The Association of Physical Plant Administrators has named Brigham Young University the winner of its Excellence in Facilities Management Award for universities with more than 5,000 students.

Walt Schaw, association executive vice president, said BYU was chosen for innovation, exceptional performance and also for sustained excellent performance over a long period. "I sat through the evaluation process," Schaw said, "and what impressed me was the tremendous relationship between the physical plant people and the academic side."The association has more than 1,400 member institutions. BYU topped five other winners of regional competitions.

A similar award was presented to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta representing colleges and universities with fewer than 5,000 students.

Doug Christensen, BYU physical plant director, and BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland accepted the award Tuesday at the association's annual conference and awards banquet in Washington.

Ed Cozzens, BYU assistant administrative vice president for physical facilities, said 350 full-time employees and as many as 1,200 part-time students are key to the success of the university's physical facilities program.

"We are proud of our physical plant organization and of the work the employees perform daily to support education," he said. "And since this is the first award given, we recognize the trust placed in us by APPA to begin a fine tradition."

With 27,000 students and about 3,500 faculty and staff members, BYU is like a small city. The university's 638-acre campus includes 139 buildings for academic programs, 77 for administration and physical plant services, and 269 for student housing.

The buildings include the Lee Library, with 2 million volumes and seating for 4,000, the 65,000-seat football stadium and the 23,000-seat Marriott Center, the third largest on-campus indoor arena in the nation.