COVID-19 Operations

We're Working at Full Force to Make Spring 2021 a Success!

Facilities Operations maintains the physical infrastructure of Appalachian State University, providing a clean, functional environment for our students, faculty, and staff. 

Since the summer of 2020, our mandatory staff has been working normal hours. We’re glad to be here and have changed our work practices to protect the campus community and ourselves by:

  • limiting social contact where possible;
  • checking all employees' temperatures prior to the beginning of every shift;
  • requiring employees to complete the university’s health check every day before work; and,
  • requiring face coverings as part of our uniform. 

Welcome Back

Buildings Are Reopened with Amended Hours Jan. 11, 2021

Beginning Jan. 11, 2021, most buildings will be unlocked between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Schedules for some buildings are varied by request, and signage on doors will indicate hours and contact information if access is needed during "off" hours. A key or card swipe may be required for access. Contact your department chair or administrator with questions. Visit area websites for adjusted schedules.

As of July 2020, all faculty and staff are required to complete an online training module titled “Pandemics: Slowing the Spread” before returning to campus. 

During the weeks leading up to the start of classes, Facilities:

  • ramped up, tested, and adjusted HVAC systems; 
  • flushed water systems and disabled all drinking fountains to slow virus spread;
  • refreshed signage indicating maximum occupancies in elevators and classrooms; and,
  • distributed cleaning supplies to academic and support departments.

New Operations & Improvements to Campus

While we continue to provide our typical services, additional preparations for the 2020-21 academic year have included:

  • Plexiglass shields: Carpenters have installed shields in public-facing areas like ticket booths, cashiers’ counters, library checkouts, and receptionist areas.
  • Classrooms and common area furniture reconfigurations: Teams continue to fine-tune furniture arrangements to provide more distance between students. Shrinkwrapping furniture to keep it from being used is one solution in our toolkit. This serves as a visual reminder that distancing is now required. It's a particularly good solution for auditoriums with fixed seating.
  • Hand sanitizing stations: Dispensers were added to high-traffic areas like building entrances. Carpenters created 300 stands that can be repositioned as traffic demands.
  • Cleaning supplies to departments: Departments received EPA-certified cleaners for self-use in their areas, including a 32 oz. container of hand sanitizer, a supply of hospital-grade disinfectant, and industrial paper towels. These supplies will be automatically refilled by custodial staff and there is no charge to departments unless the dispensers themselves must be replaced. 
    • Did we miss a "top off" of your supplies? Submit an AiM work request or let your custodian know. Note that additional cleaning supplies are not available through the Central Warehouse/Yomart.
  • Extra cleaning of rental vehicles: Motor Pool cleans and disinfects vehicles before and after every use, and non-essential travel is prohibited. If group travel can't be eliminated, here are some tips for keeping your vehicle and your group healthy.

--Your friends at Facilities Operations

 

posted December 11, 2020

Beginning Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. through Jan. 11, temperatures in most academic and support buildings will be lowered to 55°F to maximize energy and cost savings.

Areas with special collections or scheduled events, as well as most science and music buildings, will not be affected. Buildings with animals, chemicals and experiments will also not be affected.

Because heating small zones in our large buildings is not often feasible, we worked with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to determine the maximum number of energy-saving days possible while the campus is reducing operations over the 2020-21 winter break. If you will be working on campus during this time, please remember to dress accordingly. We strongly discourage the use of space heaters, as they increase the likelihood of fires and consume energy we are trying to save.

  • Financial Savings: More than $190,000 in utility costs.
  • Emissions Reduction: 996 metric tons of eCO2 – about the equivalent to the annual emissions from 215 vehicles.

Tips to reduce energy use in your office:

Every day:

  • Make sure windows are closed and locked.
  • Make sure computers, printers and other peripherals are turned off.
  • Make sure lamps and lights are off.

If you are teleworking or will not be in the office for several days:

  • Unplug cell phone chargers, laptop chargers and any device with a light.
  • Unplug coffee makers.
  • Unplug TV's, DVR's, and DVD's.

Bonus Points for saving even more energy: 

  • Clean out refrigerators and unplug them with the doors left open.

If you have questions, contact Jonathan Pierson, energy manager for Facilities Operations, at piersonjs@appstate.edu.

A WARM thank you to ALL of our faculty and staff. We hope you have a restful break.

-- Your friends at Facilities Operations