Snow and Ice Removal Plan

  1. Overview:
    1. This plan establishes general guidelines for the removal of snow and ice from surfaced areas at West Chester University.
    2. It contains information regarding the following:
    3. To reduce hazards to all personnel (i.e., faculty, staff, students, and the general public) as a result of winter storms, snow and ice removal operations will begin at the earliest practical time and will continue as necessary until all traveled ways are clear.
  2. Responsibilities:

    1. The President decides to cancel classes or reopen classes during storm/hazardous conditions
    2. The Vice President for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs makes recommendations to the President regarding the cancellation of classes by 5:30 AM for day classes and by 2:30 PM for evening classes.
    3. The Director of University Relations notifies the appropriate radio stations of class cancellations by 6:00 AM for day classes and 3:00 PM for evening classes.
    4. Facility Administrators detect, promptly report hazards and take corrective action within his/her capability. Frequent facility inspections by the Facility Administrators or designated representatives during their assigned hours are mandatory for the timely detection of conditions which prevent the use of emergency exits. During non-working hours of Facility Administrators, Grounds Maintenance, Public Safety, and Custodial Services will maintain a routine inspection of areas.
    5. The Director of Public Safety notifies the appropriate personnel via the police dispatcher when storm/hazardous conditions arise during non-duty hours for the groundskeeping force.
    6. The Executive Director of Facilities Administration is responsible for the overall implementation of this plan, including: Annual review of plan and staff briefing. Assessing performance of subordinate level departments and adjusting plan as necessary. Making recommendations to President via Vice President regarding class cancellations based upon police reports, national weather bureau forecasts, and existing conditions of campus ascertained through discussion with police shift commander and groundskeeping shift supervisor and/or site inspection. Recommendations must be made by 5:20 AM for day classes and 2:20 PM for evening classes.
    7. The Director of Facilities Support Services is responsible for primary snow/ice removal efforts conducted by the building custodians and grounds maintenance work force, including employees on temporary duty assignments with this work force. The Grounds Maintenance Manager shall assist the Director of Facilities Support Services in all operational endeavors.
    8. The Director of Facilities Support Services is responsible for employing outside contractors to assist with University snow removal operations, if needed. Contracted personnel will be sought only during conditions of emergency which cannot be alleviated by in-house staff capabilities.
    9. Building custodians, working under the direction of the Manager of Custodial Services, are responsible for clearing snow and ice from emergency exits and for the maintenance of all building steps and exitways for at least 15 feet from each building.
    10. The Automotive Mechanic Supervisor is responsible for pre-winter servicing of all snow/ice removal equipment and direct support of groundskeeping efforts during all storm/hazardous conditions.
    11. In that the University houses approximately 3,500 residence students, the term "school closed" will be understood to mean "classes canceled" during normal winter storm notification processes. Thus, essential employees are expected to report for duty during their assigned shifts. Exceptions can only be granted on an individual case-by-case basis and only for compelling reasons.
  3. Supplies and Equipment:

    1. Custodians have been issued ice scrapers, chemical ice melt, shovels, and brooms. By November 15th of each year, Custodial Services will inventory these items in each building to assure that proper equipment and supplies are in readiness for the snow season.
    2. An ample supply of cinders will be stockpiled in the South Campus area by the Grounds Department prior to November 15th of each year (only if cinders will not be available hot/direct load from central boiler plant).
    3. The primary source of cinders will be from the boiler plant silo during freezing weather. University operations will at all times take priority over issuance of cinders to outside agencies.
    4. An ample supply of rock salt will be obtained by the Grounds Department prior to November 15th of each year. (Twenty ton start-up inventory usually supplies 75 percent of demand for mild winter.)
    5. A replenishment supply of rock salt will be ordered as needed to maintain a minimum balance of 5 tons at all times.
    6. Grounds Maintenance shall review and replenish all items by November 15th of each year to include: Ice scrapers, shovels, brooms. Snow fencing. Burlap bags. Barricades and warning lights for traffic control. Snow markers (fire hydrants, sidewalks, abutments, Tanglewood driveway).
    7. The Automotive Shop will install snow plows and assure that all motorized snow removal equipment is in good working order.
    8. The Roofing Shop of Physical Plant shall ensure the following are immediately available: Hand tools, including ladders and poles, for the removal of icicles which present a danger to pedestrians.
  4. Implementation:

