- Associated Press - Sunday, June 14, 2015

MADISON, S.D. (AP) - The director of building and grounds at Dakota State University has retired after 23 years at the helm.

Pat Keating retired this spring as director of the Physical Plant at Dakota State, the Madison Daily Leader (https://bit.ly/1KJNOeJ ) reported. He started working at the Madison university in 1987 as the associate plant director and succeeded Jim Hansen as director in 1992.

“We’ve completed a lot of projects since I started working here,” Keating said. “In fact, the college was in the middle of one when I first came on board.”

The projects completed by the school during Keating’s tenure include the construction of new buildings and the renovation of older ones. That included adding elevators to Beadle Hall, which university officials say was built in 1886 and is the oldest in the state still used for its intended purpose, and East Hall, a 114-year-old building that houses the school’s computer and business courses.

To increase energy efficiency, the university also replaced outdated lighting in some buildings with compact fluorescent bulbs and LED lighting, and made improvements to the hot-water boilers on campus.

“We’re happy to tell people that DSU has the lowest costs per square foot for utilities among all of the public university campuses in the state,” Keating said.

Many of the projects combined historical and modern aspects, he said, which allowed the school to maintain the appearance of certain buildings while also improving their amenities.

“I’ve tried to stress that when students and other visitors step out of their cars for that first visit to the campus, we’ve got to look good,” Keating said. “Those first impressions can really matter later on.”

Keating and his wife Nancy plan to travel more in his retirement. He said might also pick up a fishing rod again.

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Information from: The Madison Daily Leader, https://www.madisondailyleader.com

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