WPI Plans for Fall Opening Latest Information

What You Need to Know Now

  • Beginning August 31, mail courier service will be replaced with a network of lockers installed around campus to provide contactless delivery and align this service with social distancing recommendations.
  • We are focused on our cleaning and disinfecting protocols, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas. Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be provided in classrooms and other spaces.
  • When on campus, all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others will be expected to follow new health behaviors to support the safety of the campus community.
  • We’ve reconfigured and rearranged residence halls and dining facilities, classrooms, labs, and other spaces to allow for social distancing and personal protection. 
  • Some buildings and on-campus services will be used differently, and all buildings will require ID card access.

The campus you’ll return to for A-Term is a little different than the one you left in D-Term. We’re implementing a number of plans and programs to support the health and safety of our returning Herd.

Far beyond the scheduled, routine projects the Facilities team completes when the campus is quiet—beyond the HVAC switchovers, residence hall move-outs and repairs, repainting projects, and utilities upgrades—we’ve been reconfiguring classrooms, labs, and makerspaces, rerouting hallways and stairwells and reimagining the ways we all use this beautiful campus we call home.

All aspects of on-campus life have been adjusted to align with local, state, and federal guidelines for health and safety, and in accordance with the university’s own strategies for helping students, faculty, staff, and visitors navigate this new normal—safely, thoughtfully, conscientiously, together.

However, only by working together will we be able to stay together, and all students, faculty, and staff are required to complete training prior to returning to campus.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The WPI Facilities staff cleans and disinfects all campus buildings frequently, sanitizing high-touch surfaces with safe but powerful hospital-grade disinfectants and microfiber towels for greater surface-cleaning impact.

Frequently touched surfaces and high-traffic areas include building entrances, door handles, elevators and elevator buttons (inside and outside), stairwells, water fountains, office doors and doorknobs, light switches, classroom and lecture hall desks and tables, conference room tables, restrooms and fixtures, and other high-touch areas in academic, residential, and other buildings.  More hand sanitizers and sanitizer dispensers can be found around campus. 

Campus dining services have been reconfigured to reduce density, and we’ve increased cleaning and sanitation efforts as well. All food-service staff have been trained in COVID-related protocols.

The Facilities team works closely with WPI’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to help protect students, faculty, staff, visitors, and our community from health risks. Should there be a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus, WPI will deploy specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols to mitigate the risk to others on campus.

 

 

 

 

While we all have a responsibility to each other to maintain a safe working environment, the Facilities team is working hard to maintain a safe indoor environment. These extra steps are posted at the entrances of each building. View the full pdf of this sample poster from Stratton Hall. 

Buildings: What’s Open and When, and What’s Different

All campus buildings will be open and accessible, but with new limits and new guidelines aimed at supporting campus health and safety. WPI will adhere to state health and safety guidelines regarding the capacity of rooms and will use a combination of physical reconfiguration, scheduling, and virtual connections to support campus activities. More building-specific details will be available soon. 

Occupancy limits: Classrooms, maker spaces, dining halls, residence halls, Gordon library, study spaces, offices and meeting spaces, research labs, restrooms, and other spaces will be reconfigured to limit the number of people in any space at a given time. Everyone will be required to wear face coverings (with the exception of those who have medical or other reasons that doing so is unsafe) while on campus, and to maintain social distancing in classrooms, hallways, stairwells, and other spaces.

Card Access: All buildings will require ID card access. ID card access data helps the university support public health, should someone on campus become ill, by giving insight into who may have been in contact with whom. It lets us work with public health officials to slow and stem the spread of illness.

Modifications to workspaces and learning spaces: Many spaces on campus will be reconfigured, some with protective enhancements like plexiglass separators in student service-focused offices, and all will have signage and floor markings to help everyone practice social distancing and other important health behaviors. Some campus offices may not be fully staffed over the summer or at the start of A Term, but all are fully operational and available for student needs. Students are encouraged to contact the specific office for more information on hours of operation and building protocols.

Outdoor spaces: We have a beautiful campus and, as long as the New England weather cooperates, we plan to use it. Keep in mind social distancing applies outside, as well, so the same occupancy guidelines will apply to patios and outdoor seating areas.

New habits need signs: New habits are hard to form, so we’ll be helping everyone with reminders: you’ll see signage and floor stickers inside and outside buildings, as well as markers for where to queue—and reminders that face coverings are required.

Mailroom Operations

Beginning August 31, mail courier service will be replaced with a network of lockers installed around campus to provide contactless delivery and align this service with social distancing recommendations. Over the summer, locker banks are being installed in various buildings to replace the daily delivery and collection of mail to and from department offices. Each department will have a designated locker with PIN code access. An email will notify the department contact person(s) when mail is put into the locker. The same locker can be used for outgoing mail which will be collected during the daily route. 

Information regarding specific locker locations and instructions will be available in August. 

 

Additional adjustments to our reopening plan and operations may be needed based on updated guidance and public health trends. We recommend you check back regularly for the latest updates.