Note: This is the fifth in a series of stories about how some of the department and units at Brock University are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic measures. If you would like to tell your department’s story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, Brock University’s Grounds Services team continues to work on campus and gear up for the summer months.
With the operational changes still in effect at Brock, the campus is much emptier than before. However, two Grounds Services employees per day are still working on-site in reduced shifts from Monday to Friday, keeping the campus neat, green and orderly.
Currently, their focus is on the spring clean-up, pruning, switching from the winter to summer equipment and the start of the grass cutting season.
Every morning, John Dick, Grounds Services Manager, meets with the scheduled staff on-site to update them on any changes that need to be made or jobs that need to be completed. All of the Facilities Management managers also have a Microsoft Teams meeting to co-ordinate daily repairs and jobs. To maintain physical distancing, the team mainly stays in touch through text and email.
“With the reduced number of staff on site, it has been easy to abide by physical distancing guidelines,” said Dick. “We are regularly cleaning our workspaces, like our equipment and vehicles, and only one person is allowed in our small utility vehicles at a time. For our jobs, wearing gloves and hand washing has always, and continues to be, the norm.”
Grounds Services has completed the hiring process for their summer grounds students positions, but have had to hold off on officially offering the positions until there is further clarity about COVID-19 and how the province will move forward in the summer months.
Until then, Grounds Services will begin some previously planned project work and begin their annual spring tree planting.
“The Grounds team has been frustrated with the changes, of course,” said Dick. “We all just hope to continue to work to keep the campus looking great for when everyone finally returns to Brock.”