Changes to Campus Facilities


We’ve made a number of modifications to our facilities to address specific environmental safety needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Air and Ventilation

 

Air filters rated MERV-13 or above—which can capture more and smaller particles—are installed across campus in our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and replaced regularly. MERV-15 filters (with an even higher capture rate) were already in use in the B Building and in several locations in the C Building.

In all permanent, college-owned buildings, Ultraviolet C (UV-C) disinfecting lighting systems were also installed in HVAC systems. UV-C lighting works within the HVAC system to clean the air; as the air passes through the UV-C light, the protein shell of the virus is broken down, killing the virus. UV-C lighting is not listed as CDC recommendation, but we’ve opted to add this additional level of disinfection for our indoor air supply.

We've also continued to clean and maintain our HVAC systems and perform scheduled maintenance of our cooling towers used during the summer season.
 
 

Plexiglass Sneeze Guards

 

Sneeze guards have been installed at reception areas to protect our staff who regularly come in contact with others as part of their job. This includes Public Safety stations at building entrances; reception desks in departmental offices; transaction counters in the Bursar’s Office, Financial Aid, and Admissions Office; and in the Dental program area. We may install additional sneeze guards in select areas if a need is identified.

 

Foot Traffic

 

In our corridors, stairwells, and elevators, we’ve installed directional floor markers, and indicators to help us stay 6 feet from others whenever possible.

In places where people regularly line up for service, vinyl decals have been placed on the floor to show where we should stand to maintain 6 feet of distance from each other. Moveable barriers—stanchions—are also used to help manage the flow of lines.

Our efforts to manage foot traffic are also supported by signage that will be placed in key areas.

 

Public Seating and Waiting Areas

 

There is less public seating available in waiting areas and across campus, in an effort to keep us safely apart. In some places, furniture will be removed; in others, signs will be used to mark off seating. As a general rule, seating will only be available when it’s possible to use it while maintaining 6 feet of distance between people.

 

Touch-free fixtures and appliances

 

Touch-free faucets and paper towel dispensers have been installed in all restrooms.

 
Space-specific details:

 

  • Elevators: No more than two people are permitted in an elevator at a time. Floor decals indicate where riders should stand.

  • Restrooms: A maximum of two people are allowed at any one time in a restroom.

  • Conference Rooms: Telephone and video conference meetings should continue in place of in-person meetings.

  • Classrooms: Most classrooms are unavailable and locked. Courses may only take place on campus after an assessment of the space is completed and the academic department's plan for that course is approved. 

  • Dental Clinic: A fourteen foot vinyl curtain has been installed to completely separate the Dental Clinic area from the rest of the Dental Department suite.

 

Watch: Facilities Town Hall

 

 

On Tuesday, March 16, a Facilities Reopening Town Hall took place virtually at Hostos as an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to hear about the work done on campus to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This event was moderated by Diana Kreymer, Assistant to the President and Director of the President’s Office.

After opening remarks from President Cocco De Filippis and our Coronavirus Campus Coordinator, SVP Rodriguez-Chardavoyne, recent graduate Luis Caraballo described his work as one of the student nurses doing health screenings for everyone coming onto campus. Frank Virone and Zack Korenstein then spoke at length about the changes made on campus. Sharing their knowledge as the Chief Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds (Mr. Virone) and as an independent Environmental Health and Safety consultant (Mr. Korenstein), they were able to provide attendees with details about the modifications to processes and the facilities—particularly the HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) systems—and answer audience questions.

The Facilities Reopening Town Hall was recorded for members of our community who could not attend.