Not all University departments are academic, nor do they all padlock their doors come June.
The Buildings and Grounds Department, for instance, spends its time on jobs ranging from heating every building in the University to picking up Spearmint wrappers in Sever Quadrangle. Between these two extremes, it performs an infinite number of services of all shapes and sizes.
The part of the Buildings and Grounds department most mysterious to the average Harvard man is probably the carpentry division. When a broken chair or table mysteriously disappears, to be seen again only as an item on a term bill, it may very well have been carted to the extensive wood-working shops below Dunster House on Memorial Drive. Also in this building are a tinsmith's shop, a key shop, a metal-working shop, and an upholstery shop. A staff of roofers (now almost exclusively employed waterproofing Widener), electricians, and plumbers complete the repair crew of Buildings and Grounds.
The activities of the department are not limited to repair, however. The electrical division, for example, has just completed installing the new 15,000 volt transformers to carry the added load of the Physics Lab's cyclotron. But the most spectacular of the department's functions is the heating of Harvard buildings. Steam for over 180 buildings is brought from the Cambridge Electric Light Co. through two 19-inch pipes while a third one carries returning water. These pipes run through four miles of underground tunnels.
Last and least, there are the maids. The Department pays these ladies on a part-time basis, the idea being that they will make beds and dust rooms in return.