With fall semester less than a month away, teams from facilities planning and management (FPM) have been prepping general university classrooms for the new capacity and physical distancing requirements developed by an FPM leadership team and shared with the campus community earlier this month. Departments and colleges are responsible for resetting the instructional and laboratory rooms they oversee using the same guidelines.
The process includes taking seats out of commission, either with zip-ties or stickers; posting Cyclones Care signage in rooms to note revised student seating capacities and taping off instruction zones on the floor for faculty at the front of classrooms, including an 8-foot zone between the instructor and the nearest student seating. In classrooms with two accessible entrances, the team designates one for entry and one for exit-only.
Instructional facilities coordinator Katie Baumgarn, who normally schedules courses into 210 general university classrooms, currently is working with an inventory of 148 for fall semester. That includes three temporary instructional spaces in the Student Innovation Center intended for other uses -- in addition to five general university classrooms elsewhere in the new facility. It also includes the Memorial Union's Sun Room, Great Hall and South Ballroom which, on Tuesdays and Thursdays this fall, will serve as classrooms holding 72, 71 and 40 students, respectively.
Baumgarn said plans are in motion to use 68 general university classrooms too small for courses if their capacities are reduced. Those rooms could host tutoring, supplemental instruction and "other activities that support instruction and our students," she said.