How NY Tech Planned: Facilities, Safety & Security For Fall 2020 Reopening

Suzanne Musho, AIA, NCARB, vice president for capital planning and facil- ities management and chief architect at New York Institute of Technology, who is heading up the campus reopening plans at New York Tech, addressed questions and concerns regarding procedures and facility changes due to COVID-19. Read below about the four-step plan, LEAD, an acronym for each step, which were the details for reopening of the New York campuses that occured on Sept 9. FOR FALL 2020: Step One: Layouts Musho described the layout changes in the format of classrooms, the campuses, and the process for students and staff to enter campus. Inside classrooms, all desks and seats have been moved to be six feet apart and outdoor seating will be add-ed at Long Island campus (with outdoor heating) to ensure social distancing at all times. In order to enter either campus, stu- dents and faculty must take their tem- perature and answer three questions: Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Have you been near someone with COVID-19? Do you have any symptoms? If a person’s temperature is under 100.3 degrees Fahr- enheit and has answered no to all ques- tions, then access is granted. To maximize efficiency, the university has created an app to enter this information, and stu- dents simply have to show security their confirmation email for entry. New York City students will receive a badge from the library lobby, which will allow them to enter the surrounding buildings. Masks will also be required on both campuses at all times, and a paper mask will be pro-vided for those who forget their own.

Step Two: Equipment Campus equipment is being updated for maximum adaptability. Musho mentioned adding hands-free tools and an enhanced ventilation system throughout the build- ings, as well as introducing new outdoor areas for students to gather and still be socially distanced. Elevators will only al- low two to three people at a time, and the library, along with some other facilities, will be designed to maintain distance as well. Step Three: Academics Musho noted the change in class con-ductions, with the addition of distance learning and hybrid classes to the curric- ulum. Professors are working together intheir departments to find the best format for each class, and decisions are still being made. Musho said that everyone is doing their “very best to have face-to-face in- struction.” Students asked about the pos- sibility of outdoor classrooms in New York City and Musho mentioned potentially using Central Park. Step Four: Disinfection UV lights, static cleaners, and COVID-19 approved cleaners will be added to both the Long Island and New York City campuses. Classrooms will be disinfect- ed between every two classes, with extra cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and other high-traffic areas and items. The Students First: Community Con- versations Series is a series of discus- sions aimed at informing students on the changes to be made at New York Tech during this pandemic and the support systems that are available to members of the New York Tech community. Stay tune to learn from Mindy Haar, Ph.D., clinical associate professor and chair of interdis- ciplinary sciences, about how health and nutrition can boost immunity.

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