Current FP&M Operational Status

This page provides an overview of the current status of the operations of Facilities Planning & Management.

For more general information the reopening of campus, please visit the COVID-19 Response website. For facilities-specific information, visit the FP&M Returning to Campus page.

Note: Facilities staff and building managers in schools, colleges, and divisions across campus are encouraged to share this information with their departments. 

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Last updated: May 10, 2021

Environment, Health & Safety

EHS is continuing to respond to campus emergency incidents, provide critical services, and respond by email or phone for consultation. For a complete list of service updates, visit the Environment, Health & Safety website.

Transportation & Parking

Parking and transportation services on campus have been fully restored, as of August 26, 2020. Visit Transportation Services for the latest updates.

General Building Spaces


Standard signage has been installed by FP&M at building entrances, inside elevators, and in classrooms to remind occupants and visitors of campus policy and best practices. Additional standard sign packages are available to building occupants for areas such as breakrooms, waiting areas, conference rooms, and other common areas. Each school/college/division will need to coordinate the installation of signage with their building manager.

Floor markings (including stickers) require coordination and approval from Physical Plant prior to being applied. They can damage flooring and may incur remediation expenses.


It is good practice to keep the minimum number of doors unlocked as is practical to support the building’s daily operations. Building Managers will need to coordinate changes to the locking and unlocking of their building with the UW Police Department.

Note: Limiting the number of accessible doors could work counter to de-densifying the traffic flow. Building managers may need to adjust available doors based upon resulting conditions. Remember also that building exiting is a fire code requirement and cannot be restricted by blocking, locking, or barricading doors.


Propping open exterior doors during class interchange is encouraged to accelerate the traffic flow and eliminate unnecessary touching of the doors. However, this cannot be managed centrally and will require departmental personnel and coordination if this mitigation is used. Doors may be designated for entry only or exit only. Doors should only be open for five minutes prior to class interchange and for five minutes after.

Note: Do not leave doors open all day, since this will negatively impact the building ventilation system.


Monitor common areas for congestion and to discourage loitering. When practical, modify seating layouts to encourage physical distancing. See Space Modifications: Sample Room Layouts for more information.

In corridors and stairwells, it is a best practice is to stay on the right side and keep moving. Standard signage is available to assist with this messaging.

Hand sanitizer stands have been placed in many high traffic areas. Please do not relocate them without coordinating with Physical Plant so that these stands can be regularly serviced.

Do not obstruct corridor fire extinguishers, pull stations, doorways, areas of rescue assistance, or emergency egress. Contact EH&S Fire & Life Safety if a consultation is needed.


Using the stairs is preferred whenever practical. Occupants should limit density to a maximum of five people per elevator (lower limits for some smaller units), with each person occupying a corner and the fifth person occupying the center of the compartment. Face coverings must be worn, and individuals should press elevator buttons with something other than their hand, if possible. Signage will be posted to reinforce occupancy limits; departments/building occupants should refrain from posting different occupancy limits. Elevators are designated for more frequent cleaning.

There is potential for congestion in elevator lobbies. Building occupants may need to address elevator queueing. Contact Physical Plant Customer Service if you observe significant congestion.


Density control in restrooms may be difficult. Users are encouraged to use “every-other fixture.” Do not restrict use of fixtures (e.g., taping-off every other one). Do not prop restroom doors open; this negatively affects the ventilation system. The total number of building restrooms and fixtures is required by code. Do not relabel restrooms or take restrooms out of use without prior approval of the Physical Plant.

Hand dryers will not be replaced by paper towels at this time. We acknowledge there is a long-running debate about the efficacy of paper towels versus hand dryers. However, both sides agree that proper hand hygiene—including both washing and drying hands thoroughly—is a top defense against the spread of germs, including the virus that causes COVID-19.


Remove, reposition, or stack seating from breakrooms, lunchrooms, and kitchenettes to support physical distancing. In smaller rooms, this will likely require designating all tables and chairs as not useable. In larger lunchrooms, this may require rearrangement of tables and chairs. Refer to the Sample Room Layouts for graphic illustration of best practices for modifying these rooms. Remind building occupants to clean out refrigerators if this has not already been done since shutdown. Consider removal of appliances (e.g., coffee machines, etc.) that encourage unsafe use of the room by multiple persons at the same time.


