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Facilities manager Dalbey serves as Talbot's gatekeeper

Facilities manager Dalbey serves as Talbot's gatekeeper

6/18/2020 3:03:43 PM Phillip Kisubika

There are no in-person classes taking place on the University campus this summer, but research continues, and people are beginning to return to Talbot Laboratory. The constant throughout the various stages of the coronavirus lockdown has been facilities manager Scott Dalbey.

Dalbey, who splits his time between NPRE and Aerospace Engineering, was pretty much the only person allowed in Talbot when the stay-at-home order was instituted in March. “It was quite a relief when the College decided to lock down the buildings. The first few days (of the stay-at-home order), I was here (in Talbot) and the doors were unlocked, and people could’ve come and gone (without me knowing).”

To go from a bustling academic building to basically three stories of silence was a real adjustment.

“At first, it was quite lonely being just about the only person in this huge building for what seemed like weeks on end,” Dalbey said. “I heard creaks and moans and this old building telling its story...for about three weeks, and then about halfway through the lockdown, people started wanting to come back and it turned a little bit toward normal.”

“I went from absolutely nothing to do the first few weeks…I got to know every single window air conditioner in the building…and then there was a lull and then the floodgates opened.”

In addition to handling Talbot Laboratory, Dalbey also has responsibilities at the Nuclear Radiation Laboratory, Digital Computer Laboratory, Hydrogen Liquifier Building, and the lower portion of the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory.

Due to office staff being required to work at home for the time being, Dalbey has also had to handle receiving packages, making sure people who need to get in can do so and keeping everyone who enters Talbot supplied with masks and hand sanitizer.

Like everyone on campus, Dalbey is waiting to see what the state government and University hierarchy decide in terms of what the fall semester holds.

But for now, the building’s gatekeeper will be holding the doors for those who can enter the building now. “I’m just glad to see some people here,” he said.