As I sat at my kitchen table wearing multiple layers and warm fuzzy slippers earlier this week, choosing to stay inside rather than brave the sub-zero temps and even more dangerous negative wind chill, my appreciation grew for those willing to face the elements.
The following was written back in the relative warmth of November.
Many weather sources, including the Farmer’s Almanac, are forecasting a colder than average winter with higher than average snowfall. Hopefully the weather ends up being better than forecasted but no matter what happens, Buildings and Grounds is prepared to handle it. Ice melt, road salt and sand have already been purchased and are being stored on campus for use this winter. Machinery has been prepared to use for removing snow from our nearly four miles of sidewalks.From the warm inside looking out it can be easy to second guess the good folks in B&G, "How about a little salt," "why didn't they get an earlier start," etc, etc.
B&G staff has also reviewed a comprehensive plan for snow removal on campus. The first area of concern is removing snow from the 84 building entrance areas, a job that needs to be done by hand. Priority is given to areas around residence halls and classroom buildings and, once those are clean, sidewalks and areas around office entrances are cleaned. Cleaning the entrance areas and sidewalks takes six people about 2.5 hours. Once snow is removed, ice melt or salt is applied. During heavier snowfalls, an outside contractor cleans the campus roadways and parking lots, beginning from the center of campus and working out.
In order to keep the sidewalks around Sommer Center from pitting and flaking, only sand will be used in that area. After this winter, the concrete will be fully cured and we can begin using ice melt and salt.
Consider this: four miles of sidewalks, 84 building entrances, six people. That is impressive.
Thank you B&G for all the work you do, in every season.