Physical Plant Director

POSITION:                                     Physical Plant Director, EXEMPT, Full time, 12 months
DEPARTMENT:                            Physical Plant and Maintenance
SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary and student employees


The Physical Plant Director is ultimately responsible for the physical care, management, maintenance, replacement, and repair of over $25M in facilities, vehicles, and equipment. Dawson Community College facilities span approximately 864,000 gross square feet and reside on 300 acres, of which less than one hundred acres are landscaped. The Physical Plant Director is responsible for $500,000 in operating funds.  


Nature of Work:  This position performs supervisory, technical and labor duties requiring attention to activities, safety, and cleanliness of buildings and grounds.    Leadership, professionalism, and confidentiality are imperative to the success of this position.  The Director (and his/her staff) maintain confidentiality of all college information.

Personal Contacts:  Daily contact with maintenance and custodial employees; frequent contact with the public, students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Supervision Received:  The Physical Plant Director reports to the President. Position is mainly self-directed for daily activities.  Position prioritizes work depending on needs and campus activities; responds to work orders.  Works collaboratively with Administration to further the mission and strategic plan of the College.

Supervision Exercised:  Position supervises permanent full-time and part-time maintenance engineers and custodial staff, work study students, student employees and temporary seasonal labor.

Essential Functions:  Position requires the ability to communicate orally and in writing; visually inspect areas, supervise and maintain records.  Physical duties require ability to drive a vehicle; operate power equipment including mowers, buffers, floor polisher, band saw, drill press, trucks and tractors; operate hand tools; lift 50 pounds; climb ladders; and repair equipment.


The Physical Plant department consists of four functional areas, and their supporting core functions, as outlined below. The Director is responsible for providing strategic leadership and effective oversight of these areas:

  • Facilities Development Support (Space Use, Master Planning, Capital Construction, Major Maintenance, Facility Contract Development & Management).
  • Facilities Maintenance and Operations (Preventative Maintenance & Repairs, Operations, Utilities, Facility Security, Custodial Services, Event Set-ups).
  • Campus Landscape & Hardscape (Snow Removal, Pedestrian & Vehicular Accessibility, Landscape Management, Hardscape Management).
  • Plant Institutional Support (Mail, Shipping & Receiving, Key & Access Management, Vehicle & Equipment Maintenance, Vehicle Scheduling, Environmental & Regulatory Compliance).

Work Environment and Physical Requirements

Work pressures, disturbances of work flow and/or irregularities in work schedule are expected.  Director may need to work after normal hours depending on use of campus faculties for events.  Work may be performed both indoors and outdoors during adverse weather conditions.  Incumbent is required to be on-call 24 hours/seven days per week.  This position occasionally requires the ability to use a respirator, climb ladders and stairs, work on scaffolding up to 35 feet, and perform other activities that require strength and agility.

Maintenance of buildings.  Plans, schedules, assigns, inspects, and performs:

  • Indoor and outdoor painting.
  • Indoor and outdoor electrical repairs, replacements, or additions.
  • Repair or replace damaged or broken plumbing pipes, fixtures, or mechanisms.
  • Strip and wax tile floors, replace floor coverings as breakage occurs.
  • Troubleshoot HVAC’s and boilers, furnaces and air conditioners in all buildings.
  • Move walls, partitions, cupboards or minor changes within buildings.
  • Inspects and maintains sprinkler system.
  • Inspects and maintains all fire extinguishers.
  • Completes all other maintenance of buildings.

Maintenance of grounds.  Plans, schedules, assigns, inspects, and performs:

  • Snow removal with a tractor and blade, snow blower or snow shovel as needed.
  • Watering, mowing, grooming and fertilizing lawn per schedule or as needed.
  • Repair, replace and lay new concrete.
  • Operate and repair underground lawn sprinkler system as needed.
  • Plant lawn or flower seeds as needed.

Maintenance of vehicles.  Plans, schedules, assigns, inspects, and performs:

  • Minor vehicle tune-ups.
  • Washing vehicles.
  • Grease and oil changes.
  • Minor repairs.

