Coming to a campus restroom near you

FPM carpenter Justin Abbott drills a new paper towel dispenser i

FPM carpenter Justin Abbott secures a new paper towel dispenser in a Carver Hall restroom Monday. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Carpenter Justin Abbott, facilities planning and management, spent Monday in Carver Hall -- his first "C" building in a long list of buildings -- replacing paper towel dispensers in restrooms. The front lever-triggered dispensers replace a model with a finicky finger-operated side-spin mechanism. The new model complies with requirements in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can be operated with an elbow or a sleeve-covered fist to reduce human touches on shared surfaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From a campus inventory of 698 restrooms and lactation rooms, custodians confirmed 174 of them were equipped with a lever dispense mechanism and installed low enough on the wall to be ADA-compliant. Another 382 restrooms were targeted for the new dispensers -- and that's the group Abbott is tackling this summer, one building at a time, more than 600 dispensers in all.

And those final 142 restrooms? The inventory list isn't complete yet on this group, but another replacement phase will begin as soon as the list is updated.

Justin Abbott loads dispensers into his truck

FPM carpenter Justin Abbott loads a day's worth of dispensers from central stores into his truck first thing Monday morning. Photo by Christopher Gannon.