place too," he said.
Recently, a sales group visited the RWC and noticed that the walls of the racquetball courts were exceptionally white. They told Arce that courts at other colleges they visit are covered in scuff marks.
Arce credits this to one crew member, custodial worker Leon Miller, who comes in every morning and meticulously cleans the court walls.
To keep the courts’ walls sparkling white, Miller uses three things: Spirit II cleaner, a microfiber cloth and a lot of muscle.
"After a while you develop muscles, especially when you have to go up high. It’s a pretty good workout," Miller said.
Arce explained that he wants his employees to work like ghosts; to help the students and staff when needed, but to also stay in the background to not interrupt their workouts.
"It’s a team effort, and a lot of people don't see it because we stay behind the lines. We don't want to interrupt any activity, but we stay out there," Arce said.
Every year, the RWC surveys members to track their opinions about the operations of the facilities. In the 2014 survey ,the RWC scored a 97 percent satisfactory rating in cleanliness, even with a daily traffic flow of more than 5,000 people, RWC Facilities Associate Director Sarah Hunt said.
"Our goal is that our students feel comfortable in here. I want them to understand that we do it for them," Arce said.