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Snow and Ice Removal Plan
- This plan establishes general guidelines for the removal of snow and ice from surfaced
areas at West Chester University.
- It contains information regarding the following:
- 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
- The President decides to cancel classes or reopen classes during storm/hazardous conditions
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- The Automotive Mechanic Supervisor is responsible for pre-winter servicing of all
snow/ice removal equipment and direct support of groundskeeping efforts during all
- 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.
Supplies and Equipment:
- 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
- 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).
- 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
- 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.)
- A replenishment supply of rock salt will be ordered as needed to maintain a minimum
balance of 5 tons at all times.
- 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,
- The Automotive Shop will install snow plows and assure that all motorized snow removal
equipment is in good working order.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sufficient grounds vehicles at South Campus will be brought to North Campus at the
onset of storms to prevent vehicles from being stranded.
- Snow Removal Operations
- 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
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Final cleanup by hand labor will be accomplished behind the equipment to clear drainage
openings, fire hydrants, etc.
- Traffic restrictions will be clearly marked, and safety precautions will be taken
in coordination with the Director of Public Safety.
- Ice Control
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- The spreading of abrasives will be accomplished as necessary and whenever icing of
ramps, walks, etc., occurs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maintenance will be performed upon all equipment after use or as needed during use.
- Supplies will be replenished as necessary.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Equipment operators must have the flashing lights operating when engaged in plowing,
salting, or cindering operations.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- The policy of Facilities Support Services, as it relates to Management Direction 530.17
Amended, dated May 7, 1979, is as follows:
- 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.
- In every instance, the provisions of Management Directive 530.17 Amended, dated May
7, 1979 will be followed.
- 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.
- During extended periods of snow removal operations, the Manager of Grounds Maintenance
may reassign part of the crew to nighttime duty.
- 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.
- Clearance of Vehicles from Parking Lots:
- 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).
- Snow Removal Priorities:
- 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:
- Fire exits of all buildings, fire hydrants and handicapped ramps, curb cuts, and entrances.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- See Guidelines for WCU Vehicle Usage During Severe Weather
- See Procedure for Assisting Physically-Challenged Student in Snow and Ice Conditions"