John Moore built legacy of construction excellence and community at RIT

Retiring associate vice president of Facilities Management Services reflects on years of campus growth and transformation

Carlos Ortiz

John Moore, who is retiring as associate vice president of Facilities Management Services at the end of June, has overseen the construction of 10 new buildings—including RIT’s MAGIC Center—with three more currently in progress.

John Moore ’88 (mechanical engineering) has spent the last quarter century-plus overseeing the construction of world-class buildings and creating workplace environments that empower people. Come the end of June, he wants to build in more quality time with family and friends.

As associate vice president of Facilities Management Services (FMS) at RIT since 2012, Moore has guided a plethora of projects that have led to a dramatic transformation across the university’s 1,300 acres as well as two global campuses. His contributions shaping the campus community will be celebrated from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at University Gallery inside James E. Booth Hall.

After graduating from RIT, Moore began his career working as a systems engineer at IBM in East Fishkill, N.Y. He then worked for nine years as a systems and project engineer for the New York Power Authority at James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County.

Moore started his career in higher-ed construction in 1996 when he was named director of facilities maintenance at the State University of New York at Oswego. He was later named the director of project management and sustainability coordinator at SUNY Oswego in 2002.

“During my 16 years at SUNY Oswego I developed a great understanding of higher education and facilities services,” Moore said. “In 2012, I was privileged to join my alma mater here at RIT as the associate VP for facilities.”

During his RIT career, Moore has managed 230 members of the facilities team, with an operating budget of more than $30 million. The university’s current construction budget is more than $250 million.

“Under John’s adept leadership, our campus has flourished, witnessing notable expansions and enhancements,” wrote James Watters, senior vice president and treasurer, in a recent message to the RIT community.

“His direction brought to life the Gene Polisseni Center, Magic Spell Studios, and most recently, the SHED,” Watters added. “Additionally, ongoing projects include major renovations of the residence hall complex, the theater, and the stadium. John’s unwavering commitment to excellence has elevated our facilities and enriched our academic landscape.”

How many buildings have you overseen the construction during your time at RIT?

During my 12 1/2 years here, our FMS team has overseen the construction of 10 new buildings, with three more currently in progress. In all, we added more than 700,000 gross square feet of space to our campus. In addition, Jim Yarrington and I provided significant design guidance to the global campuses in Croatia and Dubai.

What are you most proud of when looking back at your RIT career? 

Improving the lives of the people in FMS. We have worked very hard to improve our leadership skills and equally as hard to improve our respect and civility in our work environment. Our “People First” goal is to create a work environment people wanted to be part of and were proud to be part of. It’s the people of FMS that keep RIT looking great and operating well. If we take great care of our people, we know they will take great care of our campus. Our team, including Derek Sylvester and Jenn McKee, and the (retired) Randy Vercauteren, provided a great deal of effort and support to help us improve. We have a much better workplace at RIT today, thanks to the work of so many people in FMS.

What are your post-RIT plans?

I want to focus on the priorities in my life, which include my wife, my mom, my family, and my friends. I have had an amazing career and now I want to be able to place all that energy on these priorities.


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