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Resilient Pack

Final Countdown

The Facilities division works behind the scenes to prepare campus for the fall semester, making important changes with everyone's safety and health in mind.

man on riding mower
Humberto Lopez of Grounds Services maintains campus turf in preparation for the fall semester. After missing Spring growing season, Grounds Services employees used the summer to catch up on maintenance for 1,200 acres of actively managed campus land.

For the Facilities Division, summers on campus are always busy.

While many faculty and students are away, Facilities fast-tracks dozens of renovations, repairs and infrastructure improvements. This summer, add a new top priority: equipping the campus environment to lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“For months, we have been planning and preparing campus for fall semester,” said Doug Morton, associate vice chancellor for facilities. “Our team has worked extremely hard to equip campus buildings and grounds for the safe return of our university community.”

two facilities employees wearing masks
David Sias (left) and Todd Weiss were among teams of Facilities employees who rearranged moveable furniture to prepare classrooms for new physical distancing guidelines.

Changes Inside and Out

When you return to campus, you’ll notice changes made with your safety and health in mind.

Many buildings will have separate entrances and exits, one-directional stairways and signage marking new traffic flow. Classrooms have protective barriers and new seating configurations that promote physical distancing (see video). University Housekeeping cleans and sanitizes more often (see video), and new hand sanitizer stations are available in most buildings.

And although you can’t see it, adjustments have also been made to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to maximize ventilation in campus buildings. All systems have been thoroughly reviewed and many measures have been taken to optimize indoor air quality.

The Facilities Division has also placed multiple temporary outdoor tents on campus that provide new study, dining and meeting areas near Fountain Dining Hall, Case Dining Hall, Brooks Hall, the Student Health Center, the Oval on Centennial Campus, and the Brickyard.

tent with tables underneath
A new temporary tent outside Fountain Dining Hall allows students to grab a to-go meal and eat outdoors. Facilities Division electricians have been working to supply power to tents where possible. Many tents also offer picnic tables, which Facilities employees built and top-coated so the surface is easy to clean.

Finish Strong

With the fall semester just weeks away, the final countdown is on. Campus reactivation preparations are well underway, summer construction projects are nearing completion and several capital construction projects are entering the final stages.

“This has been a busy summer. Our employees have worked safely and collaboratively to ensure campus is ready,” Morton said.