Facilities Coordinator FAQ


Fall 2020 Setback Building Schedule (xlsx) 11/20

2020 Holiday Heat Memo (pdf) 11/20

COVID Q/A - Information 

Q. If we are teaching remotely, why do we need General Purpose Classrooms for students?

A. We will be accommodating a small population of students with study spaces on campus that will include technology and a safe learning environment during this remote teaching period.  The buildings above will be scheduled by the Registrar beginning November 21, 2020 and once this is done, the buildings will be considered occupied, custodial services will be notified and heating / ventilation will not be disrupted through December 18, 2020.


Q: Are there places on campus where I can access my synchronous remote classes without having to return to my room or apartment?

A: In addition to the normal student spaces that have had seating adjusted to for social distancing, dozens of smaller classrooms have been identified on the University Park campus as Remote Learning Rooms.  These rooms are open for use during normal building hours and have clear signage indicating that they are intended for access remote classes.  You can find details by selecting the Remote Learning Rooms layer on the campus map located at www.map.psu.eduClicking on the Remote Learning icon (headphones) will get detailed information for that building.

Q: Does OPP recommend setting occupancy limits for elevators across the university?

A: OPP does not recommend setting occupancy limits for elevators.  Since the University is instituting universal masking and the typical elevator ride has very limited duration the risk of multiple individuals in the same elevator cab is low.  Elevators must remain available for ADA-compliant access, so we would encourage individuals who can use the stairs to do so.


Q: Should hallways and stairways be labeled as 'one way' only? 

OPP does not recommend labeling stairs or hallways as one-way only.  Since the University is instituting universal masking, encountering others in stairs or hallways traveling in the opposite direction constitutes a low risk.  Due to the requirements to maintain clear egress from facilities in the event of an emergency, we are discouraging the labeling of stairways and hallways to avoid individuals hesitation to go down a particular hallway or down an 'up' stairway in the event of a building evacuation.


Q: Do we need to limit occupancy of bathrooms? 

A: OPP does not recommend limiting occupancy of bathrooms.  Since the University is instituting universal masking and encouraging social distancing, the limited time spent in restroom facilities as well as the higher air change rates in bathroom spaces constitute a low risk.  In addition, we want to avoid queueing or congregating outside of restrooms as people wait which carries its own social distancing issues.


Q: Are General Purpose Classrooms (GPCs) Open?

A: Yes, Buildings are being opened and GPCs are also being opened.  If a GPC is locked during regular building hours, call the classroom hotline, included on the door signage.  Please be aware that all GPCs are not yet COVID-19 reconfigured as to furniture arrangements – this work is in progress and will be completed on or before August 24, 2020.


Example photo: The picture of the exterior room signage which lists the "Maximum Occupancy" should be noted as indicating the student seating available within a room and does not include the instructor or possible TA that might also be in the room.



Q: Where can I find information re: PPE for instructors?

A: Review this link: https://keepteaching.psu.edu/ to access the guidance for protective equipment for instructors created by the faculty committee on this subject.


General Information

  • Building Readiness – reference e-mail sent on July 30, 2020 - OPP has worked to get our buildings ready and as such, beginning August 3rd, 2020 you will no longer be required to complete the space re-occupancy form for OPP at UP.  OPP is working to have all the building HVAC systems back to normal operation for Monday August 3.  But the ongoing effort to increase the amount of outside air introduced into buildings, where possible across campus (the new normal) is expected to take longer, and could take until Aug 24, as that effort is considerable.  Additionally, on 3 August OPP custodial will return to full staffing, and afterward will begin deep cleaning the facilities ahead of arrival.  Please Note:  this update does not mean that people can start to flow back onto UP campus buildings without approval. The Return to Work form is still a requirement for the Office of Human Resources and can be found on the following link -https://sites.psu.edu/returntowork/. Units are still required to manage Return to Work very closely following the established protocols. 



  • Masks that Dr. Barron referenced.  Update: July 29, 2020 - There will be a total of 500,000 masks that will be delivered to campus on or around August 17th.  The masks will be distributed to individual colleges and admin. areas.  FCs should clarify their role with department leadership with distribution to faculty and staff.  There is no cost associated with these masks.  Masks are also available to order through General Stores if you need masks BEFORE the free masks arrive the week of August 10th.  I have recommended ordering these to all who have staff already on campus or if there is a need prior to mask distribution. Additional information on EH&S Pandemic Supply List is available at https://ehs.psu.edu/sites/ehs/files/ehs-pandemic-supplies.pdf


  • Custodial ChangesDetailed e-mail sent out July 30, 2020.  This outline will answer many of your cleaning and disinfecting questions as we return to campus.   


  • Sanitizer Stations - OPP is providing hand sanitizer stations in E&G facilities.  They will be provided at main building entrances, ground level elevator entrances, ground level stairwell entrances, outside of classrooms, and outside of restrooms. OPP will maintain them and refill them. 


  • Elevators- OPP does not recommend setting occupancy limits for elevators at this time.  Since the University is instituting universal masking and the typical elevator ride has very limited duration the risk of multiple individuals in the same elevator cab is very low.  Elevators must remain available for ADA-compliant access, so we would encourage individuals who can use the stairs to do so.


