It may be hard to believe, but University Park's youngest residence halls are already seven years old. The stately, brick buildings welcome visitors riding along East College Avenue and are quickly approaching a decade of existence. What is their secret? There is a special team of housekeepers that keep the residence halls looking like they did on day one.
The Eastview Terrace housekeepers are 11 dedicated and hard working Penn State employees who say they work more like a family than coworkers. Together they keep the seven buildings of Eastview clean and comfortable for the 808 students who call it home during the school year.
Eastview, located near South Halls, is not only the newest set of residential buildings, it's the most unique. Each student lives in a single room with a private bath, and each floor is grouped into houses made up of eight to 22 student rooms. Each house features a study/social area, as well as laundry facilities.
"We have a lot of nice kids here who like the quiet and like to get their studying done," said Housekeeper Denny Raymond said. "They like having their own space, but still use the common areas" to meet people.
The team of housekeepers agreed that most of the students socialize at night when the staff isn't there, but they often find proof of activity in the morning, like moved furniture and full trash cans in the social/study areas.
"We make sure everything is well maintained," Raymond said. "We try to keep these students safe and comfortable."
The housekeepers are in charge of cleaning the social areas and once a month sanitizing the bathrooms. Each employee is assigned a building and together they make Eastview sparkle.
"Everything looks very new," Housekeeper Lydia Snyder said. "When parents come to visit, they can't believe it's already been seven years. The place really shines and we take pride in that."
Julia Boone, assistant manager of Housing at Eastview, said the 11 workers enjoy the family atmosphere at Penn State and especially like working with each other. She said the employees are always willing to help each other out, no questions asked.
"They are a true team," she said. "They work together. They can take care of stuff themselves and they all chip in to help each other out to make this a great place to live for our students."
"We all have different personalities," Housekeeper Monica Brindle said. "This is a great group of people to work with. If there is ever a problem, we all want to help -- we've got each other's backs."
That commitment and love for their job creates a fun, clean and relaxed atmosphere for the students who take advantage of Eastview's unique living area. Brindle said that each employee prepares and cleans their areas as if it were for their own children.
"Everyone who works here has a family of their own," she said. "These kids come in and we want to see it through their eyes. We want it to be great."