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FML 2.2 - Snow Plan


Each snowstorm has its own unique characteristics, depending upon the time of year, the intensity of the storm, and the type of snow, the depth of snowfall, and other variable conditions.  Therefore, any snow plan must provide basic guidelines to manage the storm but also retain maximum flexibility for adjustments in the field.

I. Policies

It is policy of the Facilities Management Department on the Campus to have major parking lots, sidewalks, handicap ramps and pathways to main building entrances cleared by 8:00 a.m. on weekdays and weekends when classes are in session.  Special attention is paid to cleaning accessible routes and parking for disabled persons.


Snow will be cleared in a set priority in order to provide the maximum access to the campus and its facilities.


Snow routes from CentennialTowers on the north end of campus, and routes on the south end of campus to all Academic and AdministrativeBuilding will have one prioritized route throughout the campus.


After the main access points are under control, the snow removal crewswill focus on widening paths, clearing minor pathways, salting walkways, removing ice build-up and, in case of heavy accumulation, removing snow banks in parking lots to storage sites.  These operations may last for several days after the cessation of the storm.


Information about snow and ice concerns comes into the office during normal business hours in various formats, work orders, telephone calls and e-mails and it is important to get this information to the Grounds Foreman or his designee as quickly as possible.  This information should be treated as an emergency request by our customers; therefore the Grounds Foreman or his designee should be contacted immediately by radio or cell phone.  In turn the Grounds Foreman or his designee should follow up on these calls as quickly as possible (less than an hour).


After contacting the Grounds Foreman or his designee, the work order should be dispatched immediately (making sure that the request code for Snow & Ice has been selected) or in the case of a phone call or e-mail a work order is created and then dispatched.

II. Activation of the Snow Plan

During work hours, the Grounds Foreman or designee is responsible for activation the snow removal plan, as they deems necessary.  At the
RitchieCenter the Grounds Manager determines when their crews are activated.  If the snowfall is occurring after the daytime shift or on weekends, the snow plan will be activated as described below:

Level OneNo strong forecast for significant snow.  Campus Safety will call the Grounds Foreman when the hard surfaces have one inch of snow.

Level Two:  There is a strong forecast for overnight snow.  The Grounds Foreman will determine by 1:00 p.m. at what time the plan will be activated the next morning and shall inform the snow crew as to when they need to report for duty.

Level Three:  Conditions are bad enough that resources other than the regular snow crew are needed to keep the Campus open.  The Director of Facilities Management or designee will then call in additional personnel and/or resources as appropriate.

III.Roles and Responsibilities

Grounds Foreman:  The Grounds Foreman is responsible for managing snow removal operations.

Ritchie Grounds Manager:  The Ritchie Grounds Manager is responsible for managing snow removal operations in their areas of responsibility.

Campus Operations Director:  Is responsible for keeping apprised ofsnow removal status, for communication to the Director of Facilities Management, for taking snow removal requests form campus residents and relaying them to the Grounds Foreman, for making recommendation to the Director on closures, and for obtaining additional staff and contractor resources when necessary.

Campus Safety:  Is responsible for calling the Grounds Foreman when snowfall indicates need to activate the plan after work hours or on weekends.  They are also responsible for assisting with parked vehicles on campus property (e.g. towing, ticketing) to facilitate snow removal operations, andto inform callers to Safe Com of the start time of the snow removal shift.  Facilities Management will coordinate restricted lot gate operation with Parking Services on large snowfalls.  Grounds crewmembers will call Safe Com when a parking lot has been cleared so that a safety officer can activate the gate.

Director, Housing Operations Residence:  Is responsible for insuring that all Residence Hall’s main entrances, sidewalks, stairs and loading docks are clear of snow and ice, and insuring that walk-off mats are installed and dry.

Director, Building Services Facilities Management:  Is responsible for insuring that all Ritchie Center’s main entrances, sidewalks, stairs and loading docks are clear of snow and ice, and insuring that walk-off mats are installed and dry.  Coordinates snow removal in parking lots around the center.  Athletics will coordinate parking with University Parking Services.  There will be a designated parking area for overnight parking.

Director of Custodial Services:  Is responsible for insuring that stairs, entrances to main sidewalks, and loading docks in all Academic Buildings, Athletic Center and Driscoll Center are clear of snow and ice and insuring walk-off mats are installed and dry.


IV. Closure Procedures

The University of Denver’s policy on campus Closures Due to Inclement weather (revised 12/96) calls for the Director of Facilities Management (or designee) to monitor conditions and advise the Provost (or designee), who is responsible for making the decision about when to close the University as a whole and when to reopen it.

In order to make the recommendation for closure, the Grounds Foreman and the Campus Operations Director shall take into consideration several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Lack of ability to keep parking lots accessible
  • Weather forecast
  • Timing of the storm (e.g., weekend or holiday vs. school days)
  • Type and depth of snow
  • Resources available for removal of the snow
  • Condition of City and State road systems

V.   Staffing for Snow Removal:  All Facilities Management staff are essential personnel and thus must report to work regardless of whether the University is closed due to weather conditions.  When it is necessary to call in additional staff resources for Level 3 conditions, the Director of Facilities Management (or designee) will coordinate calling in Facilities Management staff and the Director of Custodial Services will coordinate calling in custodial staff.

VI.  Compensation:  The compensation of staff for working during snowstorms shall be in accordance with all applicable government, University, Facilities Management and Union Agreement rules.

VII.  Snow removal Methods:

A.  Plowing:  Snow is removed by vehicles with plows in parking lots and on some major sidewalks.  Care is given to avoiding damage to parked cars and landscaping.  Wherever possible, snow is stored to minimize inconvenience.  However in many instances, snow must be stored in one or more parking spaces, thus temporarily reducing lot capacity.  Equipment cannot plow between parked cars, thereby limiting removal efforts in residence halls parking lots.  Special attention is paid to plowing so that melt-off and drainage are facilitated.

B.  Shoveling:  The custodial staff in Facilities Management will shovel snow on stairs and entry ways to the buildings as follows: 

  • The night crews will shovel assigned areas at the end of their shift, allowing themselves enough time to finish the task (deeper snows will take more time).  In the heavy snows, it may be necessary to shovel more than once to make the work easier.
  • The day shift custodians will shovel at the start of their shift, as appropriate.  If the snow starts or continues during the day, they will shovel at the end of their shift, or as directed.
  • The staff in Residence will shovel as directed by their supervisors.      

VIII.  Storm Aftermath and Ice Control

A.  In the aftermath of a storm, crews regularly de-ice sidewalks to lessen the possibility of ice.  As melting permits, crews will break up ice and remove it.

B.  Most snow removal efforts after a storm are accomplished with Grounds personnel during normal working hours.

C.  When there is a problem with ice build-up on Asbury between Race and Gaylord Street; the University’s Risk Manager should be contacted.  The Risk Manager will, in turn contact the City and County of Denver to request the situation be addressed.

IX.  Pre-Snow Season Planning

Each year, just prior to the start of snow season, the Campus Operation Director and Grounds Foreman shall review the Snow Plan with crews, establish updated contact lists, request volunteers for a call-in list, and insure equipment is in good state of readiness.  They will conduct training of equipment and removal methods for new staff.

X.  Contracting

The use of private contractors will be as appropriate to the snow conditions and staffing availability.




Jeff Bemelen, Director of Facilities Management.                                                                          


Effective date:  October 1, 1998  Revised: December 2007