Business Policies

Policy 2-10: Snow Management Policy

Issued: 12-88
Revised: 10-10


I. PURPOSE


This policy ensures the best use of available resources to protect lives and property, and to maintain an appropriate level of College operations during episodes of significant snow accumulation. The response to a given situation will take into consideration the conditions on campus, in the surrounding area and the weather forecast. Fort Lewis College’s snow policy is driven by the needs of the entire campus community, rather than the particular needs of individuals. Each individual is responsible for deciding if the conditions are safe for his/her travel to, from and around campus.

II. GENERAL

The Durango area generally has a favorable winter climate. Winter conditions can range from little to no accumulation of snow on the Fort Lewis Campus, to years with significant accumulation of snow, and ice remaining over a long period of time. The abundant sunshine with warm days and cool nights can create conditions where ice on otherwise clear sidewalks and parking lots presents a special hazard.

III. SNOW REMOVAL OPERATIONS

Physical Plant Services (PPS) has the primary responsibility for campus snow removal and has organized a Snow Management Team to coordinate activities. Within PPS, the Equipment Operators maintains the streets and parking lots; Grounds removes snow from the sidewalks; Custodial Services is responsible for the immediate entryways to General Fund facilities; and Structural Trades manages the snow load on roofing systems. Systematic snow removal efforts are coordinated through the Snow Management Manual, which is updated annually by the PPS Service Center (extension 7000).

In general, PPS snow removal operations start when the campus snow depth reaches three inches or when Campus Police have determined generally unsafe conditions. On weekends and holidays, snow removal operations usually start after 9:00 am. Due to limited staffing, PPS does not provide 24 hour service unless conditions are extreme. The goal of the snow management efforts is to have campus open and accessible by 7:30 am on weekdays.

IV. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Fort Lewis College is committed to doing as much as possible within its available resources to ensure safety for vehicles and pedestrians. Every department on campus, and each individual, has a role and responsibility in the snow management plan. These roles and responsibilities are outlined below.

a. Physical Plant Services:

i. General snow removal from streets, drives, parking lot and sidewalks.

ii. Monitor and control roof snow loads.

iii. Coordinate snow removal and ice control efforts across campus (Police, Athletics, Residence Hall, Student Union, Student Life Center, Concert Hall, Department of Disability Service and Theater)

b. Campus Police:

i. Monitor conditions on campus and contact the snowplow operator when conditions warrant.

ii. Determine when Eight Avenue (front hill) needs to be closed; follow department standard operating procedures to close the gate and notify central dispatch.

iii. Assist Physical Plant Services when necessary with removal of vehicles that are blocking snow removal operations.

iv. Advise the administration of deteriorating conditions in the community or surrounding area that may impact campus operations.

v. Assist Student Housing in getting vehicles removed from residence parking lots, so Physical Plant Services can plow them.

c. Student Housing:

i. Remove snow from entry area, sidewalks, ramps and steps, out to main sidewalks that are capable of being cleared by Grounds employees using their equipment.

ii. Control ice on entry area with appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

iii. Assist Campus Police in getting vehicles removed from residence parking lots so Physical Plant Services can plow them.

iv. Communicate to residents of the need to remove bikes from snow removal paths and advise residents to park vehicles that are going to remain on campus over winter break in Lot D.

d. Student Union:

i. Remove snow from entry area, sidewalks, ramps and steps, out to main sidewalks that are capable of being cleared by Grounds employees using their equipment.

ii. Control ice on entry area with appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

e. Student Life Center:

i. Remove snow from entry area, sidewalks and steps, out to main sidewalks that are capable of being cleared by Grounds employees using their equipment.

ii. Control ice on entry area with appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

f. Athletics:

i. Assist in controlling snow and ice on walks around athletic facilities for athletic events, including the appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

ii. Coordinate snow removal needs with the Physical Plant Service Center.

g. Community Concert Hall:

i. Assist in controlling snow and ice on walks around the Community Concert Hall for special events, including the appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

ii. Coordinate snow removal needs with the Physical Plant Service Center.

h. Theater:

i. Assist in controlling snow and ice on walks around the Theater for special events, including the appropriate use of sand and ice melt.

