Harding Physical Resources began preparing for the fall semester’s biggest weekend long before visitors, parents, alumni and prospective students started making their way to campus. According to Danny DeRamus, director of physical resources, events like Homecoming require more time preparing than they actually do on the week of the event.
“There are things that are started months in advance to get things ready for Homecoming,” DeRamus said. “Usually, the week of is more making sure everything is maintained, and if there’s an emergency of any kind, we try to get to it really quick.”
Work for Homecoming began two months ago, according to DeRamus, with hanging new signs in the Rhodes-Reaves Field House. Closer to the weekend, they are responsible for making the Homecoming magic happen — setting up events on the Front Lawn, preparing bouncy houses at the tailgate and running electricity to outdoor event spaces. They also work with University Communications and Marketing to hang banners and signs throughout campus.
Marcus Barnett, facility services supervisor for physical resources, said they will utilize approximately 565 tables and 850 chairs for indoor and outdoor festivities at the Ganus Activities Complex.
Their hard work is not just a testament to the big events and eye-catchers during Homecoming weekend. DeRamus said they make sure even the smallest details are attended to, details like realigning ceiling tiles and fixing cracked floor tiles in the David B. Burks American Heritage Building.
“Basically, [our responsibility] is to make all the ideas everybody has come to life,” DeRamus said.
Homecoming celebrations for physical resources are a week longer than everyone else’s, too. The department helps coordinate and prepare for Harding Academy’s Homecoming celebrations and festivities, which take place the week before the university’s. After the academy’s celebration, there is no rest for the behind-the-scenes group, who begin cleaning and preparing First Security Stadium for fans who will fill the stands and the Bisons who will take to the field.
If they do not have capabilities in-house to carry out a task, DeRamus said they will rely on outside service providers to get the job done.
“We have the expertise, and if not, we know who has the expertise to fix anything or take care of any issue that we have,” DeRamus said.
No job is too big or too small for the group of dedicated staff in physical resources who make the behind-the-scenes magic happen on campus this weekend.