Modifications to the arrangement and layout of existing spaces should be done in such a manner that they are temporary, reversible, and do not cause damage to the existing physical infrastructure. Physical Plant is available to assist and must be consulted prior to modifying the building. This includes attachment by any means to walls, floors, ceilings, and ceiling grids, as well as the mechanical system, pipes, building structure, etc. Many of these attachment methods are not structurally possible without risk of substantial damage or failure. Campus units are responsible for moving furniture in their spaces.

Units must maintain compliance with UW & State Purchasing Policy and Procedures (PPP 4):  “Prior approval from the Division of Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M) is required for any work, including acquisition and installation of equipment, which impacts the architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical or security system of a campus building or results in a change in space usage.”

For more information, see Space Modifications: Sample Room Layouts and Guidance for the Use of Physical Barriers in Work Spaces.


Campus does not plan to provide storage for excess furniture. Building Managers may work with building occupants to repurpose unused rooms for temporary storage. Storage in any general assignment or departmental classroom must be approved by the Space Management Office ( Do not place items in mechanical spaces, corridors, stairwells, or landings.

General assignment classrooms not scheduled for use in the fall semester will be closed and locked. Excess furniture from scheduled rooms may be moved to the unused/unscheduled rooms. If not, excess furniture will be stacked and secured in the room. The goal is to keep excess classroom furniture in the same building, if possible.

Some spaces (such as conference rooms) have been reassigned as classrooms.

Purchase of storage/moving services may be available via normal purchasing process at departmental expense. Campus Services offers limited moving services and many of our contract movers have indicated limited availability through mid-September.

If furnishings in classrooms or common areas are moved or altered, building staff will need to return them to the original configuration. FP&M staff are not available to monitor and maintain the intended configuration. Do not adhere signage to furniture if the surface is wood or upholstered as adhesive residue can result in staining that may require special cleaning at departmental expense.


Maintenance and renovation projects were carried out during the initial pandemic response and will continue throughout the fall semester. If you have questions about any work performed in your building, or about an impending project, contact your Facilities Specialist.

Building Systems


It is unlikely but possible that water leaks from pipes or leaky windows may have occurred during the closure. Report evidence of water intrusion, staining, mold growth, or mold odors to Physical Plant Customer Service.

Any damage or losses due to the shutdown should be reported to Risk Management for review of potential insurance coverage. Information on filing a property claim can be found at the Division of Business Services.


Please limit inquiries about HVAC in individual buildings or rooms to specific issues with temperature or humidity in that space. It is generally not possible to single out a room or rooms for accelerated air changes within existing system design and capacity. Physical Plant is carefully managing HVAC on a system-wide basis.

Modifying or disabling HVAC systems is generally unacceptable due to the possibility of other negative impacts to health and safety, resulting in more harm than good. Modifying or disabling systems that have been designed and commissioned to operate under carefully constructed parameters can cause unintended harmful consequences, especially in areas such as research laboratories, where space pressurization and air changes are critical for continued safe operations.

See Guidance for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems During the COVID-19 Pandemic for more information.


To prevent damage to university facilities, buildings were kept in an operational status instead of shutting them down fully or partially in the initial months of the pandemic response. In addition, procedures were implemented based on CDC and industry guidance for maintaining potable water systems. These procedures included testing and flushing of both building water systems and water distribution systems.

The FP&M Water Management Program Team is monitoring campus water systems and addressing issues that arise. Report concerns about water quality issues to Physical Plant Customer Service.

Water stagnation during extended breaks can result in changes to color, taste, odors, and turbidity. These changes are usually resolved when normal water flow returns to the building. Report concerns about water quality issues to Physical Plant Customer Service.

Water from public drinking-water fountains (bubblers) is safe to drink; however, the surfaces of the fountain including the spout, button, lever, and nozzles could pose a risk for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other germs. Consider using only a clean cup or bottle instead of drinking directly from the dispenser to prevent cross-contamination. In order to reduce risks, ensure neither your mouth nor your container makes contact with the spout of the fountain, and follow the procedures below. Signage is available to communicate drinking fountain best practices.

