By: Breanna Kane, Staff Writer
The task of winter grounds keeping at Lebanon Valley College is matched by the persistent efforts of the grounds staff.
College snow removal presents a unique challenge.
“There are safety aspects to this,” Kevin Yeiser, director of grounds, said. “It’s not like a public school where they can shut the school down and give the staff opportunities to clean everything up.”
Yeiser explains that snow is the greatest challenge the grounds staff face.
“When you’re dealing with weather, you have to be able to adjust,” Yeiser said. “I think what makes it tough too, unlike the rest of the year, is that snow can hit us any time.”
Usually, the snow is accompanied by ice or freezing rain, and each storm presents unique challenges. Thankfully, the staff has equipment including snow blowers, skid blowers, tractors, utility vehicles with plows and power brooms to their advantage.
“There’s no snow that’s seven to four,” Yeiser said.
The staff stay on top of weather patterns through subscriptions to a local weather service and proper planning, but forecasts are only marginally dependable.
“Just this past winter, from a Saturday to Monday we got hit with a deep snow, around 30 inches,” Yeiser said. “We went from a springtime day to the nastiest of winter days within just 48 hours.”
Despite the impression that the grounds staff are not working hard enough, they are dedicated and know their responsibilities.
“We didn’t get home until Wednesday morning after coming in on Monday,” Yeiser said.
Allonne Wilson-Brennan, business administration major and former student worker, agrees.
“The grounds staff work really hard to clear the snow,” Wilson-Brennan said. “It’s a lot of work.”
The grounds staff, part of the facilities crew, and even some of the housekeeping staff help with snow removal.
“In a nutshell, as soon as the snow starts to fly, we’re on duty,” said Yeiser. “We stay until the snow is finished. If it starts at two in the morning, we’re there at two in the morning.”
The grounds staff work tirelessly at winter grounds keeping to maintain a safe and beautiful campus.