As temperatures have risen in recent weeks, plows have come to a halt, saving the College money on heating and shovelling snow from the Quad's walkways.
"That's where we really saved money this year," said Director of Facilities Operations & Maintenance Ted Stam. "The hauling of the snow."
"It is warmer than normal," said Stam, adding that Bowdoin gets this weather every few years.
"It is pretty unusual," said Jae Bradley '13, who has lived in Maine for 11 years. However, "in the past couple years, there have been changes from severe to milder weather."
"It's absurd that Maine, which usually gets a lot of snow, hasn't gotten a lot of snow this winter," said Amar Patel '13. "Even Florida is getting snow."
"When I came up for the [Bowdoin] Experience last April, there was still snow on the ground," said Patel.
While the warm weather has saved the College some plowing and hauling costs, the savings are not as significant as one might expect because the staff is still employed, said Stam.
The snow-plowing budget for this year is $104,000 and includes outside contracting fees, materials such as salt and sand, as well as hauling snow.
"If we under-run the budget, we make decisions about allocating the money somewhere else," within Facilities Management said Stam. He said Facilities Management has a "close dialogue with the budget director and the treasurer when we do that."
Facilities Management is not the only party enjoying the benefits of the warm weather. The high temperatures have cleared the diagonal pathways on the Quad, making them accessible to students, faculty and staff.
The use of heating has also declined slightly as result of the warmer weather. The energy conservation from the heating cannot yet be monitored on the newly created Climate Dashboard Web site, which tracks energy use around campus. Heating is impossible to track without steam meters, which the College has yet to install.
According to Stam, each meter costs several thousand dollars, and the College is planning to invest in them in the future.
While the Facilities Management staff plows most of the campus, other buildings such as the Watson Arena, Brunswick Apartments, Farley Gym, Stowe Inn, Coffin Street Parking Lot and the McLellen Building at 85 Union Street are plowed by outside contractors.
The outside contractors are paid a seasonal price based on a three-year contract. They are paid whether or not they plow.
"It's their benefit if it snows less," said Stam.
However, "over time, we have found that it's better to go for a seasonal price versus pay-as-you-go contract," said Stam. "It levels out" because, according to Stam, relatively warm winters are often followed by colder ones.
Simply plowing the snow creates huge piles that take up space.
"We have to remove snow with mechanical equipment and trucks, which can be expensive," said Stam.
However, "snow removal does not necessarily hinge upon snow," said Stam. Rain and freezing snow that create puddles also require plowing.
Stam does not think the warm weather will last long.
"The winter season is another six weeks," he said. "March can be very difficult."
"I expected the weather to be colder," said Patel, who is from New Jersey. "Back home there [are] already three feet of snow on the ground and they're getting another foot this week."
"It's disappointing," he said. "I have yet to experience Maine winter."