UA groundskeepers receive international award for 2nd year in a row

TUCSON, Ariz. - The workers that keep the University of Arizona's campus in top condition are getting international recognition.

The 615 groundskeepers that make sure the UA campus looks beautiful were honored with the APPA Award for Excellence for the second year in a row, which is the first for any large, four-year university. It's an international award based on how a college or university campus is kept, plus the team behind the work and their practices.

Assistant Vice President Christopher Kopach, who is in charge of the facilities department, says the honor is humbling.

"The fact is, we do it for our staff," he said. "They understand that we are ultimately here -- the facilities department -- to help the students graduate."

Kopach says one of the reasons their team is successful is the succession plan, which involves their new apprenticeship program. Students who are accepted and work in the program then have the opportunity for a job when they get their degree.

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