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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

IPF sets the stage for presidential visit


Feb. 14, 2014

The staff at Infrastructure Planning and Facilities moved quickly to prepare campus for a recent visit from U.S. President Barack Obama. Teaming with other campus units such as IT Services and Residential and Hospitality Services, IPF prepared the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center for the Agriculture Act of 2014 signing ceremony and the Michigan Biotechnology Institute Building for a tour by the president.

IPF first learned of the Feb. 7 visit on the Friday prior to the event, and staff went to work over the weekend to begin discussing locations and logistics for the visit. Assistant Vice President for Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Dan Bollman said the visit was a great opportunity to showcase MSU.

“It was important to show President Obama some of the cutting-edge agriculture research that is going on at MSU each and every day,” he said.

IPF work included cleaning the buildings, supplying the furniture used for the bill signing, modifying the heating system for the room, creating a new doorway, delivering farm equipment and props, plowing and hauling away snow and ice, developing seating and staging layouts, installing phone lines and returning the areas to classroom conditions following the event. University Events Manager Michael Mitchner said the coordination between the MSU staff and the White House staff went very well.

“Working with the White House Staff and Secret Service was a special experience,” he said. “They do this routinely, and were respectful and professional. They allowed us to do our jobs and then turn the facilities over to them to do their job.”

Bollman said the event coordination was a great example of Spartan teamwork.

“A lot of people at MSU worked very hard to make this happen,” he said. “In typical MSU fashion, all units pulled together to make sure everything went smoothly.  I was extremely proud of the IPF team and everything they did to make this event go smoothly.”

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities builds and maintains the physical environment for Michigan State University’s education, research and outreach missions, and directs the university’s sustainability initiatives and long-term infrastructure planning goals. The unit’s experienced team of professionals keeps MSU running 24/7/365, delivering an immense menu of services and providing expert analysis for university objectives. Call (517) 353-1760 for emergency service.

IPF crews prepare the exterior of the McPhail Center for the farm bill signing ceremony. IPF's Scott Friend discusses the site preparation work for the visit from President Obama. IPF's Marsha Clark works on the chair used by President Obama for the farm bill signing. IPF's Scott Marcum gets the McPhail Center ready for the farm bill signing ceremony. IPF's Michael Mitchner takes measurements at the McPhail Center prior to President Obama's visit. (From left) IPF's Sergio Reynaga and Scott Goerge work to prepare for the farm bill signing ceremony. IPF's Erik Roberts readies the McPhail Center for a visit from President Obama.