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Eye through the storm: Updates to storm damage and tips to stay safe

By: Tanner Adomaitis, Staff Writer

Originally Published January 30, 2024

With the winter months comes winter storms bringing threatening clouds, high winds, pelting rain, slick ice, and fluffy snow, leading to downed trees and damaged buildings. On Jan. 9, 2024, a campus-wide email was sent out by Joshua Guiser, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, alerting the Saint Vincent College (SVC) Community to the temporary closure of Saint (St.) Scholastica Hall due to damages from a storm system. Terrence Hill, Assistant Director of Facilities, Capital Management, and Planning updated that temporary repairs have been made for the hall to reopen, but there is still further work to be done.

Saint Scholastica Hall suffered damage to its roof during a storm. (SOURCE: ADOMAITIS)

“We are working to make a permanent fix in the totality of replacing the roof,” Hill said. “However, we will need to wait for more favorable conditions to do so.”

In addition to repairing St. Scholastica, the Facilities Management Office (FMO) has been investigating various roofing systems, doors, windows, and trees around campus for damage and weakness from the recent storms. On Dec. 25, 2023, there was a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) line eruption from the extreme temperatures in St. Benedict Hall that required immediate action and the reconfiguration of an entire pod so students could return to campus uninterrupted.

FMO has a solution to every problem brought by storms and temperature changes and is well prepared to stay ahead of potential damage.

“If you can think of a problem, we either have a solution already prepared or we employ a vast collection of trades people, janitorial technicians, and contract service providers that allow us to act quickly to anything that arises here in the community,” Hill said.

Hill also offered a few tips to prepare and keep students safe during the harsh months, such as reviewing the conditions before walking outside, watching for slippery areas, using a pair of boots with non-slip soles, using traction aids during extreme weather conditions, walking in shorter and choppier steps, wearing sunglasses to reduce glare, and reporting slippery areas that need attention via a Work Order.

“The Grounds Department is hard at work keeping walks, parking lots, and roadways clear. However, they are responsible for about 20 miles of walks, 54 acres of parking lots, and four miles of roadways,” Hill said. “The Grounds Crew often starts its day at 3 a.m. to meet the demands of the winter weather. Please be aware of these conditions and equipment that is operating in the area.”

While the unfavorable conditions brought by winter storm systems create inconveniences, FMO and the SVC Community remain prepared and do what they can to ensure safety.

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