YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Yongsan building managers gathered at the Balboni Theater March 11 to hear from garrison officials on strategies for maintaining the more than 600 buildings on Yongsan.

The workshop was held to exchange information about building operations and maintenance, said Col. Dave Hall, USAG-Yongsan commander, who opened the workshop.

"We have infrastructure challenges because the facilities in Yongsan are very old," he said. "We have Yongsan facilities that are almost 50 years old."

Because the Yongsan Relocation Plan calls for relocating many missions here by 2012, funding is not as readily available for infrastructure upgrades. That has not stopped U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan organizations from maintaining quality programs for the community.

"Although we have limited resources and aging infrastructures, we have been identified as an Army Communities of Excellence finalist among 179 installations around the globe," Hall said. "What that means is that we have established strong communication, and I believe we can continue to solve problems this way."

Building managers heard from Department of Public Works officials who explained responsibilities for facility upkeep, submitting service orders, and other building maintenance issues.

John Ghim, chief of the DPW Maintenance and Operations Division, encouraged building managers to handle minor work themselves instead of submitting a service order for a DPW technician.

"Calling us at DPW to go and fix each minor problem causes an unnecessary spending," Ghim said. Service orders take up 40 percent of the DPW labor force, he added.

"The responsibilities of building managers are crucial in properly operating and maintaining the facilities," added Carol Jones, the chief of Housing Division. She emphasized maintaining strong communication between building managers and workers in DPW. "You are our ears and eyes. DPW let alone cannot do it alone," she said.