Drinking fountains are required by code and as a part of basic safety practice to provide potable drinking water in amounts that are adequate to meet the health and personal needs of each employee. If a school, college, or division chooses to restrict their use, they will need to develop a plan to provide an alternative source of drinking water (e.g., single-use bottled water) to address this requirement.

Cleaning & Disinfection

Cleaning and disinfection is a shared responsibility among everyone on campus; maintaining a healthy environment requires frequent and ongoing effort throughout the workday. Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) and the Medical Advisory Team have prescribed cleaning and disinfection protocols that comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Cleaning and disinfection is broken into five primary areas:

  1. Guidance for Daily Cleaning and Disinfection. Custodial Services for campus buildings has been modified and enhanced to focus on mitigating hazards relating to the transmission of COVID-19. The university’s custodial cleaning program follows CDC cleaning and disinfection guidance to clean high-touch points such as door handles, elevator buttons, public areas, and restrooms. Custodial staff have also increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection activities across campus as an additional preventive measure.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol for Work Units. In order to protect our campus employees, students, and visitors, work units should develop a cleaning and disinfection plan to protect the persons in their area. All work units should implement good hygiene and infection control practices. Cleaning and disinfecting are ongoing requirements, and each employee must be responsible for the constant maintenance of their workspace. Where more specific guidance exists for specialized work settings such as clinical or food service settings, such specific guidance should take priority and be followed.  Designated staff in each school, college, or division are able to order COVID-related PPE and other supplies from Shop@UW. Consult the PPE Procurement Guidelines for more information.
  3. Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Classrooms. Cleaning supplies will be provided in each scheduled classroom to support student cleaning/disinfecting before sitting at a desk or in a chair. Supplies will be restocked by the applicable servicing custodial staff (Physical Plant, Pyle Center, Unions, etc.). Building Managers should report any rooms in need of service and support in this area to Physical Plant Customer Service.  Classroom media support staff continue to provide support for technology-enabled and lecture-capture in general assignment classrooms, as needed.
  4. Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Vehicles. This guidance aims to mitigate the transmission for COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases through exposure from the daily operation of our fleet vehicles and equipment. By employing regular cleaning and disinfecting practices to vehicles we can effectively minimize the transmission of these diseases while utilizing these vehicles and equipment. Vehicle users are responsible for securing cleaning and disinfection supplies for their vehicles.
  5. Incident Cleaning in Areas where a Known or Potentially Contagious Employee was Present. When a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is known to have been on campus, the specific locations where the person spent time are evaluated for enhanced cleaning and disinfection, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Note: Campus spaces may occasionally receive a more stringent cleaning out of an abundance of caution. In these cases, you may see workers wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including gowns and masks. This activity does not indicate the presence of a known case of illness; it is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of our workers and the campus community.

Response cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted only under the direction of the campus health authority and Environment, Health & Safety. Departments should not undertake to contract for cleaning without guidance from health authorities for what to clean, why, when, and with what urgency.

Other Services

Waste & Recycling

Collection and processing waste and recycling have been adjusted to align with activity levels on campus.

Grounds & Snow Removal

Grounds maintenance and snow removal have been adjusted to support activity levels on campus. Custodial support for snow removal is not anticipated to be significantly changed.

Interdepartmental and US Postal Mail

Mail and package delivery from Physical Plant-Campus Services, US Postal Service (USPS), Materials Distribution Service (MDS), Extension, and outside vendors including UPS and FedEx, are operating normally.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve remains open from sunrise to sunset but all events, including fire circle reservations, are canceled until further notice. Trails and paths in the Preserve, including on Picnic Point, are open but all fire circles are closed to support social distancing.

New Preserve open hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

For public health, please stay home if you feel unwell, practice social distancing, and wash/sanitize your hands regularly.

Additional Information and Feedback

For more general information the reopening of campus, please visit the COVID-19 Response website. For more detailed information, visit: 

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