Most of the United States has received an enormous amount of snow this winter, and Albion, Mich. is no exception. Over the course of the winter, the city and school received multiple feet of snow.
The Albion College facilities and operations department continues to work throughout the entire winter in order to keep campus safe for students and staff.
“A combination of facilities staff, which includes grounds, buildings, custodial and skilled trades, have been on campus since Dec. 28, with the exception of New Years Eve Day, to move snow or melt ice,” said Mark Frever, director of grounds. “It is a shared responsibility to service and the hard-work ethic the facilities staff has that make the campus a friendly and safe environment.”
As of late, the college has taken more drastic measures to deal with the snow and ice. Bulldozers have been seen around campus removing snow from sidewalks, making wider, cleaner paths on which to walk.
“Most sidewalks, the grounds staff uses Albion College equipment to make room for each snow event,” Frever said. “We have hired a local excavation company, Carr Brothers, to move snow from the most challenging sidewalks. The most challenging sidewalks accumulate snow from weather systems and plowed snow from the roads.”
Facilities didn’t just pay attention to the roads and sidewalks, though. In recent weeks many students have been asked to move their cars from their current parking lots to other open lots temporarily so the grounds staff can have the ability to effectively plow these lots.
All of this work from the facilities staff is not going unnoticed by Albion College students.
“Albion College facilities has done an excellent job with keeping the sidewalks plowed and salted,” said Jim Gass, Dearborn sophomore. “A few smelly hallways is a fair price to pay for a safe, salted campus.”
The staff has even reached out to students for help with keeping campus workable and safe. Students seem to be taking well to the initiative of the facilities staff.
“I know that students have also been hired by facilities to help remove the snow, which is providing students who feel things are not being sufficiently dealt with the opportunity to assist facilities,” said Mariah Phelps, Lawton sophomore.
This increase in snow removal forces does not come without a cost. Around the country, cities are seeing record amounts of snow accumulation according to weatherdb.com. This record snow requires attention from snow blows and salt trucks around the county. The disbursement of resources can be felt in cities like Albion.
“I have seen an increase in the cost of both [snow and ice removal resources],” Frever said. “My prediction is that, like gasoline, the cost will not decrease while in high demand.”
Facilities staff undoubtedly recognizes the corporation and support of the Albion College community in snowy, frigid times like these.
“I appreciate that everyone on campus is willing to pitch in and help when we face weather challenges,” Frever said. “Students, faculty, staff and visitors should use their talents and skills to continue creating the Albion College winter experience.”
Photo by Holly Pyper