Monday morning’s taste of winter had physical plant workers out at 4:30 a.m., but the storm was not as much of a surprise to workers as it was to many students.
“It was all forecasted. We pretty much knew it was going to happen,” said NIU Grounds Foreman Tom Anderson.
Grounds crew workers started with the areas around classrooms and proceeded with the streets and commuter parking lots by early afternoon.
About four inches of snow fell on DeKalb late Sunday night and Monday.
Workers are prepared to be on the scene anytime night or day whenever they’re needed, said John Harrod, director of the physical plant.
There is no special budget for snow emergencies, Harrod said. The budget is part of the overall budget for the year and includes equipment for the grounds all year.
When the weather is particularly bad, the physical plant hires extra people and local contractors to work because they employ about 25 people in maintaining the grounds.
Harrod added the staff are very devoted to their jobs. “The staff are very dedicated and they’ll be on their jobs as long as they are needed,” he said.
Although there are few students around during the holidays, workers keep the entrances to buildings cleared so the snow or ice doesn’t pile up, Harrod said.