Walking Safely in Slippery Conditions

Crews from Facilities work as quickly as they can to treat slippery walkways on campus, but Houghton has snowy/icy conditions in the winter and care must be taken by all to avoid slips and falls.   Remember that no matter how well snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you may still encounter slippery surfaces when walking outside or inside during the winter

Below are several tips on how to stay safe when walking in winter.

Choose appropriate footwear that will provide traction on snow and ice.

— Plan ahead and think about the best route to your destination. Give yourself a little extra time to get there.

— Walk on designated walkways whenever possible. It can be hazardous to take shortcuts over snow piles or areas that cannot be cleared.

— Don’t carry heavy objects in slippery conditions.

— Beware of “black ice” and slippery conditions on surfaces that have been cleared.  Water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces and form an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement. It often shows up early in the morning or in areas that are shaded from the sun.

— Before you step off the curb into the street, make sure any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop.

— Make your strides small.

— Walk slowly and keep both hands out to stay balanced.

— Use handrails while walking up and down stairs.

— When exiting or entering a vehicle, hold on to the vehicle for support.

— When entering a building, be sure to use floor mats and boot cleaners to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes. This will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces.

— Choose your path carefully to avoid wet or slippery floors.
Please report slippery conditions on Michigan Technological University property.  Call the Facilities Management Emergency line at 487-0001 or submit an online work request at http://www.mtu.edu/facilities/maintenance/requests/.

Special Shuttle Bus Holiday Schedule

Husky Motors shuttle service will operate 7:00a.m. to 5:30p.m. Monday-Wednesday, November 24-26, and will not be operating on Thursday, November 27 or Friday, November 28. The shuttle services the Memorial Union Building to the SDC and stops at both the Lower and Upper Daniell Heights’ bus stop. The shuttle will also stop hourly at the Lakeshore Center. Click here for Holiday schedule.

The City of Houghton will not be operating on campus, which includes the MTU afternoon shuttle during the week of November 24-28. For questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Angie Kolehmainen at 487-3288.

Winter Parking Ban in Effect

Effective Nov 1 to April 30, parking will be prohibited on campus between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. to allow for snow removal. This regulation will be in effect regardless of the amount of snow on the ground.

The only exceptions to this parking regulation are as follows:

1. In designated parking areas for occupants of University housing
2. Employees working on an assigned shift and parking in assigned overnight parking spaces
3. Anyone issued a special overnight parking permit by Public Safety and Police Services or Transportation Services

All other vehicles violating this regulation will be ticketed and may be towed at the owner’s expense.

For questions or comments regarding the winter campus overnight parking regulation call Transportation Services at 7-1441 or Public Safety and Police Services at 7-2216.

Steam Shutdown May 4-8, 2014

Buildings Affected:
Admin, Acad Offices, ROTC, ME-EM, MUB, Chem, EERC,
Library, Rehki, Dillman, Fisher, Dow, M&M, Walker, Rozsa,
DHH, Wads, McNair, Hillside Apts, GLRC,
Forestry, Ice Arena, SDC, Gates

Start Date:   Sunday,  May 4, 2014 at Noon.
End Date:   Thursday,  May 8, 2014 at Noon.

As we advised one year ago, our annual Central Heating Plant shutdown
will  take place on the above dates to allow work to be performed on
the Steam Generation and Distribution Systems and to calibrate the
plant generator transfer switch.  Steam WILL NOT be available during
this period. We will endeavor to keep the outage as short as possible.

Our hope is that these scheduled outages, during one of the quieter
spring weeks,will preclude a winter time emergency shutdown. We
apologize for having to shut the steam off at this potentially cool
time of year, but  with the current schedule, this is the only week
available before the summer session begins.  The other opportunity is
just before the Fall Semester begins, but we prefer to keep that time
frame open, in case the Spring shutdown brings to light a major item
that will need repair before the winter heating season begins.  It
also appears that more of the campus community would be affected by a
late summer shutdown.

All University Departments affected should schedule activities
accordingly.  Most buildings will be kept reasonably comfortable from
their internal heat load, but there will be a lack of hot water in most
areas.  Also, distilled water from steam driven stills may run out
depending on demand and the size of the still storage tank.

Looking ahead to next year, the steam system shutdown is planned to
begin on Sunday, May 3, 2015 and may be of similar duration.  For
future planning, keep in mind that the shutdown generally begins at
noon of the day immediately following Spring Commencement.

