UM-Dearborn was hit with its first measurable snowfalls of the semester this week. (Jack VanAssche/MJ)

This story was updated on Dec. 11, 2017 after UM-Dearborn’s first week of snow in the Fall semester.

By Anthony Mottley, Guest Writer

Snow is an inconvenience for many during the late fall and winter months, but it will hit students at UM-Dearborn particularly hard.

Primarily a commuter campus, students of UM-Dearborn will need to do their best to leave early enough to arrive safely on campus when weather may be of concern.

University of Michigan-Dearborn Grounds Manager Keith Sudak said students looking to park in the parking structure will find space limited as well.

The parking structure near the Public Safety office will see a decrease in available parking spots this winter. (Photo courtesy of UM-Dearborn)

“The parking structure fifth floor and ramp will be closed prior to the first snow event in November through March 15 due to maintenance and safety concerns,” he said.

The fifth floor deck closure means there will be 186 fewer parking spaces.

Sudak also has advice for those who must walk through the winter weather to get to class: “Dress warm and wear proper shoes.

“Put your high heels in a bag and put on boots or winter shoes.”

Sudak said the work his crew will face this winter is important, especially with the high number of commuting students on campus.

Metro Detroit gets 32 inches of snowfall in an average winter. The total has been as high as 60 inches in some years.

The UM-Dearborn campus averages 22 treatable snow or ice events each winter. Campus has had as many as 86 events in recent years.

Grounds Department Prepared for Winter

Regardless of the weather, Sudak and his staff of seven, including a mechanic, are ready to take on the challenge.

The Grounds Department is responsible for maintaining 6.5 miles of campus walks, 3 miles of roads and 17.5 acres of parking lots.  

“During an average season, we apply 400 tons of rock salt to the roads and parking lots, 20,000 pounds of ice melt and 700 gallons of liquid pre-treat to the sidewalks,” Sudak said.

If a snow event occurs while the grounds team is off site, Public Safety will call them.

“We are a 24/7 operation in the winter,” Sudak said.

Students are advised to budget extra time for their commute during winter weather conditions and stay on alert for campus updates.