Even with snow days...essential staff still reports to work - KOAM TV 7

Even with snow days...essential staff still reports to work


It was a snow day for many across the area...but not for essential campus workers that need to prepare for the next school day. For essential workers at Pitt state who were on campus today, it's another day on the job for them, just with a little snow.

"We have no snow days...If the campus is closed, we are here." says Pitt State Grounds Department Manager, Cate Breneman.

Pitt state's Landscape Maintenance workers work year round, regardless of the weather. They're considered "essential staff" at the campus, so even when the campus closes, they still come to work.

"Those are the people that are deemed necessary to get the campus up and running as quickly and safely as possible in a crisis situation." Breneman says.

Although the campus remained closed Tuesday, the workers were out in full force, treating the campus as they would any other regular day.

The amount of cars you saw in the parking lot, and by the amount of snow that sits on the ground, you might not think it would take crews very long to clear out the parking lots, but when you have an entire campus to clear...it's a completely different story. It all starts with the planning stage. The team keeps an eye on approaching storm systems, so they know to prepare trucks with the essential equipment the night before. On the day snow arrives, crews can spend hours plowing snow, making it an all day job.

"Typically from start to finish for one round it will take us between 4 and 5 hours to clear all of campus. And that includes the shoveling and our brooms to throw snow, and spreading ice melt. That's assuming the snow has come and gone. In this sort of event we started with a little bit of snow, and we've pushed throughout the day." Breneman says.

The maintenance crew will continue to work clearing campus until normal classes resume.
Workers say they work hours as they would during normal operations, until they are notified that the campus will be closed. From there, they run on additional staffing and hours as necessary.

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