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Snowpocalypse

Winter storm closed down Pacific University’s Forest Grove campus, caused minor damages

Steven Childress

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The snow storm at Pacific University over winter term posed many challenges for facilities and Campus Public Safety (CPS), several bags of Ice Melt were used on sidewalks around campus, plows were used to clear parking lots at the Hillsboro campus, dangers of trees or large branches falling and damage to stadium bathrooms are the worst of the problems that occurred, but not the most important issue that had to be addressed during the snow days. “The biggest issue was ensuring that sidewalks were clear enough for the residential students to be able to get to the UC so they could get food and what not,” CPS Manager Jerry Rice said. “We assisted in clearing some of the snow and putting Ice Melt down and making sure facilities was aware of current conditions.”
The cost of keeping up sidewalks and walkways was substantial, but not extreme. Facilities workers went through a few pallets of Ice Melt in an effort to maintain access to food services, the library and other buildings as well. “When the campus is closed the facilities engineers come in and they do shoveling and put Ice Melt down,” Cindy Schuppert, director of facilities said. “We’ve gone through three pallets [of Ice Melt] already this year and they run about $600 a pallet.” Damages to Pacific’s campus and its facilities are minor. Some downed trees limbs, damaged grass and some broken pipes seem to be the worst of the damages from the snow storm that happened during winter term. 
“We had some tree branches fall and a couple areas where cars slid up off the road and into the grass, actually pretty minor damages,” Schuppert. The stadium incurred some damages due to a failure of the heaters. The cause of the heater failures is still unknown at this time. The cost of repairs are not substantial and should not make any dramatic impact on the budget. According to Schuppert, the cost for repairing the fixtures would be around a thousand dollars. “Over at the stadium the heaters in the bathrooms weren’t working and we didn’t know because they aren’t used all the time,” Schuppert said. “Water in there froze up and some of the fixtures broke.” 
Despite warnings about trees possibly falling during the recent snow days, costs for damages to the trees are minor. Regular tree maintenance is performed yearly at Pacific in an effort to prevent serious damages or injuries. “To have the tree branches cleaned up its going to be maybe at the most a couple thousand dollars and that’s probably on the high end,” Schuppert said. “That’s thankfully because we spend some money every year to do some tree maintenance.” Overall, cost for repairs, cleanup and several bags of Ice Melt will not affect current budgets or projects, according to Schuppert.
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Snowpocalypse