Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Keen eye for detail

December 14, 2006

Rebecca Savidge, building inspector for the city of Lansing, isn't experiencing a winter lull like she did last year.

Rebecca Savidge

Rebecca Savidge

While winter is typically a slow time for her, she said, the several businesses opening their doors are keeping her busy as ever - and motivating her to brush up on a whole different side of the city code.

"We're really learning the commercial side of it this year, which I'm glad to see. In the past years I haven't been able to do that a lot," she said.

Savidge has been an inspector for the city for nine years, but she's been interested in the field much longer - she just didn't realize it. Early on, Savidge was interested in drafting, eventually going to Kansas State University to study architecture.

Savidge's interest in fire science was kindled there when she became a student firefighter.

But many years passed before Savidge discovered a job fusing the two interests.

"Both of them go hand-in-hand with building inspection," she said.

After nearly a decade of meticulous attention to details of building code, Savidge said, the profession is hard-wired.

"It's like riding a bike - it's like second nature. You get so used to doing it and knowing what to look for : " she said.

But Savidge's proficiency isn't always a blessing. Sometimes it's hard for her to leave her job at the office.

"I find myself going shopping or going to a restaurant and I'm looking up and looking around," Savidge said. "You're always going, 'Hey, look at that.' It drives the people I'm with absolutely crazy - it's a horrible habit."

Name: Rebecca Savidge

Occupation: City inspector

Graduate of: Kansas City Kansas Community College; Studied architecture and fire science at Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University.

Family: Nick, 19, son; Victoria, 9, daughter.

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? Originally came to the area with her father, who was in the military. Later attended Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University before returning in 1990.

What do you like most about Lansing? "I like Lansing because it's a small town and everybody tries to work together, and I know everybody, it seems like : I just like being in that small town."

What do you do for fun? "Working with my kids in 4-H, I'm a Girl Scout leader, working around the house with the animals : I like to read. I like to cross-stitch."

What would surprise people about you? "Maybe that I drove trucks."

What's the best advice you've ever received? "Learn from the experience of your elders and listen to them."

What organizations or clubs do you belong to? Leader of Girl Scout Troop 474, assistant leader of Boling 4-H.

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