Recently Ogden and the surrounding cities have been hit with some pretty big snowstorms. With each new storm, Weber State University Facilities Management has to go out and do removal to keep the campus safe for students, faculty and staff.
“Snow removal — of course there is room for improvement anywhere, but I do think that they do their best to get it,” said student senate president Brady Harris. “There are some ways they probably could improve things, maybe getting snow taken care of earlier. Some students were surprised that there was some snow on the sidewalks after the break, because we hadn’t had snow in a while. But as far as my thoughts on it, there is always room for improvement, but I think Facilities does the best that they can.”
The shuttles going to and from campus also have to deal with the challenges of driving in the snow or icy conditions.
“We obviously have to deal with the same road hazards out there, but we have to do it on a consistent basis,” said Ross LaRue, WSU assistant of fleet management. “Well, the first thing that we do is make sure we don’t get in a hurry and that our drivers are instructed to take their time and be safe, getting people onto campus on time come after getting them there safely. I work closely with our landscape crew and our snowplow operators, and to be honest they are doing quite a good job with what they have to deal with.”
Facilities Management often has its plows out long before students are arriving on campus. Also, many of the sidewalks must be shoveled by hand.
“When it snows, I personally show up here about 4 o’clock in the morning, and I go around and assess what’s going on,” said Jim Humphreys, a cluster supervisor from Facilities Management. “By 5 o’clock I have called in a crew to do the work. . . . If it’s a big storm like it was last time, I call half my crew in.”
Facilities Management asks that students drive slowly and wear the appropriate apparel, such as shoes that are good in the snow, when they know it has snowed or is going to be slick outside.
“I park in the A6 Lot up by the stadium, and for me, for the most part, I think that they are doing a great job in our area,” said London Draper Lowe, nursing professor. “The only time the parking lot isn’t plowed is when it’s right in the middle of a blizzard. Wednesday, when we had this last snowstorm, the sidewalks were packed with snow, but somebody was already out there shoveling, so by the time I went home the sidewalks were all shoveled. For me, ice has been a bigger problem.”
Another thing that has been a slight issue is ice melt getting in the carpets and tile floors in the buildings. Ice melt can eat away at both tile and carpet, and as students walk in and out of buildings they track in ice melt. Facilities Management asks students to simply wipe their feet off, which will help with the problem of having to replace flooring.
“I think there needs to be more salt,” said Josh Hayes, WSU freshman. “It tends to ice up pretty bad. It’s sometimes difficult to find a spot on the street when it’s covered up with snow and all the rest of the parking is full all of the time. I saw a lot of people the other day that got tickets for parking in a fire lane that was covered in snow; nobody knew it was a fire lane.”