Andy Snead – Campbell University
Few people are as acquainted with the North Carolina State University campuses as Andy Snead. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering there and then led facilities management and capital projects in a variety of roles for more than 25 years.
Whether leading the installation of air conditioning into his residence hall—after he graduated, of course—or construction projects funded through a bond initiative in the early 2000s, Snead was a guiding force in upgrading and transforming the campus.
He retired as senior director of facilities services in January 2022, but Snead didn’t just head back to his farm or go to the beach. In fact, barely a month later, he became the director of facilities management at Campbell University, a private liberal arts school in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
Since joining Campbell, Snead has guided a campus-wide facility condition assessment that sets the foundation for a renewed master plan outlining capital projects while dovetailing with the university’s strategic plan now being developed. He’s also selected a new company to provide campus janitorial services and worked with university engineering students on one of their projects, too.
“What led me here is Campbell has a mix of immediate needs and long-range opportunities that impact the campus,” Snead says. “I felt like I could make an immediate impact and help shape the future of the university because of things I’ve done and will be able to do.”
Campbell University was founded as Buies Creek Academy in 1887 by J.A. Campbell, a Baptist minister who opened the academy with 16 students in a small church. It grew quickly—there were 92 students by the end of its first term and it became Campbell Junior College in 1926.
It became Campbell College in 1961 and a university in 1979. Campbell currently has an enrollment of 5,300 students studying at four campuses, including ones at Fort Liberty and Camp Lejeune. The main campus near Raleigh is a mix of buildings and facilities such as Kivett Hall, which opened in 1903 and the new, 110,000-square-foot Oscar N. Harris Student Union, which opened in 2020 shortly before Snead joined the university.
Though the university had a master plan that was a template for new capital projects, including the Harris Student Union, it had been written in 2004 and needed updates.
To prepare for the process, Snead engaged Dewberry, a nationwide consulting firm, to assess the campus facilities and provide input on what buildings could be renovated or should be replaced. As Snead chatted with Blueprint in July, he’d just received the 7,000-page final report.
“Dewberry is a large plumbing, mechanical and electrical engineering firm that can support us after the assessment, too,” Snead says. “They’re a responsive and economic option for our future infrastructure needs.”
The report is the foundation for considering long-term capital needs, but Snead says the master plan he’ll help create will be developed as university leaders reach their conclusions for a strategic plan—a project that’s in its beginning stages. For instance, strategic plan decisions about enrollment will affect master plan recommendations about residence halls and which ones might need replacement.
First steps made
Snead says Dewberry’s assessment also points out some steps he and his team of about 40 (not including the 45 janitorial employees contracted through Allegiance Industries) can initiate, especially to help Campbell become more energy efficient.
For instance, HVAC systems could be replaced or upgraded with controls allowing his team to set temperatures based on whether rooms are occupied. Snead says he also wants to add renewable energy, especially solar power, to generate electricity. He also wants to improve accessibility on campus, which has been a challenge in some of the older buildings.
Snead is also taking a cue from Storr Office Environment, the company that furnished the new student union. Storr’s layout work reflects a modern approach in meeting student needs by using efficient interior layouts that maximize available space and provide flexibility for teaching and social activities, he says.
And he’s addressing preventative maintenance to systems and facilities to avoid costly future repairs.
“Problems don’t rear their heads immediately, it can take years to see,” Snead says. “So, I have a real need to invest in preventive maintenance here, systems and personnel.”
One advantage Snead enjoys in his new role is speed. Campbell is a private university and leadership makes decisions without the delays he encountered at N.C. State. For instance, getting Dewberry commissioned to assess campus facilities took several months and the work was done in less than a year. He says it could have taken six months or more to get authority to hire the company if he were working in the public sector.
In a separate recent project, Dewberry also assessed a failing boiler in the power plant and provided recommendations on repairs or replacement in a few weeks. Adding Allegiance Industries was also done quickly—it took about seven weeks after Snead was hired—and that, too, would have taken six months or more in the public sector.
Projects present and future abound, and Snead is also delighted to work with Campbell’s engineering students on some of theirs. In the spring, he helped them on a project tracing and improving the workflow from a request for service at a residence hall to carrying out the work.
This fall, he’s sponsoring a project for a design class for seniors which will evaluate options for golf cart and vehicle charging stations. Students will design the systems and build a working prototype while learning presentation and approval protocol at the university.
So, instead of enjoying life on the farm, Snead is enjoying a renewed sense of energy and purpose at work.
“I get to help guide the whole process,” he says. “This is why I’m here.”
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