James P. Farrington, a 13-plus-year veteran of Saint Michael's College's Facilities Department as a project manager and architect, will be the new director of facilities and College architect, effective March 1.
Farrington, a native Vermonter, graduated from Essex High School in 1987 and Vermont Technical College's architectural and building engineering technology program in 1989. He worked at various drafting, design and construction jobs before landing at Truex Cullins & Partners Architects in Burlington from 1994 to 2001. He joined Saint Michael's in July 2001, and previously had the titles of College architect, associate director of architectural and design services and associate director of facilities.
"Both Jim and I are excited about this change and the possibilities it presents," said Michael New, vice president for human resources and administrative services, who made the announcement in late February. "In our discussions leading up to his appointment, Jim and I have focused on how Facilities can better support the overall student experience, work collaboratively with other offices, seek solutions first and provide reliable customer service."
Farrington's duties up to now have included management of large-capital construction projects and managing the building trades staff including carpenters, painters, upholsterers and locksmiths. He's also been involved in multiple design aspects of the campus and its buildings, such as classroom design, and he participates in master planning and other relevant committees. He'll continue with much of that while adding management and supervisory responsibilities -- he already has been performing many of the Facilities Director duties since his predecessor, David Cutler, wrapped up a long tenure as the department's director on December 31, 2014.
"My big thing is, I'm looking to build a team that has positive attitude and always is looking out for the best interests of the College in how we service the students," Farrington said. "Here's what I value: Teamwork and task-oriented people who show leadership in promoting the College and its best interests."
A slew of new summer projects will challenge Farrington and staff right out of the blocks. These include renovating Saint Joseph's Hall on Lime Kiln Road (now moth-balled) so it can become the new home of both the Human Resources and Facilities offices. Other imminent projects include renovations in Jeanmarie Hall, a classroom building, mostly to accommodate the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts Department, which will be moving there so the department's present home, Bergeron, can be renovated to become a new ‘Wellness Center" for both Health Services and Counseling staffs. Classroom spaces in Durick Library also are due for renovations.
Meanwhile, a major building project is on the fast track, Farrington said. "We're doing design and are about to start permitting for a new apartment-style residence hall alongside Pontigny, Canterbury and Cashman, and this project has a very aggressive schedule – we're hoping to be in the ground by mid-September 2015."
Outside of work, Farrington is a serious marathon runner and triathlete. He's both a member of the Green Mountain Athletic Association, a running club, and president of Green Mountain Multisport, a triathlon club. Farrington's daughter, Emma, is a sophomore at Essex High School and a standout runner, while his son, Henry, also a talented runner, is a 7th-grader at Albert D. Lawton Middle School in Essex Junction. Farrington has completed 11 marathons, two Ironman Triathlons and a handful of shorter events since taking up the hobby in the mid-1990s, he said.