As Florida State University welcomes students back to campus this fall, FSU Facilities is diligently working to provide a healthier and safer environment for the entire campus community.
FSU Facilities, responsible for the day-to-day operations of buildings, grounds and utilities systems, employs nearly 700 people who manage more than 14.5 million total gross square feet and more than 400 buildings across campus.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, FSU Facilities has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in classrooms, common areas, offices and other sites of services. Building Services, the unit responsible for cleaning, is working in five shifts around the clock to meet the need.
“It’s important to follow the CDC guidelines for the safety of the people who visit our campus and those who work and study here at Florida State,” said Arnel Bacani, director of Building Services. “We want people to be assured that our campus has been cleaned and disinfected with the appropriate chemicals to ensure the safety of everyone.”
All cleaning procedures on campus follow CDC standards and utilize EPA-registered cleaning agents to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The chemicals used by FSU Facilities currently use ammonium chloride as the base and contain more than 60 percent isopropyl alcohol.
“We’re using a commercial-grade disinfectant for all of the areas that we’re cleaning and disinfecting, and we use ammonia to clean the windows,” Bacani said. “We’ve been looking at various chemicals to help battle the coronavirus, and we’re considering new and innovative equipment to help clean and disinfect our campus.”
Steps to Maintain a Safe and Clean Classroom Environment
- Before arriving on campus, students and instructors should complete their Daily Wellness Check on the myFSU application
- Students and instructors are required to wear an appropriate face covering on campus at all times
- Classroom buildings will be locked this semester to encourage social distancing, so students and instructors will need to swipe their FSU card for access
- All active classrooms will be stocked with either disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray and towels
- Instructors should disinfect the areas they will use in the classroom
- Students should disinfect their seats and desks when they arrive to class
- Students should follow the acceptable seating arrangements marked in most classrooms
- Eating and drinking will not be allowed in the classrooms this year
Employees have been educated and trained on how to use the new chemicals and equipment and how to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
“The training we provide to our staff ensures that they know how to properly clean so that they stay safe,” Bacani said. “We also make sure that everyone has the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
FSU Facilities, in conjunction with the Stay Healthy FSU public health campaign, also has posted signage around campus to remind the campus community about preventative measures they can take to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to cleaning, FSU Facilities has replaced the campus heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system air filters with more efficient ones.
“The high-efficiency filters use mechanical and electrostatic filtration and have been demonstrated to protect against water droplets and many aerosol particles released from coughing or sneezing,” said Jim Stephens, executive director of utilities, maintenance and engineering. “In fact, the filters are comparable or better than the filtration provided from a multi-layered cloth mask.”
For more information about what FSU Facilities is doing to halt the spread of COVID-19, visit facilities.fsu.edu.