Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:47
Even as the city and county have eased off their snow alerts, the Bowling Green State University campus remains closed for a third day.
That's actually longer than the university was shuttered for the fabled Blizzard of '78.
University spokesman David Kielmeyer in an email wrote: "While we don't keep official records of such things, it is accurate to say that we rarely close. Long-time employees have confirmed for me that they do not recall a time when we closed three days in a row."
Those he talked to remember back to 1978 when campus closed for two days, but the storm hit on a Thursday, so a weekend intervened.
Circumstances are different this year, he noted. First, university policy is to close whenever there's a Level 3 snow emergency, and as of Tuesday afternoon Wood County was still on that highest level of snow emergency.
That was lowered at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The decision was made earlier Tuesday to close campus until 5 p.m. today.
Also, a major difference is that students are still on winter break.
"Having the students 'at home' allowed us to err on the side of safety for our faculty and staff," according to Kielmeyer. "Given the icy conditions, high winds and extreme temperatures, the decision may have been the same had the spring semester been underway. However, that scenario would have required a significantly larger number of employees to risk traveling to campus to meet the dining, housing and other needs of our student body.
"While we never like to have our operations disrupted, the timing of the 'polar vortex' was a bit of a blessing. It would have been more problematic and required more challenging decisions had it hit next week."