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Facilities and public safety crews work tirelessly to keep campus accessible during winter

Boise State shuttle driving on campus during winter 2023
Boise State shuttles transport riders across campus and to and from downtown Boise all year long.

Despite freezing temperatures, heaps of snow and icy conditions this winter, Boise State’s Facilities Operations and Maintenance and the Department of Public Safety work tirelessly – sometimes 12-16 hour days – to keep campus open and accessible for students and staff.

Crews report to campus as early as 4 a.m. on days where snow accumulation is large enough to require multiple passes to clear, with the goal to have spaces cleared by the time classes start around 7 a.m. But it doesn’t stop there. On days where there are night classes or campus events, they may have to stay as late as 9 p.m.

Boise State snow plow removing snow at the Center for the Visual Arts building.
One of Boise State’s many snow plows clearing sidewalks outside of the Center for the Visual Arts building.

“Safety on Boise State’s campus is always a top priority, especially during the winter months when the weather is like this,” said Drew Alexander, associate vice president for Campus Operations. “Maintaining safe and accessible conditions for those traveling to, from, and around campus during major snow falls is an incredible task, and these team members ensure that happens. Their dedication to campus and the community is exemplary.”

According to Barbara Beagles, executive director for campus facilities, communication between campus facilities and public safety teams can begin as early as 2 or 3 a.m. to discuss conditions on campus and priorities for the upcoming day.

“Edi Bailey [Boise State’s on-campus dispatch supervisor with the Boise Police Department] and her staff are always super supportive,” she said.

Boise State snow plows driving on campus.
Utility vehicles are in use and work long hours to keep campus open and accessible.

The Landscape Services team is made up of 13 members who manage de-icing and snow removal from pathways, parking lot drive aisles and ADA ramps, while other team members plow snow on Boise State-owned roads (the Ada County Highway District is in charge of clearing all other roads). Meanwhile, three full-time Department of Public Safety staff members and one student employee manage snow on ramps that lead into parking garages, as well as the tops of garages and all ADA parking. Once those duties are completed, they shift their focus to assist in clearing parking spaces and other areas.

Boise State uses a combination of liquid ice melt and pet-safe granular ice melt across campus. There are over 100 snow shovels in use, and 11 utility vehicles (including full-sized pickups) with blades and brooms further help with snow removal.

Learn more about these essential departments by visiting the facilities and public safety websites. If areas on campus need extra attention, please call facilities at (208) 426-1409 and they will respond as soon as possible.