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Project Manager, Facilities & Campus Operations

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Client: Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0306-11

Helbling has been retained by a long-term client, a higher education institution in New Jersey, to conduct an executive search to secure a Project Manager, Facilities & Campus Operations.

Division of Facilities and Campus Operations

The Division of Facilities and Campus Operations provides planning and design, construction, maintenance and campus operations services in support of the university’s mission and strategic goals while employing the latest sustainable technologies. Key services include: building repair and maintenance, grounds and landscaping, space planning, and custodial services. In addition, the division directly supervises all significant capital design and construction activity on campus. 

The Office of Design and Construction provides project management services for capital improvement projects, including new construction and renovation projects on campus. Renovation projects include improvements to classrooms, offices, laboratories, athletics facilities, student housing, and student services, as well as updates to the infrastructure to keep campus and its buildings operational.

Overall Role and Primary Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Senior Project Manager, the Project Manager will oversee projects from planning / programming and design through construction, inspections, move-in, and closeout, and may supervise the work of Assistant Project Managers, Project Coordinators, and student employees as needed. The Project Manager will be expected to act as the primary point of contact and will be the Fiscal Officer for the project(s) assigned to him or her. This requires the ability to build, lead, and manage a project team; to create a project plan; define the scope of work by soliciting and synthesizing input from end-users and departmental leadership; and facilitate communications between facilities staff, consultants and other key stakeholders. As the Fiscal Officer, the Project Manager will assist procuring the design and construction services required and will be responsible for the financial success of his or her project(s).


  • Lead project team meetings with in-house personnel to schedule work and coordinate shutdowns, tie-ins, and contractor access.
  • Participate in cost control activities by seeking the most effective method of delivering services.
  • Review documents for compliance with standards (as well as assist in creating standards aligned with industry best practices), and existing site conditions.
  • Ensure that projects comply with all applicable guidelines, codes, and standards (FGI, NFPA, NJIBC and local Building Codes, ADA, etc.).
  • Ensure accessibility to construction sites, including the coordination of schedules with university functions.
  • Effectively communicate construction impacts and work collaboratively with leadership and staff to mitigate impacts to ongoing operations.
  • Perform daily construction site safety inspections, record and ensure prompt correction of deficiencies; ensure dust control procedures are being followed at all times, and instill a culture of safety on all projects.
  • Maintain interface with client and internal business units, ensuring compliance with project performance goals, including quantitative cost and schedule targets, and achievement of quality standards.

Key Competencies

  • Strong project management skills including design, construction, occupancy, schedule, and budget management. This includes:
    • Interfacing with leadership and end-users to define project requirements and establish project work plan and deadlines.
    • Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations to leadership and staff and/or public audiences.
    • Managing the RFP and competitive bid process and participating in selection of design teams.
    • Managing the design development process, ensuring consultant teams and internal partners deliver designs that are responsive to the program, and meet established schedule and budget targets.
    • Ability to apply analytical skills to the bid leveling process.
    • Experience with various contracting models for design and construction.
    • Representing the institution with architects, vendors, consultants, and regulatory agencies.
    • Overseeing consultants and contractors.
  • Familiarity with best practices in construction site safety protocols.
  • Ability to develop and maintain successful user relations to ensure smooth integration and delivery of projects.
  • Ability to identify defects in quality of construction during site walk-throughs.
  • Knowledge of financial terms and principles as they apply to the design and construction processes.
  • Ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret complex business documents.
  • Knowledge of general and industry-specific financial terms and principles.
  • Ability to set aggressive, but achievable, deadlines and be accountable for meeting them.
  • Capability and willingness to perform periodic inspections of job site conditions and project progress, which might include climbing stairs and ladders to access areas throughout on-site and off-site properties, accessing roofs, mechanical equipment rooms, and electrical rooms.
  • Intermediate to advanced skills with Microsoft Office Suite.

Skills & Abilities

  • Strong communications and relationship-building skills.
  • High ethical and moral standards.
  • Excellent judgment and strong reasoning ability.
  • Advanced analytical and quantitative skills.
  • Ability to respond swiftly and effectively to sensitive project-related issues.
  • Ability to motivate and negotiate effectively with end-users and internal departments.
  • Ability to take initiative and make well-informed decisions


  • Bachelor's degree (BA/BS), preferably in Engineering, Architecture, or Construction Management.
  • Advanced degree in Business, Planning & Design, Construction Management, Engineering, or Architecture a plus.
  • Seven plus (7+) years of work experience in project management required, at least three (3) years of which should include management of multiple and/or highly complex projects. Work in higher education or other institutional experience is preferred.
  • Two plus (2+) years of managerial experience required (directly supervising one or more staff on multiple projects).
  • Experience working on at least two sides of the business (i.e., consultant, construction manager, owner, owner rep, architect, engineer or contractor) is required.
  • Experience in related fields preferred.

Search Consultants: Ryan Pugh and Ron Baumiller

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