Skyline College Storm Closure Q&A

Dr. Stroud and FacilitiesSevere weather prompted the closure of Skyline College on Thursday and Friday.  Thanks and kudos go out to the leadership at the District, the outstanding Facilities, Maintenance, and Operation Team along with Public Safety for the great work resolving the issues of flooding, and leakages that came as a result of the wet weather.  Thanks to the Skyline College team that remained on to handle the day including Jennifer Owen-Blackmon, Aaron McVean, and Eloisa Briones for getting here and staying through to make sure all was taken care of.  

Below is a list of Q& A that will provide more information.

When will Skyline College reopen?

  • The College will remain closed on Friday, December 12 and will reopen on Saturday, December 13, 2014.
  • The College’s administration has continued to monitor the progress of the storm and has chosen to delay the reopening of the College by an additional day until they we can be certain that there is safe passage to campus on the roads, consistent power to the buildings, and all of the minor flooding on campus has been mitigated.
  • All Friday classes and activities on campus are cancelled, with the exception of the Skyline Classic Basketball tournament, which will proceed as planned.

When will the Child Development Center reopen?

  • The Child Development Center, Building 14, lost power and is closed until further notice.
  • It will reopen when the College reopens and power to the building is restored by PG&E.

How did the College prepare for the storm?

  • Facilities took significant measures to prepare the campus and its buildings for the storm, including:
    • Storm and roof drains cleaned (before and during the storm)
    • Street cleaning to clear debris from previous storms from the roads (before and during)
    • Tree assessment
    • Roof repairs (before the storm and during)
    • Generators were prepared onsite
    • Sandbags and waddles (rainwater sacks) were positioned in front of flood-prone areas
    • Loose debris picked up around campus.
  • Facilities and Public Safety collaborated with the District in safety preparedness meetings.
  • AIC reviewed the preparation protocols for school closures and power outages.
  • President Stroud had several meetings on Wednesday with the Cañada College and CSM Presidents and District Chancellor to discuss campus closure and contingency plans.
  • Skyline College’s PR office sent email notices to the campus community on Wednesday urging sign-up for campus alerts and prepared statements and communications in case of different scenarios.
  • The Vice President of Instruction met with the Deans on Wednesday afternoon to plan for communications in case of class cancellations or a College closure.

What were the key factors in the decision to close the Skyline College campus?

  • The School District was sensitive to the proximity of final exams. Closing the College in the week before finals is a serious decision that impacts thousands of students’ educational progress at a critical time in the semester.
  • Measures had been taken to prevent flooding and maintain open roads on campus, with the goal of avoiding an interruption in the school schedule.
  • Safety of our students, faculty and staff was the paramount concern as the administration monitored the progress of the storm.  We were prepared to close the College if we lost power, if substantial flooding occurred, or if the roadways became unpassable.
  • When it became clear this morning that roadways and key campus buildings were compromised by flooding, the decision was made to close the College.

Why did Skyline College close, but not its sister Colleges Canada or CSM? 

  • As the storm progressed from north to south, Skyline College was hit more severely earlier in the day.
  • The other colleges were also prepared to close if power was lost, substantial flooding occurred, or the safety of the campus community was severely compromised.

How were students and faculty informed of the campus closure on Thursday morning?

  • The decision to close campus was made by Dr. Stanback Stroud at 8:15 a.m. after consulting with the Chancellor.
  • Within 15 minutes of the decision, the following communications were sent out:
    • Campus Announcement email to faculty and staff
    • GWAMail to students
    • AlertU text message
    • Announcement box went live on homepage of website
  • Within 45 minutes of the decision, the following communications were completed:
    • Announcement on the College’s Facebook page, and responses/ questions were monitored and responded to throughout the day
    • Press release to all local media outlets.
  • The College’s Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations office also responded to inquiries by phone and email throughout Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

When the closure was announced, how was the campus secured?

  • Public Safety visited each building to inform students, instructors and administrators that the campus was being closed, and secured each building once everyone had left.
  • Announcements were put on the electronic sign boards throughout campus.
  • Public Safety staged an officer at each entrance to the College to inform individuals who were arriving that the campus was closed.
  • Public Safety called several tow trucks to assist disabled cars in the parking lots.
  • Students and staff remained in the lobby areas of Building 5 and 6 until their rides arrived; once these buildings were cleared they were secured.
  • John Doctor and his Facilities staff, Rob Dean and his Public Safety officers, President Stanback Stroud, Vice President Briones and MCPR Director Owen-Blackmon remained on campus throughout the day.

Was there any damage to the College campus or facilities as a result of the storm?

  • No permanent damage was sustained.
  • Building 14 (Child Development Center) lost power. PG&E was contacted. As of 4:00 p.m. on 12/11 power has not yet been restored.
  • In Building 4, flooding on the 1st and 2nd floor by the front and side entrances was cleared.
  • In Building 19 (Pacific Heights), roof leaks were mitigated during the storm.

Did the campus lose power?

  • Other than temporary flickering lights, the campus as a whole did not lose power.
  • The Child Development Center did lose power.

Were any injuries sustained on campus as a result of the storm?

  • None that we are aware of.

Will Thursday and Friday’s classes be made up?

  • Instructors will work with students to reschedule any examinations or activities that were planned for these days
  • Two extra days will not be added to the academic calendar.

Will campus employees be paid for the day?

  • Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12 will be treated as a regular paid days for all employees, whether or not they were able to come into work.
  • The same will apply for hourly employees, i.e. they will still be paid and should submit timesheets for scheduled hours as if they worked today (unless today was a scheduled day off or they were using sick leave).

Will the public-facing events planned on campus for Thursday and Friday be rescheduled?

  • The Dolores Huerta lecture will be rescheduled in the spring.
  • The District Strategic Planning session will be rescheduled for January.
  • We will advise new dates for the other events as soon as they are confirmed.

Please direct any additional questions to Skyline College’s Office of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations at skypio@smccd.edu or (650) 738-4346.