Penn State Signage FCs should remove any COVID-related, restrictive entrance signs (ICA Buildings excepted) now that OPP has installed official Stay Well signs on entrances to buildings. If you are not considered a high use building; please order the appropriate signage for your admin. area.  The links below provide guidance for your reference.


The buildings listed below have been identified as the “highest use” facilities at UP.

  • Hetzel Union Building (HUB)
  • Forum Building
  • Pattee/Paterno Library
  • Sackett Building
  • Hammond Building
  • Thomas Building
  • Osmond Building
  • Willard Building
  • Boucke Building
  • Intramural (IM) Building
  • White Building


Please review these Signage links


Guidance Document and Templates


Multimedia Print Center Stay Well


Plexiglass Barriers - Departments are responsible to fund any barriers in buildings not on the ‘highest use’ list.  Please submit a work order for a cost estimate and OPPs Planners & Estimators in work control will get back to you. Campus DBSs should be coordinating any plexiglass barriers for approval prior to installation to ensure consistency and to confirm that installations are temporary.

  1. Free standing “table top” plexiglass barriers.  Not fastened to anything.
  2. Hanging plexiglass on wires from suspended ceiling.  Not fastened to the ceiling.


    Reduced Room Capacities – all events/meetings/courses held this fall need to adhere to Social Distancing guidelines. Social Distancing capacities in Penn State locations are to be enforced by the stewards of the location.

    • Suggested reduced capacities for Dept Classrooms and Dept Labs can be found here.
    • Suggested reduced capacities for other Departmental Room Types can be found in the LionSpace Covid-19 Planning Tool.
    • Requests for layouts to be drawn for departmental spaces can be submitted here.
    • Reduced capacities, for dept rooms scheduled in 25Live, can be added with an email request to [email protected].
    • Reduced capacities, and layouts, for GPC’s can be found in LionSpace at the room level in the photo gallery.
    • Departments can provide their own reduced capacity numbers, based on their measurements. Please submit these to [email protected] so that they can be updated.

    Room Layouts/Photos - Campus Viewer - LionSpace FIS (pdf)


    Tent Policy - Indoor spaces are being identified to provide Remote Learning Rooms, which is the primary approach being taken to create additional spaces for student use.  Therefore, all tent requests for more specific uses are to be submitted for consideration and coordination with other on-going tent planning efforts.


    Consistent with established procedures, anyone reserving outdoor locations or wishing to install a temporary structure, such as a tent, should use 25Live to submit their request.  Assigned approvers of outdoor locations will coordinate with OPP (Sr. Director of B&G, Phillip Melnick) to evaluate the request, and if approved ensure requestors follow policy and operational concerns are considered. (see more information below regarding outdoor spaces/structures)



    Leased Property Information - It is important to note that as the University provides guidance and recommendations relative to the occupancy and operation of its facilities, this information is also applicable to space leased from a 3rd party owner.  However, without regulatory mandate from Pennsylvania Officials, DOH or the CDC, not all adjustments may be a requirement, nor are they viable according to local building code.  As such, any intent to integrate, places the full financial responsibility and legal liability on the University.  Therefore, as modifications are being proposed/requested, please be sure to reach out to the University’s Real Estate Office via [email protected] and your designated Specialist will assist with initiating the necessary review and determine an appropriate course of action.


    Remote Learning LocationsFrom the Office of the Vice President of Facilities Management and Planning (Remote Learning Rooms - UP)


    • With the scheduling of classes for Fall 2020 semester all but completed, approximately 50% of classes will have a full remote learning component. Other mixed mode courses will offer a combination of in-person and remote learning that varies, depending on the discipline of the course. With a large percentage of the University resident student population living off campus, there is an identified need for learning spaces on campus to support remote learning classes when returning to off- or on-campus housing is not feasible. The Office of Physical Plant, through partnership between Planning Design & Properties and the Office of the University Registrar, is designating 45 General Purpose Classrooms at University Park as Remote Learning Rooms.


    • Remote Learning Rooms will be available exclusively for student drop-in use. The seating will be configured in accordance with social distancing guidelines and the room availability will be consistent with the open hours of the building. A map layer of these designated spaces will be featured on Penn State’s Interactive Map and the Penn State GO app for University Park. The Remote Learning Rooms program, and supporting resources, will be communicated to the student population. Each of these rooms will remain on the current cleaning/disinfection schedule as if they were GPCs.  Students will be expected to maintain social distance and wear masks in these spaces.


    • Students at all campuses may also use any General-Purpose Classroom that is not currently in use for in-person instruction. The availability schedule for these spaces is accessible by students through 25Live and will be made available on additional supporting websites. We are currently doing everything we can to have specified parking areas outfitted with WiFi at all campuses prior to classes beginning.


    • We are seeking your assistance in the effort to provide our students with adequate space for remote learning throughout the University.  We are aware that colleges and campuses are working on plans to designate spaces such as student lounges and meeting rooms that they steward for remote learning. We are confident that the combination of remote learning rooms, unused General-Purpose classrooms, and designated departmental spaces can meet this need.


