Mission Statement

The SUNY Purchase College Facilities Management Department will provide a safe winter environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus in an efficient and effective manner.


The Facilities Department staff is responsible for and performs the snow removal on campus. The objective of this policy is to make certain that the access roadways, parking lots and sidewalks are ready for vehicular and pedestrian flow.


The goal of the Facilities Department is to provide walkways, parking lots and roadways that are passable and reasonably safe for vehicular and pedestrian traffic as much of the time as possible within the limitations imposed by weather conditions and the availability of equipment, material and personnel. It is recognized that due to weather conditions, pavement surfaces will be snow covered and/or slippery some of the time. Those traveling on campus must exercise caution and navigate the campus appropriately in those situations.

Many of the situations faced by the Facilities Department are influenced by the time of day that the storm begins and ends, the day of the week and the time of the year. We are also mindful of the fact that residence hall occupancy, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), class sessions, campus events, and general campus business will dictate a varying degree of response. A period of high level of activity, with classes in session and full residence hall occupancy, may dictate a different prioritization than would be required during periods of time when there are no classes scheduled and residence halls are lightly occupied.

Depending on the amount of snowfall, the Facilities Management Department shall work with the Parking Office and University Police department (UPD) to ask that cars be moved from certain locations in the parking lots in order to remove accumulated snow between parking spaces. When the need arises, your cooperation is expected and appreciated.

Pre-Season Preparation

Well in advance of the first winter storm, the plan is reviewed and discussed by the snow removal team, UPD, campus parking, and other involved representatives. During this pre-season preparation, special requests, expectations, contact information, current policy and procedures, as well as changes or modifications to the plan shall be addressed.

Equipment, Parts and Supplies

The Facilities Management Department is responsible for inventorying all related snow equipment, parts and materials well ahead of the first predicted snowfall each year, usually in October. All equipment should be started, tested, tuned up, and checked for faulty parts and needed repairs. All equipment should be routinely tested prior to the first storm and throughout the entire snow season. Any essential backup and replacement inventory needed for snow equipment must be received by October 15th. These materials should be received and accounted for within the Facilities Department by the end of October, or well before the first potential snowfall. All purchase orders for snow-related equipment, materials, and supplies should be in place by October 15th, and should be closed at the end of the snow season. Items for purchase orders may include:

  • Equipment parts and supplies (hydraulic fluid, batteries, etc.).
  • Supplies (shovels, ice choppers, anti-icing, deicing, and snow melting supplies, hand spreaders).

Snow Response Team and Personnel

The Snow Response Team (SRT) consists of all positions listed below under Staff and Campus Resources as well as the staffs from the custodial and grounds departments. The need for additional supervision may be necessary during extended snowstorms. Additional supervisory resources will be utilized as deemed necessary by the Facilities Senior Director to facilitate snow removal operations. Training on proper techniques, equipment, expectations and ADA compliance will be done yearly and as new personnel are hired during winter weather season.

The following provides an outline of snow removal responsibilities. This may need to be refined on a yearly basis to address any needs, changes and requirements of the Purchase College.

Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning

  • Prepares/updates the Snow Removal Plan and the establishment of priorities
  • Communicates with campus administration to identify priorities.
  • Ensures these priorities are communicated to the Snow Removal Team.
  • Updates campus on progress and status of snow removal.
  • Ensures proper resources are made available for winter weather management.
  • Redistributes responsibilities when necessary.
  • Associate Director of Facilities Management assumes these roles in Senior Directors absence.

Associate Director of Facilities Management

  • Approves the use of additional in-house labor and overtime.
  • Provides estimates to the College for third-party support during storms that exceed the scope of the staff and equipment on-site. Directs the effort of any third-party snow removal teams.
  • Communicates and provides updates for the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning.
  • Maintains telephone listing of emergency numbers.
  • Serves as a member of the Snow Response Team as required.
  • Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning assumes these roles in Associate Directors absence.

Assistant Director of Buildings, Grounds, and Maintenance

  • Inspects Campus at intervals during and after snowstorms to assess conditions.
  • Communicates weather conditions directly to the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning and Associate Director of Facilities Management and makes recommendations regarding snow clearing.
  • Functions as snow removal operations leader during winter storm conditions.
  • Participates in the preparation of the Campus Snow Response Plan.
  • Manages the Snow Response Team. Schedule and supervises snow removal operations.
  • Ensure regular roof inspections are conducted to determine the need for snow removal to prevent collapse.
  • Ensures inventories of equipment, tools, and materials are adequate.
  • If conditions exist, make arrangements for on-campus accommodations and meals for Snow Removal Team who remain on Campus.
  • Identifies areas for priority snow clearing.
  • Routinely checks roof edging to determine where potential snow slides may require sidewalk restrictions or temporary closing.
  • Maintains weather surveillance to determine need for snow removal or de-icing after normal working hours.
  • Ensure Snow Removal Team is wearing appropriate clothing for winter weather conditions.
  • As weather conditions permit, ensures that stairs, access roads, parking lots, sidewalks, and entryways are kept as free as possible of snow, slush, and ice, which may cause hazardous footing conditions.
  • Associate Director of Facilities Management assumes these roles in Assistant Directors absence.

