LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Kentucky has released more details about its plan for students to return for in-person classes in the fall.
"This really transcends the whole campus of how we are trying to prepare the facilities not only indoors, but outdoors as well," said Mary Vosevich, vice president for Facilities Management.
It includes the following actions:
- Creating new layouts for the school's 365 classrooms that implement 6-foot social distancing requirements.
- Utilizing excess space to create alternate classrooms to support social distancing.
- Developing plans to implement social distancing at other public spaces on campus.
- Placing Plexiglass shields near podiums in classrooms.
- Installing signage to emphasize social distancing in all campus areas.
- Installing hand sanitizer dispensing stations in various areas.
- Reallocating custodial services to emphasize cleaning in public spaces, rather than personal spaces.
- Providing cleaning kits for offices and labs.
- Restrooms will be cleaned at least twice a day.
- Air handling units in modern buildings at the school will be operated on a new schedule that ensures appropriate air exchanges and ventilation rates. Buildings will be purged with three air exchanges each morning before they are opened.
- Water fountains will be disabled, but water bottle refill stations will be available.
Work is underway now to prepare all of UK's 365 classrooms to meet the standards. Some rooms will be seriously limited on capacity due to social distancing.
"That's getting us, in our classroom averages, in to 50-60% reduction range," Vosevich said. "In some situations, even a little bit more than that."
With those changes come adjustments to academic learning for students.
UK said some smaller classes will be able to meet completely in person, but larger ones will meet in a hybrid-like model. In that plan, some students will attend in-person some days while others stream the lecture remotely.
"We've been working hard over the summer to think about ways in doing that so that our students can learn and succeed but at the same time keep everybody safe," said Trey Conatser, who works with the university's Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.
The campus and its operation will be different, but university leaders say it will be up to the students whether or not it's successful.
"They want to be here, and I think they are going to really help us to keep our students safe," Vosevich said.
Classes begin on Aug. 17.
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