Please advise Dave Taivalkoski, at 487-2706 or by
e-mail at detaival@mtu.edu of any unforeseen difficulties with the above
schedules.

Winter Break

With winter break right around the corner (for some of us it is here already) a person might believe that it would be bright and sunny out while winter is taking a break. Well, maybe… if you are going to Florida… although for the rest of us who are not going far, winter break is just time off of school. Those who work jobs here at Facilities know that winter break, really isn’t winter break. The snow is still falling (old news, by now) and the salt keeps coming, and not to mention the clearing of the snow that has accumulated on the walking paths, roads, and don’t forget your car windshield. These jobs, of course, are repeated every couple of hours, every day if we hope to keep up with the snow. That means some of the staff do not get days off, but with the students gone, shoveling/plowing crews can clean lots that previously had cars parked in them.

Cleaning is only one of the duties of facilities management, essentially, Facilities is all about keeping the facilities accessible, clean, and functioning, so we take the time to make changes, big fixes, and other tasks that can only get done while the students are on break.

The facilities office will maintain normal office hours during the break, everybody who is on campus should note that the emergency line can be used as well, to reach us at the office. For emergencies, call 906-487-0001

Floor waxing season is here!

By the time summer hits, the floors across campus are tired and worn from all the academic year activity. That means it’s time for a new coat of wax. But don’t worry, our amazing custodial staff is already hard at work making those floors shine like there’s no tomorrow. I’m sure you have run into a few signs saying “wet wax” and the detour to your office seemed like it took forever, but don’t fret. It only takes a little while for the wax to dry and the detours to be removed. By the time Fall semester arrives all the vinyl composition tile (VCT) floors across campus will sparkle and shine again! Michigan Tech Facilities Management follows industry floor care guidelines by not waxing ceramic tile, quarry tile, terrazzo, or concrete floors. If you have any questions about floor waxing please contact Custodial Services at 487-2740.

Bike Repair Stations Established

Facilities Management has installed three bike repair stations on campus (near the GLRC, RL Smith Building, and Walker Arts and Humanities Building). There is also one planned to be installed by July 26, near the Waxing Building at the entrance to the Tech Trails. The Bike Repair Station is designed to hold nearly any bike. It includes an air pump and basic tools necessary for minor repairs, changing flat tires, and adjusting brakes and derailleurs. In addition to the tools, each station has a QR code attached to the support tube to take smart phone users to a comprehensive bike repair website. The grounds crew formed and poured the foundation slabs and installed the bike repair stations in areas across campus with input from the Michigan Tech bike committee.

Zipcar coming to campus

On or around August 22nd, Zipcar is coming to campus for all 18+ Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff. Zipcar is car-sharing, an alternative to bringing a car to school, that gives members 24/7 access to vehicles parked right on campus. Low hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, and 180 miles per day to go wherever you want to go. Members can reserve cars online or with a smart phone for as little as an hour or up to four days. This semester, enjoy all the freedom of owning a car without any of the hassle.

Find out more about how it works at zipcar.com/mtu or find us on facebook.

Parking Lots 31 and 34 Closure May 21st

A majority of parking spaces in lots 31 and 34 will not be available on Monday May 21st to allow contractors to complete the asphalt paint markings.  The spaces affected are along Phoenix Drive immediately in front of the Great Lakes Research Building, Dow Environmental Sciences & Engineering Building and along the south side retaining wall.  The parking areas affected will be barricaded but the road will remain open to traffic.  Contact Facilities Management if you have any questions at 487-2303.

Power Outage Planned 4/30/2012

We are scheduling a 10 minute power interruption at 7am on
April 30 to test our campus generator starting equipment.  Some have
contacted Facilities to say that the outage might cause problems to
their research equipment or experiments.  Those concerns have prompted
us to remind everyone about the need to plan for unplanned power
outages.  We have not had many of them, but it might be safe to say that
there is about one each year on average.

If there is a utility power outage, our systems will go through a
starting procedure to make sure that all main breakers at the primary
sub-station are open and then issue a start signal to the four campus
generators that we have.  Once they start, they need to synchronize to
each other and then the three breakers feeding the main campus are
closed one by one to restore power to campus buildings.  Normally this
process takes two minutes or less.  However we have been and still
continue to advise the campus to have systems in place for critical
loads to cover a ten minute outage.  We recommend 10 minutes because it
gives us a window to work with should there be a failure in the starting
sequence, alarms need to be cleared and the starting process needs to be
repeated.

Please allow for 10 minute outages when making plans to cover your
critical systems.  Thank you.