Head Janitor

  • Participates in the preparation of the Campus Snow Response Plan.
  • Leads custodial staff in snow removal operations.
  • Inspects Campus at intervals during snowstorms to assess conditions.
  • Ensure inventories of tools and materials are adequate for all custodial staff.
  • As weather conditions permit, ensure stairs and entryways are kept free as free as possible of snow, slush, and ice, which may cause hazardous footing conditions.
  • Custodial Supervisor(s) assume these roles in Head Janitors absence.

Head Grounds Supervisor

  • Participates in the preparation of the Campus Snow Response Plan.
  • Leads grounds staff in snow removal operations.
  • Inspects Campus at intervals during snowstorms to assess conditions.
  • Ensures inventories of tools and materials are adequate for Grounds Department staff.
  • As weather conditions permit, ensures that roads and other areas of responsibility are kept as free as possible of snow, slush, and ice, which may cause hazardous driving and footing conditions.
  • Senior Grounds worker with assistance of Assistant Building and Grounds Director assumes these roles in Head Grounds Supervisor’s role.

Snow Removal Team (SRT)

  • Wear appropriate clothing and associated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for winter weather conditions.
  • Ensure stairs, access roads, ADA access, parking lots, sidewalks, and entryways are kept as free as possible of snow, slush, and ice, which may cause hazardous footing conditions.

University Police

  • Participates in the Campus Snow Removal Response Plan.
  • Notifies SRT of hazardous conditions.
  • Coordinates with Facilities Department on the activation of the Snow Removal Response Plan.
  • Coordinates the towing of vehicles on an as needed basis.

Parking Office

  • In coordination with Facilities, Parking Office is responsible for educating the campus, no later than the first week of November, about protocol regarding parking lot closures and designated parking locations during snow emergencies.
  • Notifies the campus community via e-mail and posting on the University website all timelines regarding parking locations and approximate times for car transfers.
  • Contacts individuals who have not complied with the parking lot closures.

Notifications and Snow Response Procedures


During Normal Working Hours, mobilization of the Snow Removal Team will be determined by the Associate Director of Facilities. During Non-Working Hours, mobilization of the Snow Removal Team will be determined by the night shift University Police Officer on duty in conjunction with the Assistant Director Buildings and Grounds. The level of call-in required - will be determined by the specific time and magnitude of winter conditions:

  1. Associate Director of Facilities Maintenance or Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds will then contact assigned Snow Removal Team members.
  2. The Assistant Director of buildings and Grounds will meet with the Head Grounds Supervisor to assess the current conditions and initial response by the Snow Removal Team.
  3. The Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds will continuously monitor the snow conditions, and re-assess the response of the Snow Removal Team and make necessary changes in the level of response.

Campus Notifications

The Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds will make the following notifications as soon as possible after mobilizing the Snow Removal Team.

  1. University Police – Will be notified via e-mail and/or phone.
  2. Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning – Will be notified via e-mail, text or call. Time of dispatch and staffing levels will be included.
  3. Associate Director of Facilities – Will be notified via email, text or call.

Campus Coordination

Designated representation from administration, faculty, University Police, and staff communicate and discuss weather forecasts, current conditions and campus class and event schedules. Communications begin once winter weather is forecasted and last through winter weather vent.

Snow Removal Priorities and Procedures

The Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds will make any on-site decision regarding the assignment of personnel and equipment for snow removal. The Head Grounds Supervisor will assign specific equipment to routes and specific employees to equipment if weather conditions warrant such action. University Police will further notify the Assistant Director Buildings and Grounds of any priorities, including:

  • Keeping emergency egress open - first priority during snow fall.
  • Keeping main access points cleared as best as possible.
  • Clearing accumulated snow from the immediate areas of each building’s entrance and fire exits and continue to do so until rotating to the next building or the snowfall ceases.
  • Clearing snow from building entrances in a manner so that the operators of the snow removal equipment can collect and deposit the snow in a safe manner, away from the entry, exits and adjacent walks. Snow is to be cleared within six feet of the bottom of the landing or stairwell.
  • Spreading sufficient quantities of deicing materials in areas where ice and/or slippery conditions are present.
  • Maintaining accessibility to/from handicap parking spaces, curb cuts and ADA compliant building entrances will be a priority.

Clean-up operations after a storm shall involve clearing all roadway access, walks, entryways, and parking lots along with the de-icing of those surfaces. The following details the campus standard operating procedures during snow removal:

  • Snow shall be pushed back from sides of access roads, walks and parking lots.
  • Stairs and entryways shall have all remaining snow removed.
  • Transitions from sidewalks to roads will be cleared of snow and ice (this includes curb lines).
  • Ice choppers and ice melt applications will then be employed on remaining ice.
  • Applications of ice control products will follow plowing, based on present weather conditions, or when freezing occurs, as determined by the Director of Facilities or Grounds Supervisor.
  • Steps, walkways and entryways shall be fully cleared with snow shovels, snow blowers and sidewalk plowing equipment.
Handicap Parking and Accessibility

During a snow event, accessible parking, paths, entrances, and access points must be kept as clear and accessible as weather permits. After the conclusion of a weather event, areas must be cleared fully to maintain proper widths and accessibility.

