Ten UCSF Projects Receive $10,000 in Funding to Create a Better First Impression


By Robert Hood on May 02, 2019

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Robert Hood, Campus Life Services

Replacing the worn carpet in Millberry Union Level P7, landscaping high-visibility areas around Parnassus and upgrading the waiting area at Citywide Clinic, are three of the 10 projects chosen to receive $10,000 in funding in this year’s UC San Francisco Facilities Services Campus First Impressions Contest.

The contest drew 94 entries, double the number of entries from last year. Each of the winning projects receives up to $10,000 to upgrade the space. The contest was open to students, staff and faculty. Projects were judged on their overall campus impact and feasibility. They were limited to public spaces that would make a significant first impression on students, staff, faculty and visitors.

A 17-member committee reviewed the entries. Committee members included representation from the offices of the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost, Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Student Affairs, Real Estate, Campus Planning, Facilities Advisory Group and Facilities Services.

Doris Sorto, who works in Transportation Services, submitted a project to replace the carpet on Level P7 that connects the Millberry Union garage, Transportation Services Office, and the UC Police Department WEID Office. Over the years, three different types of carpet have patched the hallway forming an interesting mosaic.

“It’s three different colors and it’s simply worn out,” Sorto said. She also explained that the area is busy with people getting their UCSF ID’s and inquiring about parking and transportation.

Sean Aloise, communications and operations coordinator for Facilities Services and contest coordinator, said this year’s entries focused on landscaping, improving outdoor spaces, and upgrading heavily trafficked indoor areas with a fresh coat of paint, art, flooring and even furniture. Aloise helped manage the contest. “It’s great to see how many employees care about their workspace and environment and how sprucing up the space can make them feel we are adding to the community and the mission of UCSF,” he said.

Haley McEwan, director of administration at the UCSF Library, was notified that her submission was accepted to replace the 27-year-old leather chairs in the lookout area on the main floor. She said choosing the right space where a first impression can be made – and using a little humor in the application – can help elevate a project in the eyes of the judging panel.

“The space is continuously used,” McEwan said of the lookout. “It is one of the most beautiful views on campus.”

Fumi Mitsuishi, MD, MS, division director for Citywide Case Management Programs located on Mission Street, said the funding will make an enormous difference in providing a safe, welcoming space for clients and visitors. It will be used to paint the waiting room, clean the floors, and buy new furniture.

“The seats in the waiting area have not been changed since they were donated to us when we moved into our space in 2007,” Mitsuishi said. “Because we serve some of the most severely mentally ill clients who face extreme social challenges, we need to have furniture that is both welcoming and functional.”

Mitsuishi said the waiting area seats are bolted to the floor and made of plastic so they can be easily cleaned. “Given that we serve 1,500 individuals annually and have about 300 clients visit the clinic on any given day, the chairs in the waiting area get a lot of use.”

Sorto and Mitsuishi said departments should get involved in the First Impressions Contest if they have public spaces that need improvement. “It’s worth putting some effort in describing the services provided, how great the benefit would be to visitors and why your service is an asset to UCSF and the community,” Mitsuishi said. “What a wonderful gift this is!”

2019 First Impressions Winners

1). Parnassus Landscaping at MU/ACC/Medical Center – This project includes landscaping in front of the ACC and Medical Center, the MU parking garage off Parnassus which has high visibility off Parnassus Avenue, and the area in front of the side entry door to the right of the main entrance to the medical center.

2). MU-P7 Carpet Replacement – The hallway carpet in MU-P7 has been there for nearly 40 years. Students, staff, patients and visitors come from the MU Garage and use the hallway to access the elevators to Parnassus along with visiting Transportation Services and the UC Police Department WEID Office.

3). Library Lactation Room – Parnassus has 14 lactation room stations and the Parnassus Library lactation room is just one of two located on the north side of campus. It is a former copy room with cloth walls and a broken cabinet that is used by students, employees, and people attending library events.

4). Library Lookout Chairs – The lookout on the main floor of the UCSF Library is a popular spot for the campus community and visitors. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge and USF campus are spectacular. Approximately 100 people use the area each day. Unfortunately, the leather chairs are worn and torn and need to be replaced.

5). Medical Sciences Parnassus Entry & Hallway – The project includes sprucing up the secondary, hidden entrance to the Medical Sciences Building from Parnassus Avenue. This includes cleaning and refinishing the entrance doors, replacing the old wooden benches in the entrance hallways with new furniture, paint, lighting, and signage.

6). Irving Street Elevator Lobby Refresh – The Irving Street lobby is the primary entry to the Parnassus campus from the MUNI off Irving Street. For thousands of people, this is the first impression of campus. It is a convenient and favored access point for patients and employees making their way to Parnassus. The project will focus on painting, accents, plants, repairing chipped paint and sprucing up the area.

7). Medical Sciences Building Cole Hall Bathroom Refresh – The bathrooms outside of Medical Sciences in Cole Hall (1T4 & 1T5) will be updated with new paint, deep cleaning, etc.

8). Mission Hall First Floor Hallway Tables – The furniture placed in Mission Hall between the classrooms has migrated towards the Campus Lane end of the hall and the southern end of the hall is usually equipped with moveable tables set up by Facilities every day. The proposal is to add shelf-type tables to the walls outside rooms 1400 and 1401/02 along with chairs and lighting suitable for work or studying.

9). Mission Center Building Outdoor Beautification – The first impression of the Mission Center Building for new employees is the courtyard/outdoor space near the shuttle stops and main entry (photographed above with MCB employees). This project includes new outdoor furniture, planters, and some cleaning and paint.

10). Citywide Clinic Lobby – The Citywide Clinic supports the recovery of San Francisco’s highest risk mentally ill adults. The furniture in the waiting room was donated to the clinic when they moved into the space on Mission Street in 2007. Given the population served at the clinic, they need solid furniture that is bolted to the floor and easily cleaned.