By JOSEPH N PIERCE JR.
Did you ever wonder what’s the process that the college takes for severe weather? Like last year with that horrific snowstorm?
According to Brian J. Ewan, assistant superintendent of facilities, grounds & Physical Plant Operations, it’s a process that begins long before winter sets in.
“Preparations are started in late October where all of our equipment is serviced, assembled, and tested. Materials such as slat and calcium chloride are inventoried and purchased if necessary.” he said.
Ewan indicated that planning before a storm plays a large role in making sure the campus is equipped by the time a storm arrives. He said the facilities department is usually aware of winter storms about 5 days before they affect our campus. If the storm is significant, the college will procure more equipment and start snow removal before more than a quarter inch of snow accumulates.
“Once the crew is here and starts plowing, it is a continual effort until the storm is over, “ said Ewan.
At 4:00 am on a day classes are scheduled, Ewan communicates with the Vice President of Finance and Administration to discuss progress with snow removal efforts and the anticipated time that the storm is scheduled to end. They also discuss the road conditions of various roadways near the college, such as Delsea Drive, Route 55, College Drive, Sherman Avenue, and Orchard Road.
Once the vice president has the information, he places a phone call to the president and they discuss the options.
Ewan said If the storm is scheduled to last throughout the day or the college is having trouble removing the snow before school opens, classes are either delayed or canceled.
“Every day in this department is unique. There has never been a day in 6 years that has been the same,” said Ewan.
Ewan said the college staff is dedicated to providing the students of this college with an atmosphere that is as safe and clean as possible and he believes the school handled last year’s snowfall very well. He also said the facilities staff takes pride in the fact that some days our college is open while the surrounding schools are closed due to the weather conditions.
“I believe the school did an exceptional job last year. Our snowfall averaged 400% above average last year with three storms producing the yearly snowfall amount in 24 hours,” he said. “I cannot recall how many days we closed last year, but I believe it was minimal compared to other surrounding schools and colleges.”
When you have a headache about the weather, remember Mr. Ewan and his staff and the work they have to do.