CAUS COVID-19 Studio Response

We are continually updating and adjusting our plans for the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. Below are a few questions that have been received and their current answers. If you have a question not addressed below or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to email Aaron Betsky, the Director of the School of Architecture + Design.

Link to view Town Hall Zoom on July 23, 2020

fREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Who is assisting in the development of the operational and space plan?

The plan is currently under development by a team of students, graduates, and faculty advisors under the direction of Enric Ruiz-Geli. It is being supervised by Enric Ruiz-Geli, Aaron Betsky, and Brian Kleiner. This team is currently constructing and installing appropriate measures in collaboration with others in the School and the wider University. We certainly welcome volunteers and expertise. Please contact Enric Ruiz Geli directly.

When are facilities available and/or open to students, faculty and staff?

All face-to-face University classes are slated to end by Thanksgiving break. We are now working to make sure that our facilities will be open after that time, however there may be reduced hours. The faculty are aware that all final presentations will be conducted online.

The University is mandating policies and procedures for the labs, workshops, and other such facilities. We are working with the managers of these spaces to determine how to manage the flow of people to follow procedures and keep us all as healthy and safe as possible.

Must I clear my desk each night?

All campus buildings will close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. We are looking into the question as to whether there is any flexibility on that timing and have received some encouraging signs. No students, faculty, or staff can be in any of the buildings during the cleaning time (10 p.m – 6 a.m.). Students do not need to clear their desks but are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their desk on a regular basis, supplies will be available and are non-toxic. However, students should be aware that such cleaning procedures will include electrostatic misting in the studio spaces.

How was the layout of desks determined?

The desks layout maximizes the number of students who can have desks in our regular spaces while maintaining safe distance and circulation.

What are next steps for the determination of the layout for studios?

What we showed during the presentation was a global layout of all the spaces, which we made in order to ascertain how many desks of various sizes we could fit in the buildings while maintaining social distance and separated circulation routes. The next step is to test the layouts on site, and to determine the best way to construct the assemblies of desks and shields. After that, we will work with the Department Chairs and faculty to determine the exact location and layout of the various studios. We based the layout on the current enrollment data that we have from the Registrar’s Office along with the Department Chairs. If fewer students choose to study on campus, it will allow us to build more flexibility into our layouts.

We have laid out the desks and circulation areas according to all relevant regulations, and the University has determined that they are in compliance. We understand that there are points of proximity between the circulation areas and desks which are also in compliance. We will monitor the studio spaces, especially in the first few weeks, to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, break up of any “eddies,” and make adjustments to the layout as necessary.

The plexiglass has begun to arrive, and are now assembling test desks to find the safest, easiest, and best way to create the most usable desk area. We will work closely with all relevant parties to determine what we can and cannot do in terms of safety and will address issues such as work, pin-ups and the attachment of accessories such as lamps.

Each student will have an assigned desk.

We have attempted to answer the questions raised during the meeting below. Some
questions are outside of our area of knowledge or control, and we encourage you to
visit the follow University resources as they are updated often:

https://vt.edu/ready/home.html

https://www.provost.vt.edu/

https://www.hr.vt.edu/resources0.html