January 31, 2011

University Cancels Early Classes, Delays Opening Due to Snow

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Cornell cancelled some morning classes and delayed its opening on Wednesday due to a massive snowstorm barreling across the region and expected to hit the Ithaca area. The University closed from 2 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, calling off all classes scheduled before 11:15 a.m. Classes were slated to resume at 11:15 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning lasting from midnight Wednesday morning until 5 p.m. The service predicted accumulations of snow and sleet of 5 to 9 inches in the Ithaca area.

Library administrators decided to close Uris and Mann Libraries early Tuesday. Uris, which normally remains open 24 hours a day during the week, closed at 10 p.m. Mann, normally open until 2 a.m., closed at midnight. Olin Library kept its regular hours, closing at 2 a.m.

Several local schools and organizations, including the Ithaca City School District, preemptively cancelled their Wednesday classes and activities on Tuesday night. The cancellations followed several closures during the day on Tuesday, after another storm dumped between 3 and 4 inches of snow on Ithaca Tuesday morning.

Administrators discussed how to respond to the storm in two conference calls Tuesday night. Their first call, at 5:15 p.m., did not result in any decisions, Interim Deputy University Spokesperson Claudia Wheatley said. At the second call, which started at 10:15 p.m., the administrators decided to delay the opening of the campus.

“While we expect roads to remain open through the business day today, we advise people to use caution when traveling,” the University said in a statement posted Tuesday afternoon.

“When the university does re-open, we ask that supervisors be open and flexible with employee work schedules, especially if they have long commutes or special conditions related to travel,” Wheatley said. “Employees may use their accrued time or make other arrangements with their supervisors to make up the time where possible.”

TCAT was expected to run its normal schedule on Wednesday, but delays due to road conditions were possible, Wheatley said.

Original Author: Michael Linhorst