Visitors to Lake James State Park rightly assume that the facilities will be working properly when they get there. Nobody wants to deal with leaky faucets or broken light fixtures when they’re trying to enjoy the beauty of nature. The park has a dedicated maintenance staff that oversees the day-to-day functioning of the necessities most people take for granted. Darrin Oliver is one of those behind-the-scenes heroes who keep things running smoothly. His official position title is Maintenance Mechanic II, signifying a level of expertise that rivals professional tradesmen in the fields of electricity and plumbing. In addition, he holds several state certifications, including water testing and pesticide application.
Darrin has worked at Lake James State Park for nearly six years and has lived and worked in Burke County for his entire life.
“The thing that makes me happy to come into work every day is the people I work with; we’re like a family here,” he said. “This job is gratifying in that it’s never the same – every day is different. One day we might be putting in a new picnic site and the next we could be testing the water to make sure it’s safe to drink and shower in. Ironically, that diversity is also the most challenging part of the job. It’s constantly changing.”
So the next time you’re in the park and everything works as it should, think of Darrin and his coworkers in the maintenance shop; their professionalism is the reason for your comfort.