Maintenance Crew Deserves Praise Amid Historic Winter


A blizzard from 2016 hammers campus. Gator file photo.

As most of us slept in during any of the six snow days thus far, the School’s maintenance crew came to work early, digging (quite literally) the community out of one of the harshest winters in Boston’s history.

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  • A blizzard from 2016 hammers campus. Gator file photo.

  • The crew clears icicles from the roof.

  • Snow is transported to Dedham Street.

  • The crew lays down some salt.

  • The crew clears the main path.

  • Eric Smith has some fun between shoveling.

  • The crew assesses a leak.

  • The crew clears snow from the top of the busses.

  • The crew gives a thumbs-up after a hard day of work.

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Robert Annese, Tom Bray, Jamie Polito, Daniel Reyes, and Eric Smith have spent countless hours making the community safe and comfortable for students and faculty alike, and The Gator offers its most sincere gratitude to these individuals for working tirelessly to keep school open.

With around 60 inches of snow since Feb. 1, time and again, the maintenance crew has plowed, shoveled, and scraped every walkway, building, fire exit, and stairway. Many of us see these workers throughout the day, but few of us truly understand how much work they do—especially this winter.

On our first snow day of the year, which dropped over two feet in as many days, the maintenance crew worked especially hard to get the school back in open condition.

As Smith looked at the knee-high snow around him, he knew that this was “going to be a long day.” The school was literally covered in snow, and Smith met with his colleagues to discuss a plan of action. They wasted no time getting to work, first conquering the walkways amidst the freezing cold, with temperatures hovering in the low teens. “In total we cleared about fifty plus inches of snow,” Polito says.

Big and heavy icicles hung from tall roofs, forcing the maintenance crew to climb on high ladders to single-handedly remove them one-by-one. All the while, they had to fight leaks throughout the buildings, mostly caused by ice dams. The workers also had to figure out where to put all of the snow, including the enormous amount of white, fully stuff that covered both parking lots.

To deal with this, they called in a snow removal service which transported the snow to the School’s off-campus athletic facility. This took multiple trips, forcing the maintenance crew to work even longer hours with less sleep. “I feel helpless sometimes,” says Bray. “We have all this snow and as we try to clear it, we have no where to put it.”

An onslaught of winter storms haven’t made Bray or his colleagues’ jobs any easier. In fact, last week’s blizzard dropped more than 15 inches, and as community members enjoyed a short vacation, once again, the maintenance crew came to work Monday and Tuesday to clear the campus. All the while, no kind of weather prevents these highly dedicated and talented individuals from always showing a cheerful attitude, or smiling when they see students return to campus. They high-five and engage community members in conversations about their day, and never complain about the work ahead of them.

The Gator is proud to recognize the maintenance crew for all that they do, and we wish to offer them our sincere gratitude for modeling the true value of hard work, sacrifice and cooperation. Thank you for keeping us safe and warm, and for doing your best to keep school open.