Under the leadership of Andy Moran, Senior Manager of Grounds in the Office of Facilities Management, Pitt is prepared to tackle winter weather conditions for the 2019-2020 season.
Winter maintenance operations include diligent snow shoveling, plowing and removal, as well as treating icy surfaces across all University-owned property including sidewalks, parking garages, parking lots and University Drive. Additionally, athletic facilities must remain in peak condition year-round, with snow removal on outdoor fields, stands and dugouts for baseball, softball and soccer ahead of early spring practice schedules.
Andy has led campus grounds maintenance for the past five years, with extensive prior experience in grounds management and landscaping design. Each day at Pitt, he closely monitors detailed weather reports to assess severe weather forecasts while overseeing a dedicated team of over 30 staff members to ensure outdoor pathways remain clear and safe throughout the season.
His team works around the clock, available 24/7 to address campus needs. An expanded grounds crew begins at 4:00am during severe weather to clear pathways, in addition to supporting scheduled sporting events, Petersen Events Center performances, conferences and weddings.
When severe weather hits, additional staff members are available to mobilize, with over 50 Pitt employees cross-trained to support grounds maintenance including custodial and laborer teams. People may not realize that a crew member may work 18 hours a day during severe weather, dedicated to campus safety when it matters most.
Last winter, the grounds crew rechargable tested battery-powered snow blowers for use on campus steps, providing a sustainable solution for seasonal grounds maintenance. Based on favorable results, Pitt purchased two of these additional blowers to expand their use this year.
While we are experiencing a steady drop in temperatures now, snow planning began in October, with a proactive planning and training meeting to review maintenance procedures, updated routes and safety protocols including proper equipment use and cold weather protection in preparation for the season.
Andy’s commitment to operational excellence shows, with the goal of zero snow and ice on campus walking surfaces to help in keeping the Pitt community safe. He appreciates the compliments his team receives from students, faculty, staff and visitors to showcase the campus, with multiple positive comments each week. We are grateful for the grounds maintenance crew’s dedication and service, a team of unsung heroes who work 24/7 to keep campus pathways clear and safe during winter…and all year long!
Did You Know?
- Pitt’s grounds crew maintains close to 32 miles of sidewalks and pathways, as well as over 2,000 steps!
- Pitt uses over two dozen trucks with snow plows and salt spreaders, tractors and utility vehicles, in addition to snow blowers, snow shovels and ice scraping equipment during the winter period.
- During the winter season last year, Grounds maintenance team services were at their highest level in January, responding to 23 weather events which ranged from ice and freezing rain to several inches of snow.
Do you have a weather-related request to clear an outdoor area or report an office heating/cooling issue? Contact the Office of Facilities Management: Call 412-624-9500 or send an email to email@example.com.