Snow Clearing Is A Big Job On College Campuses

TWIN PORTS – College campuses in the Twin Ports are packed with snow. With a lot of ground to cover campus maintenance crews have been putting in extra time to stay on top of the clean up.

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s campus is approximately 250 acres. Having that amount of land creates a huge job for the campus’ facilities operations team.

about 30 people, including full time grounds staff, student employees, and contractors, take on the task of clearing snow.

Even with a large team, getting rid of all the snow causes them to work some overtime.

“We try to keep it to 12 hour shifts. Occasionally when we have continued snow events, we end up running staggered shifts and working 24 hours, around the clock,” said UMD Campus Operations Manager Shane Peterson.

Across the bridge, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, also has a dedicated crew working to help get rid of snow around campus.

UW-Superior’s facilities superintendent says a lot of planning goes into how they handle snowy winters in the twin ports. Most of the plans are well thought out before the snow falls.

“Usually we review our plans in the fall. We focus on our emergency routes first in these 20 to 40 inch snow falls. Above and beyond that we start drilling down on opening and widening pathways and roadways,” said UWS Facilities Superintendent Mark Graves.

Graves also says good communication and campus feedback helps with the snow clearing process.

Even though these dedicated employees have completed most of the snow removal on both campuses, more work is left to be done.

With more snow in the forecast, it will likely be a while before these grounds keepers get some relief from this daunting task.

Fortunately, campus maintenance crews will get a leg up on snow clearing once both campuses go on winter break.

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