Build and/or repair equipment.  Plans, schedules, assigns, inspects, and performs:

  • Make repairs to equipment and furniture.
  • Build furnishings, such as shelves, bookcases, and cupboards.

Leadership and Supervision Exercised:

  • Direct supervision of maintenance and custodial workers.
  • Effectively evaluate employee performance by: coaching, establishing performance objectives, conducting mid-year and annual reviews, and providing conflict resolution for all supervised employees.
  • Develops procedures and daily duties roster.
  • Prepares schedules; prioritizes and assigns work orders.
  • Inspects work performed.
  • Authorizes leave requests and overtime.
  • Hiring Committee Chairperson for hiring all maintenance/custodial staff.
  • Orients new staff and presents or arranges for training on regular intervals as required.
  • Ensure physical plant operations operate within compliance of OSHA, ADA, fire codes, building codes, and other relevant state or federal regulations pertaining to facilities management.
  • Ensure proper maintenance of institutional record drawings, specification files for all buildings, systems and major equipment, and update as necessary as circumstances warrant.
  • Requisitions services, supplies, equipment and materials for the College needs in compliance with College policies and purchasing rules.  Prepares and submits purchase orders per policy.  Coordinates, schedules and trains temporary outside agency employees as needed.
  • Position must follow safety standards in all dealings including but not limited to: gas and electricity, minor and major equipment use and operation, climbing ladders, heavy lifting.
  • Works with College leadership to coordinate essential Physical Plant support at special events, athletic activities, banquets and department moves and changes.
  • Continually assess and make recommendations as needed to leverage technology based solutions focused on increasing operational efficiencies, or cost reductions, or enhancing customer services delivery.
  • Oversee campus facilities operations and maintenance with a focus upon energy reduction, energy conservation and protecting the campus’s physical environment.
  • Attend and participate in College and professional groups, committees and seminars; stay abreast of new trends and developments in the field of physical plant facilities management.

Administrative duties:

  • Develops long range plans, department policies, procedures and training plans; prepares budges for supplies, equipment, training and capital improvements, additions and building repair needs.  Participates in the planning for construction and maintenance of facilities.
  • Prepares recommended budgets, plans and implements improvement initiatives and corrective actions with input from President. Identifies, hires and manages contractors for emergency and miscellaneous facility repairs and improvements.
  • Inspects contractual or outside vendor work; understands and interprets blueprints.
  • Serves in assigned capacities as needed in safety and security related situation and College emergencies.
  • Leads and/or participates in department and college-wide committee work as assigned.
  • Position requires accurate record keeping.  Maintains written preventative maintenance plan for buildings, equipment, and vehicles.
  • Maintains inventory and orders supplies.
  • Ensure that the highest levels of customer service standards and quality services are established, communicated, and executed within the four functional areas and other stakeholders
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Continuous Improvement:

  • Responsible for developing continuous improvement objectives within the four functional areas and functional goals, with a metric-based approach that systematically monitors progress towards meeting goals and identifying and implementing necessary continuous improvement opportunities.

Major Maintenance/Deferred Maintenance:

  • Maintain a forward looking major maintenance schedule of projects that could or would need to be executed upon, accounting for projected costs and projected needs.
  • Maintain a proper ongoing list of deferred maintenance, and the deferred costs that have accumulated over time.

Project Management:

  • Provide strategic oversight of all facilities renovation or modification activities, either by Physical Plant staff or contracted entities, and ensure campus projects are completed with a focus upon clear communications to campus stakeholders, a high level of collaboration and minimal disruption to the core activities of campus operations.
  • Establish an effective rapport with all external contractors working on campus, ensuring proper risk management controls, waivers, policy requirements, and ensure that compliance with state/federal regulations are solidly adhered to.
  • For state funded, state oversight, capital construction projects that may occur on campus, ensure productive and adequate liaison services to all entities involved, focused upon achieving smooth collaborations, meeting of stakeholder needs, and providing the best outcomes for the construction objectives identified for DCC.

