Director of Facilities and Grounds

Director of Facilities and Grounds

Reports to: Executive Director
Department: Facilities & Grounds
Supervision: Operations Grounds & Facilities Managers

Employment Status: Full-time
FLSA Status: Exempt
Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 428 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 56 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of over 70. Penland operates with a $50 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports individual and artistic growth through creative practice and discovery. 

Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. 

Position Summary

The Director of Facilities and Grounds is responsible for maintaining Penland’s physical plant, including our buildings, acreage, roads, parking lots, pastures, gardens, a community water system, utilities, vehicles, and other infrastructures. The position is responsible for managing new construction projects, several of which are forecast in the near term.  Central to the position are long and short-range planning and annual and long-range capital and operating budget management. They supervise three full-time managers, their staff, and numerous contracted service providers. They are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for their staff and clear systems for the community in all areas of facilities and grounds. 

The director of facilities and grounds is a leadership position, reports to the executive director, and is part of the executive team. This is a technical, administrative, and services-oriented position.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of Penland’s facilities and grounds, including contemporary and historic properties, forested land, pastures, and gardens.
  • Lead six department staff and all related contract services to ensure an organized, safe, and productive department and workplace. Work with the human resources manager on hiring, training, annual work plans, and conflict resolution. 
  • Ensures coordination of daily operations with the executive, operations, and programs directors and their staff to ensure the school’s smooth and safe day-to-day operations and special functions with a strong customer service focus. 
  • Ensure safe working conditions for the department and work closely with schoolwide staff to develop and implement safety policies and procedures that meet Penland, OSHA, and state requirements. Serves as a member of Penland’s Safety Committee. 
  • Manage the Penland vehicle fleet (including vans, golf carts, mules, trucks) and maintenance equipment (tractor, backhoe, etc.).
  • Lead and participate in the school’s on-call system for emergencies during evenings, weekends, and holidays, including managing winter weather and its impact on campus. 
  • Serves as the staff liaison for the board’s buildings and grounds committee and any related  facilities and grounds focused subcommittees.
  • Functions as liaison to state and county officials as appropriate to the position; remains up to date on government and industry information and regulations that may impact the school.
  • Performs additional duties as assigned.

Fiduciary Responsibility

  • Work with managers to guide and ensure the annual operational and capital budgets for facilities and grounds are financially prudent and tied to strategic goals.
  • Works with the finance director and executive director to request funds from and reports on the use of the Penland Building Reserve and Equipment Reserve Funds maintained by the School. Ensures adequate budget controls of these funds. 
  • Manage on-going facility, grounds, and equipment review and assessment and provides short and long-term budget projections for maintenance and capital improvements.
  • Ensures competitive prices for services and oversees service providers and capital improvement projects for maximum quality results. 
  • Manage all purchasing of maintenance and construction supplies and materials and explores options for bulk purchasing and storage.

Facilities and Grounds Management

  • Develop, update, and implement a comprehensive plan for maintaining facilities, including scheduling needed repairs, preventive maintenance, and long-term renovation. 
  • Work closely with the executive director and the buildings & grounds committee on achieving the campus master plan.  This includes the landscaping section to ensure responsible forest management. 
  • Serve on each capital project planning committee. In collaboration with the executive director and the director of finance, develop a plan and timetable for new construction and renovation projects.
  • Oversee the contract process with architects and other professionals involved in campus construction and renovation projects following Penland’s design and construction protocols.
  • Ensure a clear process and recordkeeping for all schoolwide maintenance and repair records to meet internal, county, and state requirements. This includes a campus-wide work-order system. 
  • Oversee the Penland water supply and distribution system. Ensure the system is managed by a certified well operator (preferable class A).
  • Manage the hazardous waste program, including hazardous waste scheduling, pick-ups, proper labeling, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste generated on campus. Ensure consistent training on the safe handling of hazardous waste.
  • Manage the annual fireworks celebration to ensure safety and maintain our ATF permit. 
  • Work with the executive director to evaluate and update building values for annual insurance premium renewals. 
  • Lead the development of energy savings programs that meet LEED certification and sustainability principles.
  • Lead all campus clean-up activities, land management, and neighboring land issues as they arise.
  • Ensure that all property acquisition processes are thorough and strategically focused. 


  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in the construction-related field with facility management responsibility and 1-3 years of supervisory responsibility. 
  • A bachelor’s degree. Special equipment licenses, landscape planning, civil engineering, surveying, or an architectural background would be helpful but not required.
  • Experience with operations and capital budget preparation, budget tracking, management, and reporting.
  • Experience negotiating and managing construction contracts and reading construction documents.
  • Experience managing a varied workload with multiple assignments and demanding priorities by  solid time management and organizational skills.
  • Must have strong strategic planning, problem-solving, analytical skills, and good interpersonal skills, with an ability to motivate others. Track record of managing with service, cost, and quality as priorities.
  • Strong communication skills in oral and written communication.
  • Sensitivity to historic preservation and principles of universal access.
  • Knowledge of energy efficiency measures, “green” principles, and groundwater management.
  • Knowledge of NC Building Code and OSHA regulations.
  • Certification as class B water system operator and pyrotechnic license ( may be obtained upon hire. Certification in first aid and CPR.
  • Facile use of Microsoft (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and Google Suite products. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license. 
  • Must have a good sense of humor and a hands-on philosophy.

Physical Demands

This position is physically demanding and requires you to perform strenuous work for extended periods. You must walk unaided up and down hills and over uneven terrain, bend, stoop, reach above your head, use fine and gross motor skills, and work in close quarters. You must regularly lift and move objects. You must have normal visual acuity at a near and far distance with correction and hear the spoken word with correction. You must handle hazardous and flammable materials safely. The position demands frequent exposure to inclement weather. 


This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position. Compensation discussions are a part of the interviewing process, but the starting salary for this position is $60,000. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, attractive benefits, and a lively, creative work environment. 

To Apply

The position will remain open until filled; an initial review of applications will begin after June 1, 2021. Send cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references, addressing relevant experience and interest in the position to Alyse Ostreicher, Human Resources Manager, Please include Director of Facilities & Grounds as the subject of your email. We look forward to hearing from you!