Lynden welcomes new director of facilities

Lynden welcomes new director of facilities
Posted on 08/11/2017
Reed Gillig, the school district’s new director of facilities, received his first real introduction to Lynden Schools when his wife started her first full year teaching at Isom Elementary ahead of the 2016-17 school year. “Coming in and rubbing elbows with some of the staff and meeting people is really kind of what did it for me,” Gillig says about turning his mind toward schools.

When the opening popped up and his wife let him know, Gillig says he woke up a couple of days later with the position still on his mind. That is when he started a conversation about joining Lynden and eventually applied for the position. He most recently worked at the Bellingham/Whatcom County Housing Authority, primarily managing residential structures. But as he started looking into the school district he realized he enjoys institutional facilities and the maintenance that goes along with them. It all added up to “pique” his interest in Lynden Schools.

Gillig enters Lynden at a unique time, with Fisher Elementary opening later this month and a new Lynden Middle School coming online in 2018. With two brand-new schools, even the other buildings feel relatively new, compared to what he had worked with at the housing authority.

“I think the oldest school is probably newer than our newest large building when I worked at the housing authority,” Gillig says. “I am used to old equipment and structures. The first thing that struck me is on the whole Lynden facilities are not really old compared to what I’m used to.” That said, he can’t remember the last time he has seen a steam system, such as employed at the current middle school.

When applying for the job, Gillig says he spent time researching schools, both in Lynden and around the area, to get a perspective on the structures. He says that Lynden “showed that little extra level of care.”

“I like the style of construction, the size, the community,” he says. “Everything about Lynden was more appealing to me than some of the other places I saw. What I saw reflects well on the staff that is here. I also want to improve and make it better, but it is being done pretty doggone well right out of the chute.”

Gillig, who officially started on Aug. 1, still has plenty to get to know about existing buildings and has entered the fray of construction meetings to ensure he’s up to speed on the new buildings too. And while he gets to know Lynden facilities he knows a big day approaches when the new Fisher gets to the point they can start moving in the final equipment and supplies. “We have loads of stock spread around a number of sites,” he says. “It will be an all hands on deck coordination.”

It was the quality of the people drew Gillig to Lynden and the state of the facilities interested him once he was here. Now that Gillig oversees the facilities, he’ll enjoy a rapid learning curve as part of the team opening two new schools, but he’s eager for the challenge.