Campus Master Planning:

  • Manage campus facilities within the construct of the College’s Campus Master Plan, and assist DCC leadership with expert guidance in developing and maintaining a 5-year campus master planning cycle.
  • Maintain the necessary facilities related documentation, facility condition data, floor plans, and other necessary information required of campus master planning activities and objectives, and incorporate such information as needed in all future campus master planning activities.

External Stakeholder Coordination:

  • Build strong relationships and interact proactively with local, state and federal regulatory agencies that provide oversight of campus operations, outside professionals & contractors that contract for campus operations, and external utility providers that serve campus operations, such that the relationship forwards the mission of DCC and its facilities’ objectives.
  • Respond promptly to reporting requests, database uploads and other information requests that may be made by administration, Board of Trustee, State of Montana officials and other regulatory agencies.
  • Maintain an accurate DCC database for all Departments.
  • Ensure updating as needed when space utilization changes, facilities are renovated, or when new construction is completed.

Nonessential Functions:

  • Assumes other activities and responsibilities from time to time as directed by the President or his/her designee.


  • Commitment to learning, implementing and advocating for a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Knowledge of facilities maintenance as it pertains to the higher education environment.
  • Skilled ability of administrative skills, and well-developed interpersonal management skills of people.
  • Ability to advocate team concepts and embody a collaborative management style.
  • Ability to manage diverse personalities.
  • Ability to use tact and discretion.
  • Possess exceptional written and verbal communication skills and use of the Microsoft Office software.
  • Ability to recruit, train, and motivate personnel to balance staffing strength.
  • Possess a valid Montana driver’s license (with driving record that meets insurance regulations)
  • Knowledge of various regulatory codes, such as, OSHA, ADA, fire codes, building codes, environmental regulations, and other relevant state or federal regulations pertaining to facilities management.
  • Knowledge of contracts and procurement regulations

PHYSICAL/MENTAL DEMANDS: (The physical demands and work environment characteristics described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this position and/or may be encountered while performing essential functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions).

  • Some limited offsite travel (approximately five times per year) by car or plane may be necessary.
  • Depending on the time of year and circumstances work schedule will require some long days, long weeks, and can be called at any time day or night to respond to emergency situations.
  • Difficult decisions regarding employee discipline, terminations for cause, and reduction in force.
  • Negotiations with suppliers, vendors, engineers, and contractors affecting the college.
  • Some minor engineering design and calculations.
  • Overall accountability for all physical plant operations.


The above knowledge, skills, and abilities are typically acquired through a combination of education and experience equivalent to:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business, management, public administration, engineering, facilities management or a related field.
  • Five years of experiences in public administration, engineering or related physical plant and or facilities management which must include supervisory, budget development and monitoring, project planning and evaluation responsibilities.
  • Five years of general maintenance work with one year in a supervisory role, or; journeyman experience in a related skilled trade and one year supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated experience managing multiple projects and shifting priorities, with the capability to deliver high levels of customer focused facilities services to a constituent community, preferably in a higher education or publically-funded setting.
  • Knowledge in the realm of environmental regulatory compliance, hazardous waste management, and risk management strategies related to the physical plant or facilities management industry.
  • Must possess a valid, Montana driver’s license.
  • Must possess a Low Pressure Boiler license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in business or public administration, engineering, facilities management or a related field, or an equivalent level of direct physical plant leadership experience in the higher education setting.
  • Credentials, such as, but not limited to, Professional Engineer (PE), Architect (AIA), Project Management Professional (PMP), APPA training.
  • Experience supervising or coordinating capital construction activities, or other large scale construction efforts, involving multiple entities and complex demands.
  • Experience with the design, implementation and execution of measurement based continuous improvement efforts related to the physical plant or facilities management industry.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully managing physical plant related personnel in a team-based, collaborative environment.


  • Completed Dawson Community College application 
  • Current resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Copies of college transcripts (original transcripts required, if hired)
  • Three professional references (names, addresses, and phone numbers).


Human Resources Department
[email protected]

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