Grounds crew offers first impression of University

Jodi Abazoski and Jodi Abazoski

To many, first impressions are everything and presenting a clean, well-maintained campus to prospective and current students, as well as alumni, is a major goal of those responsible for grounds at the University.

University grounds are handled by Campus Services, headed in part by supervisors Scott Euler and Susan Wammes, who also work alongside their employees.

“If we’re doing our job well, we’re leaving a positive impression,” Wammes said.

With a department made up of 19 people, said Euler, the vast duties of campus services may surprise some students.

Some of those duties include caring for grounds, taking care of trash, plowing snow and salting sidewalks, he said.

According to research completed by Dan Lemmerbrock, data hub and resource control manager, “most of campus sits” on land from “Wooster to Merry and Thurstin to Mercer.”

Within that area, there are 24 acres of sidewalks and 31 acres of streets and parking lots, Lemmerbrock said.

Campus Services edges and brooms each sidewalk as well as picks up and maintains every parking lot.

“ If we don’t pick up trash one morning, people will be able to tell,” Euler said.

Campus Services also assists the University’s “green” initiative by disposing of the materials collected through recycling.

“We’re kind of the nuts and bolts of the recycling program, ” Euler said. “Our jobs are very hands-on.”

Within the past year, grounds has taken on more responsibilities with moving services being added to their department. Their movers take furniture to and from offices when new faculty comes to the University or current faculty move, a job which will become increasingly busy with all of the construction happening on campus, Wammes said.

For the few employed by grounds, each season presents different challenges. During the spring, members of the grounds crew plant trees and flowers and set up signage for graduation, but during the fall, leaf pickup is a priority. During this winter season, the grounds department will have an effect on students’ lives that is rarely thought about in regards to their schedules.

“When we have a major snow storm, our goal is to get things cleared out as soon as possible so they don’t have to cancel classes,” Wammes said.

The work of Campus Services that is evident in so much of the exterior of the campus is often overlooked because it is done without anyone noticing. Euler’s typical day starts at 6:30 a.m. Without an effective grounds department, the campus would probably not look as nice when the first students arrive for their early morning classes.

“People comment on how clean the campus is and [what they might not know is] we’ve already been working … to make sure everything is perfect,” Euler said.