EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – When the pandemic hit many people were able to work from home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Many employees of NMSU’s Facilities and services department were asked to work around the clock to maintain campus.     

Danny Aguirre supervisor at NMSU’s F&S mechanical shop has been with on the team since 2007 and said the biggest obstacle at the beginning of the pandemic was continuing to work and lead the team into many unknowns from the virus. He and other who are long-time employees at the shop counted on one another more than ever.

“We still had to stay here as essential employees and maintain the upkeep of the buildings. The systems were still running and there was no one here other than Facilities and Services.” Danny Aguirre, supervisor at NMSU’s F&S mechanical shop.

Another long-time employee is Sabino Ramirez, HVAC lead, who has been with NMSU’s F&S since 2003. He said as the virus began impacting more people on campus, that started to affect the workload. “There were times when students tested positive for COVID-19, and we had to reschedule days to where we could repair what was broken in their dorms, and there were some technicians that were probably in contact with some of them,” said Ramirez. “So that shortened our staff and gave us double the work.”

Even with increasing workloads, lending a helping hand was no question for this team, especially during hard times.

“The students may not have been here, but in those buildings, we’re inside the tunnels repairing everything we can. You may not have seen us out and about, but we’re working nonstop. With our workload, people would get sick or even just following the regulations, we would have smaller crews and it was a lot. It was triple the workload, but we did it. We stuck together.” There’s a lot of stuff that happens underground that no one really knows about,” said Sam Gonzales, lead plumber.

Even as they continue to adjust to change in many ways, one thing will remain consistent for this team.

“We’re going to keep the teamwork going,” said Aguirre. “We’re trying to do everything that we can to make sure that we provide the safest environment possible for people to come and work.”

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store