CHICAGO — DePaul University campuses will reopen and classes will resume Tuesday, Feb. 3, after being closed Monday due to blizzard-like conditions and what’s being reported as the fifth largest snowfall in Chicago history.
“We have reviewed the status of our campus properties related to snow removal and all buildings are fine with no operational issues whatsoever,” said Bob Janis, vice president of Facility Operations.
“The maintenance crews — at times 30 strong — are to be commended for the work they have done since pre-dawn Sunday. They arrived early, stayed late and then came back again early Monday. It was a tough period of time for them given the continuous snowfall, which the blizzard conditions made even worse,” Janis said.
By mid-day Monday, “the Loop Campus was in great shape with all walks cleared and salted and all building entrances clear and accessible. At the Lincoln Park Campus, walks are clear and salted, as are parking lots. We are still working the top parking decks at Sheffield and Clifton,” he noted.
“While we were in good shape today it took a lot of the day to get there, especially at LPC, and we are not completely done yet. All will be accessible, but even more clearing and removal work is needed,” Janis said.
On Tuesday, “we will work with one of our contractors on-site hauling quantities of built up snow from certain locations on campus to the area at the south of the Concert Hall. This will help us make room for the next snowfall,” he explained.
Since many DePaul faculty, staff and students commute to campus from the near and far suburbs, there was a concern that the snowfall and windy blizzard conditions would make Monday’s travel by car, train or bus difficult, said Janis.
According to weather reports, #ChicagoBlizzard2015 was the fifth snowiest among Chicago snows on record. Reportedly 19.3 inches fell at O’Hare International Airport and 19.2 inches at Midway Airport. Snowfall amounts in some of the suburbs were reported at 22 inches.
“We were carefully monitoring weather reports and know from past experience that high winds and blizzard-like conditions could result in snow drifts of 5 feet or higher, making commutes dangerous. We also were concerned that the blizzard conditions would cause delays with trains and buses,” Janis said.
“And, we were watching news reports about how quickly the city would be able to get to side streets, since our Lincoln Park campus is accessed by many side streets. First responders wouldn’t be able to get down some of them,” he said.
“We made the decision to close campus when we did so that we could provide amply notification to the DePaul community, many who already were wondering what we intended to do based on the volume of calls that came in asking,” he said. “We also needed time to arrange for certain logistics to be put in play, such as food service for the resident students, and notifying tenants of our intention.”
While classes are canceled for today and tonight, Feb. 2, residence halls are open and the Student Center on the Lincoln Park Campus will serve food from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center also will be open during those hours.
Both the Loop and Richardson libraries are closed today and will reopen at 7:30 a.m. Feb 3.
For updates, continue to check the university home page at www.depaul.edu.