LHS budgets for Winter Salt Accordingly

Photo courtesy: Mike Gasick

Photo courtesy: Mike Gasick

Tom Ackerman, Opinion Editor

This year’s harsh winter has proven to be a nuisance for the buildings and grounds department at LHS, specifically in re-budgeting for the immense salt amounts that are required this season.

This year alone, according to Director of Buildings and Grounds Chris Stancil, LHS has been through “over 110 tons of rock salt for the parking lots only (LHS, Brainerd and Dymond) and 55,000 pounds of sidewalk salt.”

Although safety is a must for the school, it doesn’t come without a hefty price tag.

Coming into each year, buildings and grounds is allotted a certain amount of money in order to budget the supplies needed. This is more of a general idea, though, with the unpredictability of these supplies, like how much salt will be needed for a given winter.

“We still have money [in the budget], but it’s not just for salt,” said Mr. Stancil.

Although it’s no new challenge for experienced crew members, a rough winter without a doubt “squeezes the budget in other areas,” commented Mr. Stancil. In order to allow the necessary purchases, cuts into various areas like mulch and other school essentials are made, as they have done this year.

However, Mr. Stancil reassured any concerns, as “guys that have been here know how to stretch material and make it work better.”

Although precautions are made, falls are not guaranteed to be prevented. Junior Becca Lothspeich, for example, slipped on her way to school this year. “When I fell, I was walking along the path behind Butler lake on my way to school. The snow that was never cleared off the path had frozen over to form a continuous sheet of ice…”

Lothspeich went on to say that “I don’t really think the ice around LHS is a major issue, though it would be nice for the lakeside path to be cleared so that it can be used by people going to and from school and those who walk around the lake regularly.”

Mr. Stancil also proudly expressed that long-term projects were being planned to continually save the school money specifically for situations like this. For example, air dryers were installed in the bathroom last year, which will start saving LHS money in about two years, according to Mr. Stancil, as less paper is being purchased.