OHIO modifies classroom and building spaces in preparation for safe fall 2020 restart

Published: July 22, 2020 Author: From Staff Reports

Over the past couple of weeks, members of the Ohio University community have been visiting every classroom across the Athens and regional campuses to review capacities and room features for a safe return to campus for students, faculty, and staff.

The full inventory of classrooms consists of over 350 rooms on the Athens and regional campuses. Employees have been moving furniture and taking measurements for the installation of safeguards to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The project drew from the skills and expertise of a wide range of Ohio University employees, including academic administrative staff and staff in facilities, moving and surplus, information technology, and planning, said Miranda Kridler, senior planner for university planning.

The effort included adjusting furniture to ensure appropriate physical distancing was in place between students and instructors and to feature signage on how occupants can safely move through academic classrooms and buildings. In addition, classroom technology was installed to provide flexibility for hybrid learning.

“Our layouts are guided by the current public health guidelines and align to the recommended best practices shared by Gov. Mike DeWine in last week’s Responsible Restart Ohio announcement,” said Brad Cohen, chief strategy and innovation officer.

The team also has been working with colleagues at other higher education institutions to discuss classroom and building safety strategy.

Over the next month, Ohio University will continue modifications in the classrooms, class labs, and other campus spaces. The University will release additional information for faculty, staff, and students about guidelines and requirements for using the classroom and academic building spaces prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year. This will include guidance on social distancing, mask wearing, and entering and exiting facilities.