SSC Maintenance and Grounds associates

The world watched as President George H.W. Bush was laid to rest. Many saw the news coverage of Bush 41 lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as well as his funeral and the famous Union Pacific 4141 train making its way from Houston to College Station. So much work went on behind the scenes from numerous University departments; countless staff worked tirelessly to make Bush 41’s final arrival in College Station a wonderful tribute. Several departments within SSC were incredibly honored to do preparation work and serve at the interment. Our Grounds Department came together and accomplished a monumental task of preparing the George Bush Library complex and the lot 61 area for President Bush’s interment. Grounds Assistant Director Brandon Morgan states, “This could not have happened without the cooperation, communication, dedication, and willingness of all involved who did whatever it took to get the job done.” The Grounds team accomplished in one day what took three days for First Lady Barbara Bush’s interment in April 2018. The list of tasks completed by our Grounds department was quite extensive. The flower and horticulture teams planted over 8500 ornamental flowers around the George Bush Library. Twenty 36” x 36” color bowls were carefully arranged and placed at the railroad site in front of the Texas A&M Singing Cadets. Our landscape construction, horticulture teams and turf teams spread 684 yards of mulch in three days, which in itself was a major accomplishment. The parking lots, medians and tree rings that were visible from the procession were all mulched. Additionally, the service entrance on the east side of the Allen Building was screened using 15 Spartan juniper trees that were planted the day before the interment. A new 65 gallon Cathedral live oak was planted at the gravesite. An impressive 88 SSC Grounds associates played a role in the preparations! Brandon Morgan expressed, “We stood up to every challenge and prevailed. We did our job, what was expected and we did it well. Everyone was honored to be a part of this historical moment at SSC and Texas A&M University.” SSC Maintenance, specifically our Trades Department, also played a key role in the preparations. A total of 18 Trades associates completed a variety of tasks. They removed and reinstalled fencing around the gravesite, laid and removed ~ 13,824 square feet of plywood decking at the train site and built and installed a walkway for President Bush’s family to walk across after exiting the train. Other work that Maintenance did included replacing the light fixture on the exterior East wall of the George Bush Library and repairing all lights that were out. Reflecting on the work of his teams, SSC at TAMU Regional Vice President Richard Gentry expressed, “Once again SSC has played a vital role in making this event a success. In recent huricanes, hail storms, floods, fires or special events like the Bush burials, SSC is consistently there to play an integral role by doing what is needed to ensure a successful outcome.”

Grounds Department: L-R; Brian Carey, Michael Taylor Bryant, Charles Jackson, Ace Almanza,

Neil Fletcher, Brandon Morgan, Tristen Fisher, Phillip Zellner

Maintenance Department: L-R; Paul Dodds, Wesley Bissett, Gary Layton, Larry Rushing,

Jeff Goodwin, Austin Trichos, Johnny Easley, Otis Brunette, Joey Ferro, Zach Bracewell,

Danny Lemley, Josh Glass, Josh Denman, Chris Biefus, Frankie Castillo, Donnie Rhodes, Dylan Castillo, Scott Welch

“The Texas A&M Maintenance and Grounds teams were integral to the preparation and execution of the incredible tribute to President Bush. I would like to thank each and every one of them for their tireless dedication to the Bush Center, but specifically, for the selfless, detailed tasks they performed, for what may be considered one of the most memorable and historic funerals our nation will ever experience. In addition, the Bush family was overwhelmed, once again, at the support of our great university. The team made us all very proud.”

Christi Voelkel Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Development The Bush School of Government and Public Service Served as TAMU/Bush Foundation Lead

“What an incredible tribute to the former president. Making the grounds at both campus ceremonial sites – the train arrival and the Bush Library and Museum grounds - beautiful and functional was a lovely way to honor this family. The grounds crews made sure that everything was clean and beautiful. The maintenance team turned a field into a true venue. Both did so in challenging conditions as the grounds were saturated from months of heavy rain. They were simply outstanding for both this service and that of the former first lady.”

Karen E. Bigley Director of Division Communications Division of Finance and Operations Served as TAMU Lead

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