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June 23, 2010

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Faces Behind the Scenes: Building Maintenance - Locksmith

Editor’s Note: Many staff work behind the scenes at The University of Texas at Tyler. In this four-part summer feature series, “Faces Behind the Scenes,” we will highlight some of the “unsung heroes” within the UT Tyler Physical Plant.


Above: Tyson Hughes serves as the campus locksmith. Below: Some of the UT Tyler Physical Plant staff members gather for a photo.

The University of Texas at Tyler Physical Plant’s building maintenance technicians handle all building maintenance including electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, painting and vehicle servicing.

All do whatever is needed to be done on campus, but all are tradesmen.

Tyson Hughes is no exception. The campus locksmith for almost three years installs new locks, creates keys and handles repairs.

“Anything to do with keys and anything with locks on it – I’m on it,” Hughes said.

With well over 1,000 locks on campus, his responsibilities expand to more than just “cutting keys.” He also develops key systems any time a new building emerges or if a building needs to be re-keyed.

“I use a computer software program that generates key systems,” Hughes explained. “I cross-reference those with the rest of the campus to make sure we don’t have, say, a key that works in the business building and also in the engineering building.

“It’s like a number generating system,” he said of the program. “It runs numbers. It makes my job a whole lot easier. I've got several different key cutting machines hooked up to the computer. I send the information over to it, put the key in, hit a button, and it cuts it automatically.”

A recent project involved creating a key system and installing all locks for the new UT Tyler Palestine Campus.

Hughes also coordinates work with Caroline Simmons, the physical plant’s administrative assistant, whenever a key request is sent.

“I get into Autocad and create a map of each building on campus and write down which key works with what door. It makes it easier for her to handle key requests whenever someone makes one, since they go directly to her,” he said.

Hughes enjoys the friendly atmosphere at the university.

“It’s very laid back, comfortable and nice,” Hughes said. “I’m planning on taking classes here.”

His children one day will become future Patriots, too.

“I really hope so anyway,” he said smiling.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Physical Plant staff members pose for a photo

Faces Behind the Scenes Feature Series:


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