Director of Road and Grounds receives award from Arts and Humanities Commission

Monday, August 03, 2020

Fairmont State University’s Jamie Colanero, Director of Road and Grounds, was recognized by the Fairmont Arts and Humanities Commission with an award for landscape design. 

Colanero said getting the award isn’t just about him but it’s about his team. While he has been at the University for more than 15 years, he said the work they do wouldn’t be accomplished without the effort they put in together. His team includes Evan Gaines, Mike Marcavage, Brian Novak and Kenny Whetsell. 

“It’s all about the guys that work here with me all the time and the products, equipment that Fairmont State gives us to get these jobs done,” he said. “It’s all about having good people and that’s exactly what we have. They care about their jobs, it means a lot. We’re proud if one student or parent says the place looks nice. It makes our day.” 

His team works hard and never complains, Colanero said. They are always concerned about getting it right but they are grateful to have their jobs and continue to work hard. 

“They are my second family. We love Fairmont State University and try to make it better every day if we can,” he said. “I am very, very thankful to have that. We wear so many hats it’s unbelievable.” 

He said that the work is season after season after season. There is no slow time. His team sets daily goals to accomplish and then they get them done. 

“I love telling others about our beautiful campus,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “And when I talk about ‘our cozy, tree-filled, hilltop campus,’ I’m really talking about the dedication and passion that Jamie brings to his work and inspires in his team. When you see the stunning blooming flowers or the meticulously groomed quad, you’re seeing Jamie’s heart and soul. He also happens to be one of the most gracious, kind, and friendly folks you’ll ever meet. Congratulations to Jamie on this wonderful and well-deserved recognition.”

His goal is to try to have color on campus in spring, summer and fall. As you arrive, he wants something to grab your eye and pull in. And he is succeeding in this goal. 

Pruning is followed by mulching. Planting is followed by watering, mowing and manicuring. The next order of business is maintaining the athletic grounds for the fall and cleaning up fallen leaves.  

It is not uncommon to see wedding pictures, senior portraits, family photos or even an engagement take place on campus. Colanero has envisioned and then brought to life a background for some of Marion County’s biggest moments to take place. 

The cold weather doesn’t mean time off for Colanero either. Winter is about safety and efficiency. His team does whatever it takes to make sure that students, faculty and staff can safely navigate campus by car and by foot.