Mar 272003
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

With cleanup from the storm last week still underway, CSU is preparing to file several million dollars in insurance claims.

Extensive tree damage, the collapse of several small buildings and loss of money from operations will rack up the damages the university saw during the storm that brought nearly three feet of snow.

Though none of the main academic buildings suffered any structural damage, a greenhouse on the main campus and storage buildings at the Veterinary Building Hospital collapsed, according to Gerry Bomotti, the vice president of administration. Luckily, he said, no animals or people were injured.

The Equine building at the Foothills campus, the dairy barn at the veterinary hospital and a dining and housing warehouse also was damaged by the snow.

No programs were halted because of building damage though some were interrupted, Bomotti said. Activities such as the Equine Building had to shut down for a couple of days.

Bomotti wanted to assure students that before campus and buildings were reopened, administration had teams checking the safety of buildings.

“Buildings were checked for safety (by Facilities staff and Environmental Health Services),” he said. “We did double check on Moby Arena (because of the women’s basketball game that was scheduled)….we had engineers up there looking for damage. Thankfully none of the buildings on the main campus were damaged (except for the greenhouse).”

The most significant and visible damage left by the storm was the tree damage. The weight of the snow was to blame for most of the tree damage. Tree cleanup is expected to be completed by next week. The damage forced CSU administration to close off parts of campus, including the historic Oval, to allow removal companies to work for several days after the storm.

One not so noticeable loss the university had was money loss and expenses accumulated when campus was closed Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Administrative paid leave was given to state employees who did not have to report to work. Employees who did work during the closure were paid on top of the paid leave. Bomotti said the university plans to claim those losses as well. The university also had to pay for snow removal and for the tree cleanup.

Bomotti couldn’t give an exact figure for this story on the loss CSU accommodated during the storm. The figure should be calculated in the next couple of weeks.

Bomotti said feedback from campus on the cleanup has been positive and has not caused a lot of hassle for people on campus.

Hannah Girfin, a sophomore Spanish major agreed, “The cleanup is not a problem that I have noticed, I don’t see why there would be a problem, there was a lot of damage and you can expect the cleanup to be done in a day.”

This of course is not the first time CSU had to file insurance claims because of damage caused by weather. In 1997, a huge winter storm came through, causing damage to the school as well as the great flood that year that caused $140 million in damages. In 1994, the campus at Pingree Park Mountain Campus suffered a fire that also caused damage.

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