Winter storm Juno left the Bowdoin campus relatively unscathed despite pummeling students with 50 mph winds and around two feet of snow.
“I don’t remember [a blizzard] of this intensity in the recent past,” said Director of Facilities Operations and Maintenance Ted Stam.
In addition to the tremendous snowfall, there were also some minor electrical issues on campus. Most notably, an open window in Moulton Union’s Main Lounge caused a steam pipe to burst, setting off the fire alarms in Moulton Dining Hall during lunch.
“On a normal day, it wouldn’t really do anything,” said Stam. “When you have 50-mile-per-hour, nine-degree wind, it can come in through that crack and drop the temperature enough on the heater to freeze it.”
At the scene, Brunswick Fire Department Captain Chris Fairbanks noted that the damage was not extensive.
Despite heavy snowfall that averaged two to four inches an hour, the College’s chose not to cancel all classes. They did, however, close down all non-essential services and facilities including Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill, Polar Express, the Café and the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness.
Stam estimated that there were 15 grounds employees on snow removal duty Tuesday, in addition to privately contracted snow removal teams.
“We look at each storm and we designate who are essential employees and who needs to come in so that we can serve the campus while allowing others to stay home and be safe,” he said.
While classes were not cancelled in an official capacity, many professors did choose to cancel on their own. Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd was unable to provide an estimate of how many classes were cancelled.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Laura Toma cancelled class for the first time in her 10 years of teaching. The fact that the storm hit in the morning rather than midday made her commute from Portland impossible.
“I think we’ll go a bit faster for the next few weeks and maybe make up for [lost class time] the last week of classes,” she said.
Tram added that there is still fallout to deal with now that the storm has passed.
“We have very large piles of snow that we need to haul and get off the campus before the next storm comes,” he said.
While a large number of students enjoyed the day, others were forced to walk to class during the peak of the blizzard.
“It was a great day since all my classes were canceled and Netflix was there to keep me company,” said Gina Fickera ’18.
Those who had to go to class felt differently.
“I wish more classes had been cancelled. I feel like the weather was just too cold,” said Lauren O’Shea ’18.
Many students questioned the College’s decision not to cancel class.
“I think it’s unfair to students who live far away,” said Maeve Morse ’18. “It also puts too much pressure on the professors because a lot of them end up feeling obligated to have class.”
As Brunswick anticipates an additional three to five inches of snow tonight, Facilities Management continues its preparations.