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Clean Approach

Operations staff preparing for a safe return this fall

Thanks to the dedication of Bridgewater State University’s operations staff, campus buildings are ready for students and classes this fall.

“We will be as safe as we possibly can,” said Mark Carmody, assistant vice president for operations, whose team worked throughout the summer to prepare. “We are very aware of CDC guidance, and everywhere that we can, we’re exceeding it.”

People returning to campus will find signs and markings to guide them through BSU’s buildings in ways that minimize COVID-19 transmission.

Hallways and staircases provide direction on where to walk. Tape on Maxwell Library’s floor helps people safely find their study nook or book. And, markings show where to check in at the Tinsley Center and wait to enter the bookstore.

“We’ll be adding more of it as we start to get a picture of where we need it,” said Eric Carreiro, moving services manager.

Classrooms, elevators and restrooms have smaller occupancy limits, and crews removed furniture from hallways to create more space for walking.

Some common areas are closed to provide storage for furniture and ensure staff can conduct enhanced cleanings of spaces that remain open. Seating and computers in open labs and lounges are now spaced to accommodate social distancing.

Water bottle filling stations are available, but other bubblers are offline. Also, new devices allow people to open doors with their feet or forearms rather than their hands.

Behind the scenes, staff members ensure HVAC filters are routinely replaced and buildings are well ventilated.

Maintainers focus on sanitizing high-touch areas such as elevators and handrails, and use electrostatic sprayers, which disperse disinfectant as a mist that clings to surfaces.

Nevertheless, every person who lives, studies and works at BSU must do their part to protect the community, Carmody emphasized.

“One thing that will be different for people is the constant reminders inside and out to wear a mask and social distance,” he said.

Departments will receive “Bear Buckets” with disinfectant, masks and other supplies. Similar items will be available in residence halls.

The measures are designed to evolve as public health experts refine their recommendations.

“As guidelines change, we will adjust,” Carreiro said.

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