By P. Erik Meyer & Logan Hall
Students stream from buildings on a Friday afternoon in the as Mr. David Aguayo sprays the concrete in the Mall with water, washing away dust and debris.
Despite the flow of people and commotion around him, Mr. Aguayo works relentlessly and undisturbed, as he has for nearly 30 years.
His trademarks include his wheelbarrow, hat, hose, leaf blower and suspenders.
Many know him simply as “the wheelbarrow man,” but others will say Mr. Aguayo is a key reason our campus stays so luscious and clean.
“He’s a great guy. He has a reputation, I think, with you guys that he’s a little grouchy,” said Ms. Sherri Stephens, Director of Facilities and Food Services. “He’s also a little grouchy with all of us so we walk lightly around him and try not to tell him too much what to do.”
Mr. Aguayo began work at Brophy in January of 1982, which makes him the most experienced maintenance member on campus.
“Mr. David is a very nice gentleman, always says hi in the morning and he is dedicated to what he does,” said Mr. Eddie Pionk, a maintenance department member. “He is here almost every day and is one of the hardest working men I’ve met in my life.”
Mr. Aguayo, 82, was born on May 16, 1929 in Mexico.
He is here six hours a day, five days a week, working to keep the campus clean.
“He’s always here and I can always count on him,” Ms. Stephens said.
Mr. Aguayo’s responsibilities include watering anything that isn’t automatically watered, cleaning sidewalks and passageways, picking up trash that is left behind, blowing leaves and overall just keeping the campus clean.
Most students pass by Mr. Aguayo not realizing the impact he has on the campus.
“I don’t really interact with him much, but I definitely see him around campus all the time,” said Shep Bryan ’12.
Bryan said that he regularly sees Mr. David pushing his wheelbarrow and clearing our pathways.
“He keeps the campus going and everybody appreciates it and that’s what makes such a great community,” said Andrew Prchal ’14. “Without him, it’d be pretty tough and Brophy wouldn’t be what it is.”
Sometimes students in transition across campus do not slow down the task at hand.
“If you’re in his way when he’s watering and you get a couple of sprinkles on you, I would say that came from him,” Mr. Pionk said.
Students have played tricks on Mr. David in the past such as taking things from his wheelbarrow, but he reports them immediately to the administration.
“That wheelbarrow is his domain,” Ms. Stephens said. “You don’t mess with Mr. David’s wheelbarrow.”
According to Ms. Stephens, despite Mr. David’s age, he refuses to retire because he thinks that when you stay at home and retire, you die.
“He’s stronger than an ox,” Mr. Pionk said.
Mr. Aguayo opted against an interview about his work, fitting for someone who prefers to fly under the radar while doing his job.
Many may not ever have a conversation with Mr. Aguayo, but Ms. Stephens said his work is important.
“I’ve often told Father Reese and Mrs. Renke that the day Mr. David is no longer here, we’re all going to notice because even though he doesn’t have real strict instruction about what his job is, he keeps this place a lot cleaner than any of us realize,” Ms. Stephens said.