June 29, 2020

Facilities Preparedness

Dear Goucher community,

First, the Fall Reopening Task Force has heard that more of you are needing to make brief visits to campus occasionally and has determined that, in line with Governor Hogan's most recent phase of reopening, faculty, and staff can now enter campus in those cases just by showing your ID and face covering at the gatehouse, without requiring prior approval or being within certain hours.

You do not need to wear a face covering while outside on the Goucher campus as long as you remain at least six feet or more from another person. However, you need to wear a face covering upon entering any building on campus and in all common spaces (hallways, lobbies, kitchens, lounges, etc.). If you need to come back to your office full-time before August 17, however, you should contact your supervisor. 

As we approach the start of Phase II in our Return to Campus plan, we wanted to share our plans for facilities preparedness. Our campus community’s health and safety is our number one priority, and all efforts are being made to support a safe return to campus. The measures listed below are founded on best practices from leading public health authorities, educational facilities professional associations, and peer institutions that are continually evaluating and updating recommendations based on the most recent scientific research.  

Additionally, academic and administrative building maps have been updated to reflect the new safety measures put in place. The updated maps are available to view on the Return to Campus website.

Beyond the external best practices, a team of Goucher faculty and staff members – including individuals from FMS, Communications, and Information Technology – conducted a building audit to identify how the recommendations should be implemented in each individual space across campus. Our careful planning for increased cleaning efforts and procedures are combined with the use of protective supplies, physical distancing furniture layouts, and enhanced signage. Additionally, the FMS team is conducting a system-wide evaluation of campus HVAC systems and upgrading most air exchange filters. Specific efforts include:

Protective Supplies

  • Hand Sanitizer – 102 +/- hand sanitizer stations located across campus. The number and location of hand sanitizer stations will be adjusted as faculty, staff, and students return to campus, and we determine where additional coverage may be needed. 
  • Sneeze guards – Approximately 150 sneeze guards to be installed in academic and administrative spaces. 
  • Cleaning Kits – 300+ Cleaning kits with cleaning supplies, protective gear, and cleaning instructions distributed across campus to academic and administrative spaces. 

Physical Distancing

  • Room Layouts – Arranging classroom and office furniture to provide for adequate physical distancing and, where appropriate, removing furniture from spaces. 
  • Decommissioning Spaces – Taking specific classrooms offline/bringing on non-traditional classroom spaces that allow for safer levels of social distancing. 


  • Health & Safety Reminders – Mask-wearing, hand washing, educational signage posted throughout campus. 
  • Circulation Signage – Signage and taping to direct traffic flow in hallways (directional arrows and lanes) and administrative spaces (stop here/stand)

Cleaning Staffing

  • Community Approach – Community education and cleaning supplies provided across campus and an appeal to faculty/staff/students to provide cleaning of individual spaces as they are used (i.e., wipe down desk after class, etc.)
  • Volunteer Cleaning Ambassadors – Leveraging volunteer staff to lead cleaning efforts in their office spaces. Volunteers will get cleaning training. 
  • High Traffic Areas – Focusing Environmental Services Technicians in high traffic buildings (SRC, Athenaeum, and Mary Fisher).

System Preparedness

  • HVAC Evaluation and Upgrade – Enhanced preventative maintenance for HVAC (filter changes and duct cleaning) and, where appropriate, upgrading the filters to MERV 13.
  • Building Water – All buildings will be flushed prior to campus return, and water testing will be completed in mid-July.

This blueprint for facilities preparedness supports the health and safety efforts in place for the community’s return to campus. More specific information regarding the use of cleaning kits and other cleaning procedures will be shared, once confirmed. The FMS team continues to work hard across campus to ensure best practices are implemented effectively.

We ask for the entire community’s help to follow the health and safety protocols in place, as our combined efforts will help support the overall community.

Thank you and be well.