    SOP – Approving Temporary Outdoor Signs, Structures, and Use of Outdoor Spaces in 25Live for Compliance with AD57




    1. Anyone wishing to install temporary signs would use the generic location for signs in 25Live called “UP: Outdoor Miscellaneous Sign”.
      1. OPP’s Planning, Design and Properties (PDP) would be approver of signs
      2. Request to include location(s), start and end dates, type of sign, requestor contact information, sketch of sign, map of locations (if multiple locations), and sign content.
      3. Content to be shared with Strat Comm
      4. All temporary signs should include a point of contact and effective date for sign, signs without this information will be removed
      5. PDP will coordinate with Buildings and Grounds (B&G) and Strat Com
      6. Utility Locates may be necessary dependent on location and installation
    2. Anyone wishing to hang a banner would use 25Live to reserve banner location and follow appropriate process for doing so.
    3. Anyone reserving outdoor locations or wishing to install a temporary structure (not student project related) would use 25Live and follow the proper process to do so.
    4. Temporary Structure resources (tents, stages, inflatables, etc.) have been created in 25Live for this purpose called “Temporary Structure Approval - Tent etc.”
    5. If you are interested in a long-term temporary structure that will be used for scheduled events over time, you should reserve the Temporary Structure Approval resource.
    6. If you are setting up a temporary structure for a single event at a reserved outdoor location, you should add the Temporary Structure Approval resource to that location reservation.
    7. If you are setting up a temporary structure where there is not a location identified in 25Live, you should use the Temporary Structure Approval resource and identify the location in the resource request.
    8. Approvers of outdoor locations, using the SOP, will coordinate with OPP (Sr. Director of B&G) to ensure requestors follow policy and operational concerns are considered.
    9. B&G will coordinate on OPP’s and other concerned department’s (Transportation Services, Risk Management, etc.) behalf.
    10. Use UP: Outdoor Miscellaneous Location if you are reserving a space not discreetly identified in 25Live


    1. Approvers of use of outdoor locations must ensure requestor has reviewed with and received OPP approval before approving use space.
    2. Examples of items requiring coordination with OPP include:
      1. Use of sidewalks, walkways, plaza areas, roadways, and lawns and landscaped areas.
      2. Activities that will require driving on sidewalks, walkways, hardscapes, and landscape.
      3. Activities that may affect or damage University buildings, features, hardscapes, lawns, or landscape plantings or cause the plane of the ground to be broken, such as staking.
      4. PA One Call may be required
      5. Use of or construction of a temporary structure, such as tents, canopies, stages, platforms, inflatables, fencing, etc.
    2. Activities that require signage:
      1. Activities that could affect Physical Plant maintenance and operation, such as landscape services, snow removal, outdoor lighting, etc.
      2. Activities that may result in the discharge of liquids or other material to the campus environment
      3. Activities that require electricity
      4. Activities that require solid waste management services (trash and recycling) or clean up.
    3. A no-charge evaluation will be conducted by OPP to determine what measures are necessary to protect these areas.
      1. A work order shall be submitted by requestor for this service.
    4. Parking lot and traffic impacts will be coordinated with Transportation Services.
    5. Other approvals may be necessary, such as Environmental Health and Safety, Strategic Communications, Risk Management, Police and Public Safety Emergency Management, etc., which OPP will facilitate.
    6. Use of ICA locations must be approved by ICA.
    7. Use of playing fields must be approved by Campus Recreation.


    Requirements for Erecting Temporary Structures and Tents

    1. All costs for erecting and maintaining the temporary structures, providing any services required, and meeting the conditions specified below, will be the responsibility of the requesting department.
      1. Services required, like amplification, lighting, Wi-Fi, and electrical power should be identified in a work order you start with OPP.
    2. Use of tents for instructional purposes is discouraged.
    3. To provide ADA accessibility for long-term use and to provide turf protection, the use of a turf tile protection system is required, including tiles to a sidewalk or walkway to create an accessible path.
      1. Turf restoration will be required after the structure is removed.
      2. OPP can assist with the procurement of turf tiles.
    4. OPP will conduct a review for structural integrity when erected and ongoing through its use. You must take any measures recommended by OPP to ensure the structural integrity and safety of the structure.
      1. Weighting to secure the structure is preferred to staking.
      2. Access route for vehicles used to set up, provide furnishings, provide services (catering, etc.) must be approved by OPP
      3. If staking is used, a PA One Call must be performed prior to installation (unless set up is in an area previously identified for staking).
    5. Waste and recycling containers and arrangements for disposal must be provided by OPP, if needed (via work order).
    6. Disinfection of frequently touched surfaces (furnishings like tables and chairs) must be arranged with OPP (via work order, most likely to be performed on overtime).
    7. You must work with Penn State Office of Emergency Management to have a weather evacuation plan, OPP can help coordinate.
      1. Use of the tent during bad weather poses a potential safety hazard.
      2. Material in the tent, like furnishings, could become airborne and pose a safety hazard in bad weather.
    8. You must receive approval from Environmental Health and Safety (Steve Triebold) for appropriate occupancy and fire safety plan, OPP can help coordinate.