Our Department’s Response to COVID-19
Calvin’s Facilities group is taking the following actions to provide the safest and most welcoming campus possible.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Frequently touched surfaces are disinfected at least once daily when buildings are occupied. Additional disinfection will be scheduled in high-use spaces. Offices and labs will be supplied with disinfectant, rags, and PPE. Custodial closets will be open and stocked with additional materials. Additional hand-sanitation dispensers will be placed in high-traffic and/or high-touch areas. In the case an individual on campus tests positive for COVID-19, the immediate spaces that individual occupied may be shut down. Those spaces will be deep-cleaned and disinfected based on CDC protocols before reopening.
A number of environmental controls are being implemented to reduce the spread of infection, including; the installation of plexiglass barriers where face-to-face interaction is required, shutting down drinking fountains, increased air circulation where possible, installation of the highest air filtration rating available for each system, the elimination of designated smoking areas, and the removal of certain campus furniture.
Air Ventilation and Filtration
This summer, the Facilities department’s primary focus regarding our HVAC systems was to ensure these systems were ready to perform at their highest level. These systems were cleaned, inspected, and filters were changed to ensure each building could maximize air circulation, filtration rates, and eliminate negative outdoor pressure.
A few notes on how Facilities is addressing HVAC for the fall semester:
Air Circulation: Our campus target is 6 air changes per hour (ACH). In newer buildings this is common. Some buildings, like the Science Complex and Fieldhouse exceed this target by nature of these building’s function and system design. Older academic buildings like Hekman Library and Hiemenga Hall will fall below 6 ACH. In all buildings we will maximize outdoor air intake as humidity and temperature allow. We recommend opening windows whenever possible to increase ACH in occupied rooms.
Filtration: ASHRAE guidelines recommend installing the highest rated filter that each system can accommodate without dropping pressure and performance. Calvin’s minimum filter standard is MERV 8. ASHREA suggests upgrading filters to MERV 13 or higher. As MERV ratings increase, eventually air change rates in the building decrease. To ensure maximum air change rates, we have installed some pre-filters where able and upgraded some filters to a higher MERV rating. We will continue to evaluate those systems for performance and upgrade further if the systems will allow. We expect some newer systems will accept a MERV 13 filter, while older systems will not.
Schedule: For each building to complete an air flush before the start of classes, we will begin turning systems on the week of August 3. This will also allow us to monitor systems and increase filtration where applicable.
Traditionally, building systems began running one hour before the building was scheduled to be occupied. Starting this August, building systems will now be scheduled to run two hours before occupancy to complete multiple air circulation cycles prior to occupancy.
To minimize secondary exposure to personal waste, Facilities will not be collecting trash from personal offices. We are asking individual offices to tie their own trash bags, remove them to a commonly located trash container, and replace their own can liner. Trash in common spaces will be removed daily. Recycling and composting activities have been suspended.
Michigan’s stay-at-home orders caused us to reschedule most spring and summer projects. This summer we are focusing on finishing those projects that were placed on hold when construction stopped earlier this year as well as projects essential to conducting in-seat instruction this fall. A hazard assessment is conducted for every job site and a specific work plan strictly followed. Some workers may be able to work within their site without a mask. Please be aware of site-specific signage to keep both yourself and construction staff safe.
What can I do to help?
- Please clean and disinfect your workstations frequently.
- Regularly tie your office trash and take it to a common trashcan.
- Avoid shared kitchen utensils.
Allowing our campus to open and support in-person instruction is our highest priority. That will sometimes mean slower response times to non-essential work, that some areas of campus will remain closed, and that we will continue to change and adjust to newer best-practices and guidelines. These are different priorities than we worked under just a few months ago. Working together to create a safe and welcoming campus involves each of us.
- Requests estimated under $1,000
- Requires fewer than two days to complete
- Requests estimated over $1,000
- Requires more than two days to complete
- Classroom technology
- Mail and Print services
- Phone, television, computer support
- Building access
- Vehicle and bicycle registration
- Contractor authorization
- Alert Driver certification
- Car, Van, or Bus rental
Calvin's Facilities Department exists to glorify God by providing the best possible environment for encouraging academic excellence and Christian community.
We will be known for:
- Excellent service to the Calvin community
- Responsible stewardship of gifts and resources
- High standards of professional and personal accountability
- Sustainable development and management of campus resources
- Professional and effective communication