SUBJECT - Grounds/Maintenance


DATE - 4/5/90




1. Introduction


The functions of the grounds department include the planting and care of trees, shrubs, flowers, and lawns; snow and ice removal from sidewalks, streets, and parking lots; and general maintenance of all other amenities which enhance the appearance of the campus grounds. The department's responsibilities can best be described by breaking them down into work performed during each season as follows.


2. Springy


A. Lawns


College lawns are power raked on a three-year, alternating schedule, prior to greening of the grass. Severely compacted areas are aerated, as necessary. Fertilizer is applied three to four times annually. Lawns are generally watered every three days, depending on conditions. They are mowed and trimmed weekly.


B. Flower beds and planters


Flower beds and planters are turned over, treated with a preemergent, and fertilized prior to the start of the growing season. Greenhouse plants are planted. All annuals, perennials, and trees are watered, fertilized, and treated for insects and disease.


C. Sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and fields


Sidewalks are edged, trimmed and grass is blown off after each mowing. Streets and parking lots are checked for and cleared of trash. Weeds growing in adjacent fields are cut two or three times each year, depending on their growth. Outside trash containers are emptied on a weekly basis.


D. Equipment


Grounds equipment care and maintenance are the responsibility of the department. Daily and weekly care is outlined in operation's manuals and maintenance schedules are strictly adhered to.


E. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land


Care of the college BLM land is the responsibility of the department. The land is checked each spring for necessary annual upkeep which is then performed by the department during the growing season, in accordance with the college lease agreement with the BLM.


F. Various college maintenance personnel assist the department in turning on the irrigation system in the spring. Pumps, tanks, drains, electrical breakers, and fuses must all be checked to insure proper working order.


3. Summer


A. Grounds, trees, and shrubs


Lawn, garden, and open field work continues and intensifies as described under the preceding section. Trees and shrubs are checked for insect damage and disease, and treated and trimmed as needed. Garbage pickup is completed in conjunction with the mowing.


B. Equipment


Small engine equipment which is used during the summer months is serviced, repaired, and fueled as necessary.


C. Parking lots


Parking lot care and cleaning increases during the summer months. The lots are periodically cleared of sand, manure, and other debris and treated for weeds as needed. The smaller lots are kept clean with college equipment, the larger lots are swept by local contractors.


D. New projects


New projects are designed during the winter. This includes the installation of irrigation systems, modifications to existing landscaping, and planting of new trees, shrubs, and sod. Upon review and approval by the Dean of Business Services and the President, they are implemented during the summer.


E. Irrigation system repairs


Occasionally during the summer it is necessary for the college maintenance staff to make cuts in the lawn and irrigation system in order to make electrical, plumbing, and other repairs. The grounds department is responsible for repairing the irrigation system and replacing soil and sod to repair the landscape.


4. Fall


A. Landscaping


As summer and early fall conclude, preparations are made for winter. The irrigation system is closed down and water blown out, trees are pruned and wrapped, and perennials are mulched for protection from winter weather conditions.


B. Snow removal


Provisions are made during the fall for snow and ice removal from campus sidewalks, roads, and parking lots. The following responsibilities are reviewed and made ready:


1) Equipment


Vehicles and other equipment used for snow plowing are checked thoroughly for safe and proper operation, and serviced. Employees unfamiliar with how to operate heavy equipment are trained by the department in its use.


2) Schedules


Schedules are established for snow removal from sidewalk areas close to all campus buildings. Several members of the custodial and maintenance staffs are responsible for clearing snow in designated areas on campus early in the mornings. Unless the snow is particularly severe the grounds department maintains the sidewalks throughout the day and evenings. Weekend coverage for this task as well as roads and parking areas is the responsibility of the grounds department personnel. Handicapped areas are given top priority.


3) Communications


Custodial supervisors for week nights and weekends are responsible for contacting the grounds manager when snow depths on campus accumulate to two inches. The grounds manager will then call any additional personnel needed to assist in snow removal. A separate procedure is followed for determining, whether the campus should be closed because of snow. (See 5. Winter).


4) Materials


Snow fences which are left in place all year are checked and repaired and those taken down for the summer are put back in place. Side markers and delineators in parking lots and along sidewalks are checked to make sure they are in place to facilitate plowing. Supplies, such as ice melt for sidewalks, are ordered and stored in the warehouse.


5. Winter


A. Snow removal


Snow and ice removal activities, as described in the preceding section, are performed as needed.


B. Campus closure for snow


1) If sufficient snow accumulates, the grounds manager and crew will report to the college for clearing of snow no later than 3:30 a.m.


2) The manager will notify the Director of Physical Plant of campus conditions no later than 5:00 a.m. The director will contact Laramie County School District No. 1 to coordinate closure. The director will then contact the following state and local agencies to obtain current information on weather and road conditions:


Highway Department 635-9966

National Weather Service 772-2468

Cheyenne Streets and Alleys Office (7:30 a.m.) 637-6288

Shop (6:00 a.m.) 637-6293

Sheriff's Department 778-3700

Police Department 637-6520


The grounds manager serves as backup for the Director of Physical Plant.


3) The Director of Physical Plant will contact the President (the Dean of Instruction serves as backup to the President) for a final decision if it appears the campus should be closed.


4) The decision to close must be made by 6:00 a.m. If the decision is to close, the President will notify the Director of Information Services who will notify the media.


C. Planning new projects


New projects for improvement of the campus grounds are planned during the winter. Projects include installation of irrigation systems, modifications to existing landscaping, and planting new trees, shrubs, and sod. Projected costs and designs are put together for consideration. Upon approval by the Dean of Business Services and the President, the necessary supplies, parts, and materials from the projects are ordered and a schedule for implementation during the summer months is prepared.