Facilities Operations & Management Team
Gary Gray of Facilities Operations and Management helps make Dartmouth’s streets and sidewalks safe and beautiful for pedestrians and vehicles alike. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)
On the Job: In winter, Gary Gray, a member of the Facilities Operations and Management (FO&M) team since 1987, is the person behind Dartmouth’s snow response. A native of White River Junction, Vt., Gray and his coworkers salt, sand, plow, and shovel paths throughout the unpredictable winter months. “We try to keep it as clear as we can, but we can only go so fast,” he says. “One day it’s 40 degrees, and the next it’s below zero and everything is covered in a sheet of ice.” Still, despite the inconvenience, Gray cites the snow as the most beautiful thing about the campus. “It’s gorgeous coming into campus when all the trees are covered in snow,” says Gray. “Then I remember that I have to move it all!”
Winter Advice: Winter in Hanover can be treacherous, and Gray has a few useful pieces of advice for beleaguered pedestrians. First, he warns, beware winter boots with soles that freeze, noting that they become rigid and slippery. His favorite winter shoes are rubber boots that reach his knees. Gray also recommends keeping a close eye on your belongings. “We find money, camera, wallets, IDs, all kinds of things in the snow,” he says, noting that FO&M returns all lost belongings to Safety and Security. Finally, Gray’s top piece of advice is that there’s no benefit to rushing when it comes to winter and what it brings. “Go slow,” he says. “Take your time, because the snow will be here until May or June, then it will melt.”
April Showers: Although winter is on the way out, Gray’s job is never over. As the snow begins to clear, Gray can be found pruning and caring for the on-campus shrubbery as well as installing trees. “We have some really huge plants we work on at the president’s house,” he says. “We stand on top of 12-foot ladders and still need pole pruners to reach the top.” While this job may not be for the faint of heart, pruning the shrubbery does signal the approach of Gray’s favorite season: summer.