UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Snow and ice – and those who shoveled us out

Photo with members of HVAC shoveling snow Friday afternoon.The ice and snow storm closed the university from noon Wednesday through Friday. From the warmth of home, I saw tweets from students admiring the work done to battle the snow.

One student tweeted on Thursday morning, “Huge S/O to the UNCG workers that are working their — off shoveling snow and ice.”

@SpartanGuides included a Thursday morning picture of momentarily cleared major walkways, after about a half-foot of snow and ice the day and night before. (And with a prediction of more bad weather later that day.) “We appreciate the @UNCG Grounds Crew!” they said. “Not only do they keep campus beautiful, they’re clearing the snow today! pic.twitter.com/yET7ekKRZ1

A walk around campus Friday afternoon revealed lots of snow and ice. Staff members from throughout Facilities Operations were helping dig out.

Tony Rojas in Grounds used a small snow plow to clear the ice from the Spring Garden sidewalk in front of Curry. Grounds, led by Hal Shelton, had led the snow removal effort.

The entire Locksmith Shop had grabbed shovels as they had the day before and were shoveling at Graham Building.

Mike Bolton and Gary Denny – they are both in the HVAC unit of Facilities Operations – were shoveling snow as they had the day before. They took care of the Faculty Center and Annual Giving. “Everybody’s pulling in,” said Bolton.

UNCG had gotten roughly seven inches. It began as snow Wednesday afternoon and night. Thursday we had freezing rain turning to sleet before turning to a second round of heavy snow. The university had been closed since noon Wednesday.

The EUC was open Friday afternoon, a warm inviting space for students. Some had snacks and coffee in the UNCG Bookstore’s Starbucks. Bookstore manager Brad Light said they’d be open till late afternoon.

At the Sports Turf building, part of Facilities Operations, Peter Ashe explained his division of Grounds had used the full range of equipment they had – shovels to walk-behind plows to tractors with plows – to clear the major walkways and the roadways of the northwestern quarter of campus. That was their priority. He noted Housing & Residence Life and Sports Turf had collaborated on the area in and around the Quad.

I walked over to the Housing & Residence Life office and talked with five members of that department shoveling in front of Mendenhall Residence Hall, where the office is located. They said 10 members in total had been shoveling that day and the day before and Wednesday evening, at every residence hall on campus, including Spartan Village.

Housing & Residence Life did more than ensure the students had what they needed during the storm. With the bad weather and the important work many employees would need to do – and a lengthy commute for some – HRL offered overnight accommodations to members of various departments, including Facilities Operations, Campus Police, Dining Services and their own employees. More than a dozen staff members took them up on it.

The weather had shut down the university. But lots of students were on campus. For many staff members and departments, important work was done so that, for example, the students in the residence halls would have heated rooms and a way to get to the dining facilities for hot meals.

I saw some tired workers Friday afternoon. And I heard that some would be needed during the weekend as well. Those Twitter messages of appreciation from students were right on.

By Mike Harris
Visuals: Tony Rojas plows snow Friday afternoon. Members of HVAC shovel snow Friday afternoon.