No snow days: Behind-the-scenes crews busy in schools when students aren't

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GRAND BLANC (WJRT) (2/12/2019) - "We've been in our trucks since 3 o'clock this morning," said grounds crew foreman Scott Cory.

He's one of 150 staff members who showed up to school Tuesday, despite the snow day students and teachers at Grand Blanc Community Schools were given.

Cory does not sleep in on snow days.

"When I go to bed at night, I kind of watch for temperature, chances of precipitation, you know, just things that are going to tell me whether salt's going to work, whether it's not, how hard it's going to be on our equipment plowing. I'm up every hour and a half to two hours, all night long," he said.

Because, even if there is snow, his five-person plow crew has to assume there is going to be school, which means all 18 Grand Blanc Community Schools' buildings will need to be accessible.

"And, if we don't start early enough, we don't have the manpower trucks or you know, nobody could get it done in that amount of time," he explained.

While they're handling the outside, the skilled trades staff is checking the inside of each of those buildings, starting with the boiler rooms.

"I come down. I make sure the boiler is on. I make sure it's working. I make sure that it has 5 pounds of steam," Robert Diffenderfer said.

He explained if it is working properly, he can start his check of every classroom and office.

"I just come in and I walk through and I look to see if there's any wet carpeting or any ceiling leaks and then I go to the next room," Diffenderfer said.

Fortunately, there were no issues on our tour Tuesday; but, Diffenderfer said they've had to repair a few leaks over the past couple of snow days, thanks to the subzero temperatures.

As he headed to the next building, Cory's crew finished up plowing each lot for the second time and headed home around 3 p.m., only to return no later than 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"Go home, get a bite to eat and grab a couple hours of sleep and back at her again," Cory said.

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