Improvements to Campus for Health and Safety
D.J. Brandt, Facilities Manager
Tuesday, October 13, at 3:00 p.m.
Let us be one of the first to welcome you back to campus!
You might feel like PBS is a different place since the last time you were on campus, but let us assure you our core values of Courage, Kindness, Community, and Love of Learning have remained unchanged.
Before we get ahead of ourselves with welcoming you back to campus, we would like to tell you about all the changes we have made while you were gone. We have added new fixtures to campus, created outdoor teaching spaces, and modified several buildings' functions to make returning to PBS as safe as possible.
What Has Been Added
- Hand Sanitizer stands are stationed around campus near entrances and high touch areas. Each stand is equipped with sanitizer that conforms with the CDC's recommended alcohol content.
- Plumbed, touchless sinks have been installed at various outdoor locations around campus to make hand washing easier and safer. Located outside of the K-1 and 2-3 bathrooms, adjacent to the Sports Court, adjacent to the ELC sandbox, and replacing the fountains outside the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. These sinks have their own soap and paper towel dispensers and are ready for use.
- Mobile, touchless sinks have been strategically placed outside classrooms where plumbed sinks could not be practically installed. These touchless sinks are self-contained and have all the amenities of the plumbed sinks.
Now that you've washed your hands (for at least 20 seconds) let us talk about how the campus has physically changed.
Physical Changes to Campus
- The ELC outdoor space has been expanded to give our youngest learners more space to run, play, and appropriately social distance.
- Patios and tents have been added to the Visual Art Studio and the Barby Little Science Lab, enabling our K–5 learners to enjoy their lessons outdoors. Additional tents have been erected in the Amphitheater, outside of the 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms, along the sides of Kindergarten and 1st grade, on the lower blacktop, and in the expanded ELC space.
- The Grove is a new area between 5th grade and the Library, which used to be fenced off from our students. We hope this new space will be used to learn, eat, relax, and make rushing to the Library to grab a favorite book easier.
Shifting focus away from the campus's exterior, we have made several internal changes to our buildings.
- Air purifiers have been placed in each classroom. The Austin Air units in each classroom have hospital-grade HEPA filters that trap particles as small as 0.1 microns.
- HVAC filters are being upgraded to MERV 13 filters. Not only will this increase the general quality of air inside the buildings, but it will also filter out viruses, pollutants, and other irritants.
- Ventilation has been increased in all classrooms. The heating systems have been programmed to constantly bring fresh outside air into the teaching spaces independent from providing heat.
- Global Plasma Solutions polar ionization units are installed on rooftop A/C systems to provide additional filtration. These units will provide another layer of odor and smoke removal as well as reduce airborne pathogens.
- The MPR has been rearranged to contain the Welcome Center, several office spaces, a faculty copy room, and the faculty mailboxes. Being able to distance properly without compromising our work's quality helps to take away some of the sting of no longer having a weekly GATHER space.
- The Administrative Building has been divided into several different spaces. What was once the Welcome Center has been converted into our Health Office to allow for isolation space if needed. The faculty lounge has been modified to be used as a teaching space for our ELC students if the weather requires and currently houses four staff members’ workspaces. The administrative entrance has been shifted to the back of the building, allowing the Admin staff to remain in their offices.
New Team Members
Finally, you may notice three new faces around campus. Marisol, Sonia, and Celida are part of our janitorial crew and will be on campus during the day to assist with the cleaning and sanitizing of campus. This additional investment in cleaning staff will help us ensure that the campus – especially shared spaces like the restrooms – remains safe for all students and employees on campus.