Snow much work: Clearing campus after storms is massive effort

When one of Colorado’s signature winter storms hits, campus looks like a winter wonderland. Even our historic Oval is affectionately dubbed the SnOval. But all that snow also looks like work.

Clearing snow from campus sidewalks, streets and parking areas is a responsibility that falls upon Facilities Management. After a big storm, every member of that division braves snowy roads in the wee hours of the morning to get campus ready for thousands of students and employees. Even on days campus may close, they report with shovels and snow boots, ready to work. Each has an assigned task and route to clear, be it shoveling sidewalks and stairways into buildings, or plowing streets, to make campus accessible.

CSU’s Facilities Management snow response by the numbers

  • 500: The number of Facilities Management employees, who are joined by ROTC students, to clear campus
  • 3 a.m.: Time Facilities staff report to work on weekdays to clear snow of overnight snowfall accumulationsCold work on a snowy night, 1971
  • 4.5 million: Square feet of parking lots to clear
  • 162: Miles of sidewalk to be shoveled or broomed
  • 15.8: Miles of campus roads to be plowed
  • 36: Trucks, tractors, pickups and other vehicles moving snow
  • 400: Tons of ice melt ready each winter for use on campus
  • 42: Organized routes on campus including routes to shovel, sand, plow and broom
  • 5: Hours spent clearing each route including sidewalks, streets, parking areas
  • 7 a.m.: Time for all snow removal tasks to be completed if snow has stopped for campus to remain open