Parking Lots

Parking lots require the coordination and cooperation of the Parking Office, Facilities Management, University Police, Office of Residential and Student Life, Students, Faculty, Administration and others. Prior to the winter season and during the winter months, snow emergency parking notices may be issued by the Parking Office that reviews regulations regarding parked cars and snow removal. The following specifics apply to the removal of snow within parking lots:

  • When plowing parking lots, snow should be piled so as not to block thoroughfares and sidewalk areas.
  • If snow has to be pushed over a curbed area, it should be piled so that it will not fall back into the lot and still be clear of any adjacent walks or handicap accessible areas. Note: When pushing snow over a curb, the truck operator will stop the vehicle and lift the blade as the snow is being pushed, this will help reduce the possibility of damaging the curb and the plow cutting edge.
  • Drivable lanes will be cleared first as to ensure safe passage of emergency vehicles.
  • Open parking spaces will be cleared once the snowfall is complete.
  • We ask that cars are cleaned off by their owners as soon as possible after a snowfall and moved to an already cleared parking space.
  • If further instruction is needed, such as moving cars to an alternative parking lot, a campus notice will be sent out by the Parking Office.
  • Purchase College does not shovel out personal cars. If a shovel is needed, a student, faculty or staff member may bring their college ID to either the Parking Office or The More Store during working hours to borrow one. The ID will be returned when the shovel is returned.

Roads are kept passable for emergency vehicles throughout a snow fall. Once the snow has stopped, the roads will be cleared to the curb line and ice melt applied as appropriate. Depending on conditions, de-icing materials may be applied without plowing.

General Information
  • Vehicles that block snow removal routes will be referred to University Police/Parking Office and could be towed at the owner’s expense.
  • With consultation from the Associate Director of Facilities and Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds, the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning shall determine when snow equipment and personnel should be halted due to extreme weather conditions.

Safety Precautions and Safety Measures

Your safety, and that of the entire Campus, is of the utmost importance and of the highest priority given by the personnel of the Facilities Department. Facilities staff, while conducting their duties and responsibilities, will observe and practice every available safety measure. It is extremely difficult for the operators to see pedestrians and vehicles while operating large equipment. Please allow as much distance as possible between yourself (or vehicle), and the moving equipment.

The Facilities Department will make every reasonable effort to provide a safe environment and improve the situation, including:

  • Not blocking fire hydrants or storm drains with snow piles.
  • Not piling snow in parking/drive areas such that it obstructs visibility.
  • Not damaging ornamental trees and shrubs by piling snow.

As a reminder of general snow safety for the campus community:

  • Wear boots or shoes with grip soles during adverse weather conditions.
  • Smooth leather or rubber soles are unsafe on ice and hard packed snow.
  • Do not walk with your hands in your pockets; it reduces your balance.
  • Take short or medium steps or shuffle your feet when these conditions are present.
  • Do not step on uneven surfaces.
  • Place your full attention on your safety while traveling on ice and compacted snow. Do not allow your attention to be divided.

Slip and Fall Reporting

University Police will complete an incident report in accordance with the NYSUP General Orders. When a slip/fall incident occurs the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning (or a representative) is notified so that any causing site conditions can be addressed. All slip and falls must be reported to the University Police Department and Human Resources.

Winter Storm Preparation

Pre-winter training for all snow removal personnel shall include:

  • ADA compliance
  • Proper use of equipment
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Review of this plan

In the effort to prepare for snowstorm activity at Purchase College, the following tasks will be performed by the Facilities Management Department 24 hours prior to a storm beginning:

  • Use the internet to view and download weather information from the following sites:
  • Weather reports will be communicated to necessary college staff.
  • Equipment will be prepped for any impending storm to include, but not limited to:
    • Fueling all vehicles and equipment.
    • Installing plows and salt spreaders.
    • Installing snow removal implements on portable tractors.
    • Testing all equipment to ensure in good working order.
    • Staging plow trucks on the Campus so they are ready to deploy.

Spring Clean Up

In preparation for spring, the Grounds Department will complete the following snow removal related tasks at the close of the winter season as outlined below:

  • Review snow removal operations and record successes and areas that need improvement in order to modify the Snow Response Plan and improve services.
  • Evaluate performance of equipment and materials.
  • Quantify equipment, material, and labor costs to help establish future budget needs.
  • Sweep and remove, and/or power wash all winter de-icing materials from access roads, walkways and parking areas.
  • Repair pot hole and curb damage.
  • Check all gates, fences, and poles for damage and repair as needed.
  • Check drains for any winter debris or materials.
  • Check trees for winter damage and conduct maintenance as needed.
  • Inspect lawns and re-plant any salt damaged areas as needed.
  • Remove all snow stakes and markers.
  • Clean and store all equipment not being used for remainder of season.