A blizzard that dropped 17 plus inches of snow on Chadron and led to closure of the Chadron State College campus for two days put a strain on Creative Dining Services, the contractor providing food services for the college. 

The campus was closed Tuesday and Wednesday but buildings and grounds crews kept busy trying to remove the snow. “The grounds crew worked with all our available equipment early trying to remove snow from streets, parking lots and sidewalks on campus before it became packed down. I am really impressed with their hard work and dedication,” said Dale Grant, vice president of administration and finance.

Creative Dining chef Roy Farrens said it took a lot of people working together to provide food service to the hundreds of residents in the halls during the closure. Farrens and other Dining Services employees ran a shuttle system using four-wheel drive vehicles to pick up and return employees for their shifts. “Silas, Todd, Mel and others did a great job clearing the dock. They were so helpful and put in long hours,” he said.

“It was fun. It took a lot of team work. Students who work here offered to work longer shifts. Everyone stepped up,” Farrens said.

Dining Services served students from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday. About 200 omelets were served on Tuesday and about 250 Indian tacos were served to student residents on Wednesday.

“We served dessert pizza, chicken/bacon ranch pizza and other snack items all day Tuesday,” Farrens said.

The semi-truck which makes normal food deliveries couldn’t get on campus or up to the dock on the west end of the Student Center, so Farrens and two other volunteers met it in Tommy’s Car Lot on East Third Street and transferred the frozen food to their vehicles and then drove it to campus.

Once on campus, the food was transferred into the Student Center via a “bucket brigade” type arrangement on the dock through which employees moved the food from the three vehicles onto equipment provided by the grounds crew and then into the building.

Dining Services was prepared for the annual staff appreciation luncheon scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. so they utilized the roast beef and all the other ingredients on hand for that event which was postponed due to the campus closure.

CSC President Dr. Randy Rhine expressed appreciation to those who worked to keep students safe and comfortable. “Things like this put a strain on the system.  I am thankful to those who conducted the important snow removal which made it possible to re-open campus,” he said.

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