TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona has had to rush to transform its campus to reopen in the new world of COVID -19.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19, the University of Arizona has had to think about just about everything you might touch. For instance, there are touchless paper towel dispensers near the elevators so you can use the towel to touch what could be a germy push button.
UA’s facilities chief Chris Kopach had to get more than 14 hundred dispensers like that ordered and installed.
“Craziest time I've ever had my entire career. I've been doing this over 38 years.”
In a normal year, Facilities Manager Chris Kopach would be very busy with the Fall term about to start, but normal went right out the window when the virus rolled in. On top of usual preps he had to get a thousand sheets of clear plastic and have his crews cut them into protective barriers commonly called sneeze guards, to fit more than 13 hundred different desks and tables.
He says, “Another supply chain challenge, we were able to go ahead and get gallon containers and hand sanitizers. Our sheet metal shop fabricated brackets and holders for over 1300 hand sanitizers that we put throughout all our buildings from our front entrances to our classrooms. We have the capability to go with 3000 so we have that going on.”
There are thousands of warning signs to post in hundreds of buildings.
There are tents set to offer shade, and healthy fresh air for everything from classes to study sessions to exercise.
Kopach says, “We brought in some coolers in there to keep it cool. We enhanced our Wi Fi system in those areas. We have electrical connections for recharging laptops and phones and such.”
Maintaining it all: a staff of six hundred trained in the deep cleaning required to keep COVID down and backed up by five thousand bottles of proven COVID killing disinfectant in easy reach all across campus.