Piles of muddy snow accumulated on the sides of paths as Larry Muench, Director of Facilities, coordinated snow shoveling efforts that allowed students to make their way from building to building after the January 12 snowstorm.
The Director of Facilities position became available in mid-November of 2010 after Michael Williams, former Director of Facilities, announced that he was leaving for the Aga Khan Academies.
Muench was the Associate Director of Student Capital Renovation for six years prior to becoming Director of Facilities. In the past six years, Muench primarily oversaw campus renovations and constructions.
Muench previously worked in the Facilities Department at Harvard University, where he discovered a passion for helping others.
As Director of Facilities in the Office of the Physical Plant (OPP), Muench assigns custodians, grounds workers, electricians, plumbers and construction workers to various jobs on campus.
Muench said he is passionate about his job and enjoys helping faculty and students.
“I enjoy campus work. I wanted to be responsible for all aspects of the campus, not just the construction but how we service the people here. Over the years I’ve really grown to love what I do,” he said.
Muench looks forward to continuing Williams’s work with the Andover campus. He hopes to focus on certain areas of campus life, particularly the relationship between OPP and Andover students and faculty.
“I really want to concentrate on how [OPP] services the community, how we take care of the campus and how we take care of the grounds…so that students and faculty enjoy living here more every time we do a renovation,” he said.
Muench said that relationships he forms with faculty and students is the most enjoyable part of his job.
“We’re in their homes a lot, and we get to know the faculty, and they get to know us. It’s a very nice community feel,” Muench said.
Muench believes that one of OPP’s most important missions is keeping the Andover campus safe. OPP has someone on call twenty-four hours a day so that there is always a staff member on hand to respond to a problem. Muench checks in with the night manager every morning and gets a report of any issues and how they were resolved.
Muench said, “[OPP’s repairmen, snowplowers, lawn mowers and athletic facility caretakers] are what keeps the campus rolling, and we’re pretty proud that we have people who care enough to do that.”
OPP’s headquarters are located on Abbot campus, in the Abbot Gym and Draper Hall.
Phillips Academy Public Safety (PAPS) often works with OPP, since PAPS used to be a part of OPP.
Muench looks forward to continuing to work with PAPS to assure campus safety. He believes that OPP is an integral part of Andover, and is happy about continuing to work with the community.
“Here in [OPP] it feels like we’re really connected to the people on campus, and they’re connected to us. It makes the time we spend here better,” he said.