While You Were Sleeping

What a beautiful campus to wake up to this past Friday, it looked lovely!


Facilities Management strives to make it safe for everyone to return for work and classes. Your Grounds & Gardens crew arrived at 4 am to start checking roads, bridges, sidewalks, stairs and walkways. Trades folks (plumbers, HVAC, electricians & carpenters) rotate storm duty in teams, and they arrived at 6am to make safe walkways & stairs for 200+ campus buildings. The folks really keeping things tidy inside & out are our Building Services staff. All stairs and ADA ramps are their responsibility, but not all stairs and walkways can be treated the same for snow and ice …


… While ice is our enemy on days like this, ice melt is not our weapon of choice. If we can sweep it, blow it, shovel it or simply shift it to the side to make walkways safe – that’s what we do. Sand & grit are used in environmentally sensitive areas, whether it’s Mother Nature’s environment or our man’s own invention. The Crim Dell bridge crosses over storm water collection that feeds Lake Matoaka, so only sand is applied on that surface. The Wren, Brafferton & President’s House all have historic building materials, so entrance steps are treated with sand for increased traction, and ice is broken carefully to avoid cracking the limestone or marble steps. Metal stair wells and treads are prone to rust: noncorrosive materials are used on these.

Staff gathered in their winter attire eating and resting in the large shop area.

Well deserved biscuit break in the Turf shop.

For the health of our environment, ice melt is only used on high traffic walkways, cross walks, and on shady spots that are slow to thaw to maximize pedestrian safety. Since the temperatures are due to dip before they rise, we’re all working to help keep campus clean & safe. As a gardener I love the sun, and the snow draped trees are gorgeous. But in a winter storms, I want our planet to turn faster so the sun’s rays can melt all these flakes away.

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