    1. Preparation:
      1. By no later than November 15th of each year a stockpile or immediate continuous supply source (e.g. central boiler plant) of abrasives will be established by the Grounds Maintenance Section. Abrasives, in order of preferred use, are: Cinders, free from clinkers and ashes Clear sand with 100% passing a 3/8" sieve, and not more than 30% passing a #50 sieve Pea gravel Coal slack Sawdust
      2. By no later than November 15th of each year, snow markers will be placed at each hydrant, drain opening, valve, or other necessary installations that could become lost under drifting snow.
      3. By no later than November 15th of each year, earth, gravel and stone surfaces will be bladed so that they will not be rough when frozen. Rocks, stockpiles, and other obstructions will be removed from areas to be plowed.
      4. By no later than November 15th of each year, all culverts, drainage ditches, and storm drains (to include storm sewers) will be cleaned of obstructions to prevent water from ponding and freezing.
      5. Trucks used for snow plowing will be loaded with ballast at time of use. After snow is removed, the ballast may be used for icy pavements. When the truck is not in use, the truck body will be relieved of the load.
      6. By no later than November 15th of each year, the Grounds Maintenance Manager will determine the need for snow fences, and such fences will have been erected.
      7. By no later than November 15th of each year, all Facilities department heads will solicit names of volunteers for snow removal operations and submit a list of names/phone numbers to the Director of Facilities Support Services.
      8. Sufficient grounds vehicles at South Campus will be brought to North Campus at the onset of storms to prevent vehicles from being stranded.
    2. Snow Removal Operations
      1. The Grounds Maintenance Manager will provide the necessary grounds personnel for snow removal operations. Additional augmentations of equipment operators and laborers will be provided by all other departments as directed by the Executive Director of Facilities Administration.
      2. During normal work hours, the Grounds Maintenance Manager will begin sweeping operations as soon as the snow accumulates slightly on the ground. Sweeping operations will be concentrated in the areas of Philips Memorial Hall, the Quadrangle area, classroom areas, and the access sidewalks to Lawrence Center and Reynolds Hall. Other areas, such as access walks to residence halls, will be swept if staff is available or after the priority areas have been cleared.
      3. When fallen snow has reached a sufficient depth for the operation of small, self-propelled and walking-type equipment (usually a depth of 1" to 1 1/2"), such items of equipment will be operated to clear the perimeter and interior sidewalks of the North Campus. (Sweeping operations will have ceased.)
      4. During other than normal work hours, the Public Safety dispatcher will contact the Director of Facilities Support Services and Grounds Maintenance Manager when fallen snow has reached a depth of one-half inch, and the Director of Facilities Support Services or his designee will summon snow removal personnel, as considered necessary, including the equipment operators, groundskeepers, laborers, garage mechanics and other designated volunteers. The Public Safety dispatcher will also notify the Executive Director of Facilities Administration by 5:00 AM for any conditions that might warrant class/event cancellations. Since the majority of personnel in Custodial Services are day shift, the possibility exists that entrance ways to buildings would not be cleared of snow or ice in the early morning hours upon departure of students from the residence halls and/or upon arrival for classes. Therefore, Public Safety will also notify the night custodial supervisor (ext. 2851, pager 1828) so that appropriate custodial personnel will be contacted to clear all entrance ways.
      5. Operations will proceed to remove snow from University areas, roads, sidewalks, and parking lots in accordance with the priorities indicated on the attached list. The heaviest equipment will be utilized on parking lots and access roads. Equipment will be shifted to lower priorities only on order or when operations are clearly ahead of the storm.
      6. When snow is light and dry and severe crosswinds are present, the snow will be moved with the wind and the height of snow banks to the windward will be limited.
      7. As soon as operations are ahead of the storm, windrows will be moved off road shoulders and edges of sidewalks far enough away to provide for additional snow storage and to prevent drainage on cleared surfaces.
      8. Shoveling of steps and areas inaccessible to equipment will be accomplished by hand labor. Particular attention will be paid to clearing handicapped access, keeping storm drains free and to avoid covering fire hydrants, valves, etc.
      9. Final cleanup by hand labor will be accomplished behind the equipment to clear drainage openings, fire hydrants, etc.
      10. Traffic restrictions will be clearly marked, and safety precautions will be taken in coordination with the Director of Public Safety.
    3. Ice Control
      1. At critical areas, such as handicapped ramps and entrances, salt will be applied at the beginning of the storm. The resulting slush will not be deposited on grass or landscaped areas if possible.
      2. To prevent freezing of drains, place salt in burlap bags at inlets or in catch basins but so as not to obstruct the flow of water, if possible.
      3. During and after snow removal operations, all practical measures will be taken to provide free drainage for melting snow so that cleared surfaces do not become covered with water. This requires inspection each day that significant amounts of snow remain on the ground.
      4. Icicles will be removed from above doors, porches, and pedestrian walk by roofers exercising extreme caution at all times to protect pedestrians. Particularly hazardous sites include: East and west entrances to Main Hall and Recitation Hall Main (NW) entrance to HPE Building
      5. The spreading of abrasives will be accomplished as necessary and whenever icing of ramps, walks, etc., occurs.
      6. Frequent inspections during and after storms will be made by the Grounds Maintenance Manager and Director of Facilities Support Services, and hazardous conditions will be eliminated upon discovery or as promptly thereafter as possible. Inspections shall be documented and retained.
    4. Follow-Up
      1. Drainage channels will be cut in the snow to facilitate run-off from melting snow and snow drifts, and to preclude water from running across walks and roadways. 
      2. Maintenance will be performed upon all equipment after use or as needed during use.
      3. Supplies will be replenished as necessary.
      4. Snow that has been piled in North Campus areas during the operation will be loaded and carried to the South Campus for dumping if necessary. This process will continue during normal working hours until all snow has been removed. Temporary dump sites on North Campus will not include any drive, road, or otherwise designated fire lane or fire access route.
  5. Special Instructions:

    1. The Grounds Maintenance Manager will make arrangements with the dining hall to provide hot coffee and meals for his personnel. If it is anticipated that snow removal operations will occur during non-operating hours of the dining hall, this will be arranged in advance by the Director of Facilities Support Services and/or Grounds Maintenance Manager.
    2. The Manager of Custodial Services or designee will check all entrances and exits from residence halls (including University-owned houses), classrooms, etc., to make certain that they are cleared of snow and ice. He/she will pay particular attention to building doors, exits, and steps where it is known that handicapped persons are located. This will be first priority.
    3. During a protracted storm, the Grounds Maintenance Manager will rotate personnel (including equipment operators) so they will not become fatigued. Warm-up times must be provided. It is important that personnel be rotated so that equipment will remain in operation continuously.
    4. Personnel loading cinders at the Heating Plant will ensure tailgates are tightly closed to prevent spillage into coal conveyor. Spillage which does occur must be cleaned up before departure.
    5. Equipment operators must have the flashing lights operating when engaged in plowing, salting, or cindering operations.
    6. Any equipment failures or breakdowns will be reported immediately to the shift supervisor. The shift supervisor will document the date, time, and nature of breakdown and report same to Director of Facilities Support Services. Vehicular accidents will be reported to Public Safety immediately.
    7. Reflectors shall be placed at appropriate locations along the Tanglewood driveway to serve as a benchmark for snow plowing operations. They are to be installed immediately following the December holiday receptions and shall be removed at the end of the appropriate snow season (or beginning of spring).
    8. Extreme care will be exercised to ensure that lawn areas are not damaged by snow removal operations (i.e. plows) at the Tanglewood residence or any other prominent lawn area. Avoid using plows with chains.
    9. The policy of Facilities Support Services, as it relates to Management Direction 530.17 Amended, dated May 7, 1979, is as follows:
      1. When a partial or full day closing of the University is authorized, all employees of Facilities Support Services, including clerical, are considered to be in essential operations. Employees will remain at work or report to work as scheduled.
      2. In every instance, the provisions of Management Directive 530.17 Amended, dated May 7, 1979 will be followed.
      3. Facilities Support Services employees may be released from work or excused from work only for valid and compelling reasons, as determined by their Departmental Manager. Absences will be charged to appropriate leave time.
    10. During extended periods of snow removal operations, the Manager of Grounds Maintenance may reassign part of the crew to nighttime duty.
    11. Once snow removal work shifts have begun, they will automatically continue from day to day and week to week until terminated by the Director of Facilities Support Services or Manager of Grounds Maintenance.
  6. Clearance of Vehicles from Parking Lots:
    1. In order to plow parking lots safely and efficiently, the lots must be clear of vehicles. The only exceptions are resident student parking lots (Lots L, Q, South Campus housing project, and parts of A and F). In all other lots, vehicles are subject to be towed if left in parking lots when there is 1" or more accumulation of ice and/or snow during the following hours: Monday through Friday: Lots will be closed from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am during snow accumulations. Parking lots are closed all day on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays (except such lots as are needed to accommodate scheduled University events that are not canceled).
  7. Snow Removal Priorities: 
    1. Snow removal priorities may be adjusted by the supervisor/manager in charge, depending on weather conditions, time of day, day of the week, and scheduled University events. However, the normal priorities are as follows:
      1. Fire exits of all buildings, fire hydrants and handicapped ramps, curb cuts, and entrances.
      2. University-owned access roads and fire lanes for emergency vehicles (ambulances, fire trucks, etc.) to all buildings in the following order: Infirmary Residence Halls Tanglewood Fire hydrants Fire lanes Boiler Plant Dining Hall Classroom buildings Administrative buildings and warehouse All other buildings
      3. Sidewalks and steps in the following order: Sidewalks and entrances to Children's Center Sidewalks and steps from residence halls to Lawrence Dining Center South High Street West Rosedale Avenue Sharpless Street South New Street University Avenue South Church Street Quad Interior sidewalks
      4. Parking lots in the following order: "K" Lot - behind Sykes Union building "G" Lot - (Wood Lot); High Street across from Philips Memorial "E" Lot - Lawrence Hall, west side "D" Lot - Lawrence Hall, east side "M" Lot - E.O. Bull Center "W" Lot - (North and south sides of warehouse) "B" Lot - Swope Hall "O" Lot - Health Sciences Center "N" Lot - Health Sciences Center "L" Lot - behind tennis courts, off Roslyn Avenue "A" Lot - Sharpless Street across from McCarthy Hall "F" Lot - Nield Street across from electrical sub-station South Campus housing project parking lot and access road "C" Lot - Peoples Building "Q" Lot - South of Farrell Stadium "S" Lot - across from South Campus tennis courts "X" Lot - by South Campus tennis courts
  8. See Guidelines for WCU Vehicle Usage During Severe Weather
  9. See Procedure for Assisting Physically-Challenged Student in Snow and Ice Conditions"
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