ii. Coordinate snow removal needs with the Physical Plant Service Center.

i. Office of Disability Services:

i. Advise Physical Plant Services of the requirements of individuals with special mobility needs.

j. Departments:

i. Identify, in advance, essential staff that should report to work in the event of a campus closure.

ii. Communicate to all employees the snow management plan, responsibilities and whether they are essential or not.

k. Human Resources:

i. Communicate pay policies for essential staff that are required to work during periods of campus closure.

l. Public Relations and Information Technology:

i. Communicate the status of conditions on campus to faculty, staff, students and the local media.

m. Individual responsibility:

i. Wear appropriate footwear for winter conditions.

ii. Be aware of the conditions of the campus walkways, parking lots, etc. Watch for refreezing, ice buildup or slick spots.

iii. Watch for falling snow from roofs and overhangs.

iv. Watch out for snow removal operations and understand that Physical Plant Services snow removal operations may cause inconvenience.

v. Allow a few extra minutes for travel.

vi. Properly equip personal vehicle for winter driving conditions.

vii. Do not abandon or park vehicles where it might block snow removal efforts. Vehicles impeding snow removal operations may be towed at the owner’s expense. This includes parking lots that have not yet been cleared.

Report problems areas to the Service Control center at extension 7000.

V. PRIORITIES

To assist in the allocation of available resources, the following priorities have been established for ground snow removal:

1. Main roads and emergency routes.

2. Walkways from residence hall areas to campus dining facilities (when students are present).

3. Primary commuter parking areas.

4. Designated disability routes, ADA designated parking, curb cuts.

5. Secondary roads and walkways.

6. Secondary commuter parking areas.

7. Residence parking areas once the vehicles have been removed.

Some sidewalks many not be maintained during a normal winter and some may be temporarily closed until they can be cleared. See the attached campus maps to identify primary and secondary roads, walkways and parking lots.

VI. ACCOMODATIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

The Office of Disability Services will coordinate with PPS to insure the highest possible level of access for individuals with special mobility needs. This is best accomplished if the individual with special needs identifies themselves to Disability Services at extension 7459. The information on the necessary accommodations will then be forwarded to the PPS Service Center. Each semester a meeting is held to review locations in need of special attention during snow removal. PPS will make their best effort to accommodate these special needs. For those individuals experiencing an access or mobility problem, call the PPS Service Center at extension 7000, and every effort will be made to address the situation.

VII. SNOW EMERGENCY

During periods of significant snow accumulation, special effort may be required to remove snow from roads, parking lots, sidewalks and roofs. During such periods, access to areas being maintained may be blocked, including roads, parking lots and walkways. In addition, parking is prohibited on routes marked as Snow Emergency Access Routes, including East Service Drive, Skyhawk Avenue and Rim Drive. Unauthorized personnel are prohibited from entering areas that are closed due to snow removal operations. Vehicles blocking access or impeding snow removal operations may be towed without prior warning. The Chief of the Campus Police or his/her designee will make the determination if declaration of a snow emergency is necessary.

See the attached map for snow emergency routes.

VIII. CAMPUS CLOSURE

In extreme situations, the PPS Snow Management Team will confer with the Chief of Police and the Vice President of Finance and Administration who, in turn, will confer with the Provost on the advisability of continuation of normal College functions. If conditions warrant a total or partial closure, a recommendation will be made to the President who will make the final decision whether or not to close campus. If possible a decision should be made by 5:30 am.

Authority to close State facilities rests with the President or his/her designated agent. Designation of a full or partial campus closure will occur only in the event of extreme conditions, and not during weather typical of the season.

At the discretion of the President, and based on individual circumstances, employees who arrive late to work due to severe conditions may be granted administrative leave for up to two hours. Lateness beyond this two-hour grace period shall be charged as "annual leave."

Employees who are unable to arrive at work during inclement weather when the College is open will be charged "annual leave" for that period of time. When Fort Lewis College is closed or suspended by the President or his/her designated agent, employees will be granted administrative leave for that period.

Emergency road closure decisions made by county and municipal authorities should be honored by employees living in the areas affected by local road closures and affected staff will be granted administrative leave.

 

Previous Next

Print