Seasonal Surroundings Send Us into a Snow Daze
After last week’s pre-Valentine’s Day snowstorm closed the University for the second time in two weeks, Mark C. Reed, Senior Vice President for Administration, thanked and recognized “those members of the University community who come to campus regardless of the weather conditions to keep essential services running and available.”
To learn more about what’s involved in keeping the campus running safely before, during, and after a snowstorm, David Frassinelli, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management, provided some behind-the-scenes insight into just how Facilities Management manages it.
“The crews under the direction of Peter Crowley (Director of Facilities Management) do an excellent job in the removal of snow and the application of salt to deal with potential icy conditions. Their work starts long before the arrival of the snow as salt deliveries are scheduled; equipment is started, gassed up, and loaded with salt. At the height of storms, the crews commence plowing and snow removal, often working through the night.”
Frassinelli said the main goal is “To open the school on time to minimize the impact on academics, athletics and administration. Safety remains the number one priority so Facilities Management coordinates with Public Safety, Human Resources, and academics to ensure that the campus is in good condition for opening.”
What kind of crew and equipment is needed to clean up after a storm?
That varies depending on the severity of the storm. Small events we can handle ourselves with our grounds crew of seven. If we need to outsource, the cleanup crew can reach up to 20.
With University equipment and outsourced contractors, we have 8 to 10 trucks. For a big storm, the outsourced contractor brings 12 shovelers.
How does Facilities Management determine where to begin snow removal?
That depends on events and time of year. Are the students here? Is there an event at the Quick Center? We typically do our homework on what’s happening and plan accordingly.
What is the extent of roads and sidewalks on campus?
The campus is one mile end to end with about 5 miles of roads and 10 miles of sidewalks.
How is the staff holding up with this extreme winter?
While there is no control over when the snow will arrive or when things might ice up, the crews have worked very hard on all of the storms this year, some of which have come back-to-back. We ask our grounds crews to work long, odd hours often in the dark and cold. They have consistently come through for us and maintain positive attitudes. Peter Crowley, Dennis Quinones (Group Leader, Grounds), and Ted Hunyadi (Director of Maintenance Services) typically stay on campus overnight to manage the operations of our crews as well as our outsourced contractors to make sure the job gets done correctly.