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Kansas Wesleyan University

Richard Brock is so serious about heating and cooling and Kansas Wesleyan University that he gave a whole year’s notice that he planned to retire. That time comes at the end of February.  

Brock, who started in May 2006, handles all of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning maintenance and repair and the scheduling and monitoring of the energy-management systems. He is a one-man shop, handling all of this on his own. 

“Richard is and has been an integral part of the KWU staff throughout the years,” said John Swagerty, KWU’s director of plant operations and Brock’s supervisor. “His work ethic, respect of others and pride in workmanship is phenomenal, to say the least.” 

Brock gave Swagerty that one-year notice so that he could train his replacement and leave KWU under the best of circumstances. 

“The one-year notice shows just how much Richard honestly cares about KWU and ensures the facilities are taken care of after he retires,” Swagerty said. “Richard is a rare breed and has a vast amount of knowledge that will be sorely missed here on campus.” 

“It has always been a good fit for me,” Brock said. “I like coming to one place every day. I have my own little community to take care of. You get to know people and you build a history and relationships.”  

Throughout his more than 16 years on campus, he helped overhaul many of the facility’s HVAC systems and saw everything go online. 

“There was a lot going on,” Brock said. “They updated all the air handlers and air-conditioning systems. We used to heat the building with steam pipes running through all of the building. Now it’s all done with heat pumps and electric heat.” 

With a background in construction, Brock worked for a few air-conditioning contractors in the Salina and Abilene areas before joining KWU. 

“I didn’t know anything about it,” Brock said about the KWU campus before working here. “I saw an ad in the paper and answered it.” 

Last year, he decided that this March would be his last month on campus. As he heads into retirement, he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, seven children and 15 grandchildren, golfing, hunting and fishing, and volunteering at church. 

Story by Dan Froehlich