An emphasis on teambuilding and a fresh perspective on public buildings are what new Department of Public Works Buildings Manager Christopher Pierce hopes to bring as he begins his employment in Wakefield.
Pierce, a 30-year veteran of construction, maintenance and management, began serving as building manager for the Town of Wakefield on Feb. 16. A Northeastern University graduate, Pierce also holds licensees in asbestos, lead paint, HVAC and extermination. He spent the last nine years working for Equity Residential, managing 30 apartment complexes in Wellesley, MA. He currently lives in Withrop, MA.
Pierce said he is most excited about brining his knowledge of the private sector into the public sector.
“There are a lot of things I know from working in the private sector that I think will really benefit the town,” he said. “I’m grateful to have that experience to be able to come in and see what we can do differently.”
One change Pierce hopes to make is investing more into preventative maintenance, in both actual maintenance but also the people who perform the maintenance.
“The guys here are great,” he said. “We’re building a team now that will be shining stars. We’re going to get on a preventative maintenance program, and we’re getting everyone excited about the team. We’re all only as good as our team.”
Pierce said a major challenge to the department will be the Galvin Middle School Project, and general maintenance of the schools.
“I hope to meet with all the school custodians in town and Peter Evangelista [supervisor of custodial staff] to get on the same page about the schools and put the help where we need an emphasis,” he said.
Pierce appeared before the Board of Selectmen on Feb. 28, along with DPW director Rick Stinson, who said the DPW is happy to have him on board.
“He has a great personality and a great work ethic, and I think we all already enjoy working with him and being around him,” he said.
Selectmen Chairman Albert Turco said Pierce’s hiring couldn’t have come at a better time for Wakefield, with projects like the Galvin School on deck and electrical contracts with Johnson Controls up for debate.
“Despite some of our best efforts and good policies, we have no in the past given adequate attention to the maintenance of our building system, so I look forward to working with you on that,” he said.
Selelectmen Vice Chairman Peter Glynn said Pierce’s position is very important and valuable to the town.
“I can tell the citizens of town that someone like this can save our town a lot of money, add a lot of value, and bring a whole group of skills to a position,” he said.
Pierce said he’s excited to try a new position.
“Hopefully I can fill the shoes of the person who came before me,” he said.