Campus Closeup: Greg Stone
From his vantage point as a buildings and grounds attendant in the PEIF, Greg Stone is able to witness the predictable cycle of well-intentioned New Year’s fitness resolutions.
“Every year—especially when the students come back from break—we’ll see a barrage of people here,” he said. “After about a month, it starts to drop off. Then it picks up again before spring break when people decide they need to get in shape for the beach.”
Making regular trips to the gym is an issue for some, but not for Stone. He arrives at 4 a.m. every weekday morning to ensure that the facility is ready for its 6 a.m. opening. Does working in such close proximity to exercise equipment motivate Stone to use it himself?
“I like to lift, but because I’m around it all day, I have to get away for a couple hours, recharge and come back. I used to work out right after my shift, but I can’t do that anymore. I need a change of scenery before I come back to it.”
Hired by NMU in September 1998, Stone first held a nine-month position in the Superior Dome. After being bumped for a few months, he worked briefly in Cohodas before transferring to Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports.
“I enjoy this way more because there’s so much more to do and it’s always different,” he said, adding that he also appreciates the camaraderie with his five colleagues in the PEIF. “We’ve worked together quite some time. I’ve known half of them for 11 years since I started here and the other half for six or seven years. We get along well with each other.”
He helps with setups for shows and other events held in Vandament Arena, the Superior Dome and the Berry Events Center. His daily PEIF duties include general cleaning and repairs. One morning last week, he was fixing a TV near the elliptical machines; earlier this week, he was attending to another TV by the treadmills that had come loose from its wall mount. Stone also maintains the exercise equipment and weight machines.
“We don’t touch the newer treadmills because they’re still under warranty. With the rest, it’s pretty basic repairs. If I’m not sure how to correct a problem, I can look at the schematics. Some of it is trial and error.”
Stone said the weight machines require less maintenance and replacement than the aerobic equipment on the second floor. The major culprit related to their shorter life expectancy can be summed up in two words: street shoes.
“Sand and salt get in the wire and components. Many people enter the building wearing the same shoes they work out in and they carry things in with them. It causes a lot of problems and it would be nice if everyone changed shoes before they stepped foot on the equipment, but that’s hard to police.”
The most challenging task he remembers was when the staff had to move the weight area from the second floor down to the first where a tennis court was previously located. “We had to take apart equipment or prop it at certain angles to get in the elevators. Now when we get new equipment, it comes in through an overhead door.”
A Marquette native, Stone lives in Harvey with his wife, Stacie, and their three children: Steven, 18; Derek, 13; and Averie, who’s almost 10.
“We like to camp and cross-country ski,” he said. “I also like to hunt—mainly deer and small game—and fish. We stay pretty busy with hockey. Our middle child is on a travel team, so that takes up a lot of time, but it’s fun. Hockey is one of my favorite things. I’m into athletics and I like being around it, so I’m working in the right place.”
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