Dedicated crew tackles snow removal on the Hill

Recent storm results in long hours for crew and Turf Dogs


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While you were cozy and warm in front of your iPad during the eLearning day on Feb. 16, crews were spending hours removing snow from the parking lots and sidewalks.

With the elevated location of campus, snow plowing and shoveling are a must. It takes a large and committed crew to keep the drive up and down the Hill, along with the parking lots and sidewalks, clear.

The Hill can get very icy, especially after a night of snow. Crews get to work clearing the snow off sidewalks and parking lots early in the morning and finishes mid afternoon. With so much pavement on campus, two snow blowers, numerous shovels and snow plows are necessary. 

Besides school employees, Turf Dogs is there to help with the snow that builds up on the Hill and in parking lots. Facilities and technology coordinator Mrs. Gara Schommer said, “We outsource Turf Dogs, and they’ve been working with us for many years. They come here all the time. We are considered a priority, especially with us being on the Hill, so they are constantly treating the Hill.”

Schommer works with others in the crew to help plan out when the weather will result in the need for treatment. The snow removal crew includes but is not limited to Mr. Dustin Withrow, Mr. Norman Palacios and Mr. Garrett Mathis. They all work together to make the Hill as safe as possible by clearing main pathways that could be slippery due to snow and ice. 

Specific areas get slippery, so salt is used to combat these areas throughout campus. “The student bridge (between Kelly and Loretto halls) is really bad, so they are trying to (salt) every morning,” Schommer said. 

The most recent snowstorm resulted in crews on snow removal duty from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They typically work this much when there is a possibility of having dangerous weather conditions.

The school crew works hours and hours to get the snow cleared so that school days are not affected as students and teachers walk from building to building each day. Schommer said, “Turf Dogs will come to do a round of the place to check it at certain times, too.”