Building Services Adjusts Schedules to Better Support the Return to Campus

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Services provided by Facilities Management including custodial services and heating-and-air-conditioning operations are undergoing adjustments in preparation for the return to campus.

The adjustments are designed to maximize the university’s ability to clean and sanitize public areas, especially high-touch areas. The changes will require employees to take on more responsibility for cleaning individual work areas.

BUILDING SERVICES

Building Services will continue to clean and disinfect public areas such as lobbies, corridors, classrooms, restrooms and meeting rooms every evening. High-touch areas, including restrooms, will be disinfected several times throughout the day.

Beginning Aug. 10, custodial staff will no longer enter individual employee work areas and some other non-public areas for regular cleaning or trash collection in order to focus on the public and high touch areas across campus. Individual employees will be responsible for the cleaning and trash collection of their offices, cubicles, and private filing or storage rooms. Employees will be responsible for placing their trash in centralized collection areas and cleaning and disinfecting their workspaces.

To help employees maintain their workspaces, they will receive a personal cleaning and disinfecting kit that includes two cloth face covers, thermometer, wipes, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer. These faculty/staff kits should be available by Aug. 10 from your college or department administrative group.

The cleaning and disinfecting of other non-public areas will be the responsibility of departments and units. All restrooms will continue to be cleaned by Facilities Management. Departments may acquire additional cleaning products from Facilities Management or locally.

Plans for locations that require adjusted schedules or special attention will be developed on an individual basis.

HVAC SYSTEMS

The variation in age, function, system type, and level of sophistication of HVAC systems across campus means there is no singular plan appropriate for all University buildings. However, several strategies are being used to reduce the potential for transmission of the coronavirus via HVAC systems.

However, several common strategies recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers are being used to reduce the potential for transmission of the coronavirus via HVAC systems. 

All HVAC systems have been operating 24/7 since early June to maintain stable control of indoor air conditions. The amount of outdoor or ventilation air brought into the buildings has been increased as much as practicable to increase indoor dilution and air changes.

Outside air is filtered air flowing through the HVAC systems to mitigate the presence of any potential infection source. Additional filtration and disinfectant technology such as ultraviolet lights will be implemented where feasible, based on the buildings’ HVAC system capabilities. Finally, technicians will monitor and ensure that HVAC systems are operating correctly and maintaining the recommended temperature and humidity ranges.

ADDITIONAL ADJUSTMENTS

To reduce additional high-touch surfaces around campus, all traditional drinking fountains will be disabled until further notice. However, touch-free bottle fillers will remain available for use. Facilities Management is also in the process of securing touchless soap dispensers to be installed in restrooms across campus, and hand sanitizer stations will be placed at all major entrances and in large classrooms.

These procedures will allow Facilities Management to safely provide continued support and services to academic and general-purpose buildings on campus. The approach was developed based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Arkansas Department of Health; the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers; and the American Institute of Architects.

For more information, the university's Coronavirus Update site and Returning to Campus guide will continue to provide the latest updates and resources.

Contacts

Breanna Lacy, communications coordinator
Facilities Management
479-575-6044, bllacy@uark.edu

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