COVID-19: FP&M Operational Status

Facilities Planning & Management continues to provide essential services to the UW-Madison campus, both through remote work and on-campus work. Some other services have been curtailed or suspended.

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

For more general information about campus operations, please visit the COVID-19 website. Please note that any information on the COVID-19 website supersedes information posted here. 

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

Send feedback or suggestions for this page to

Last updated: May 27, 2020

Building Access Restrictions

Access to campus buildings is now restricted and all campus buildings are locked. Keycards or keys are now required to enter any campus building.

Avoid visiting campus except for essential tasks. If you must visit a campus building:

  • Limit your time in university buildings and leave when your tasks are complete.
  • Maintain social distancing and follow other guidelines for hygiene.
  • Display your university ID in plain sight, or be ready to produce it on request.
  • Do not unlock any locked door except to enter and leave.
  • Do not leave any door unlocked.
  • Make sure that doors lock behind you when you enter and leave.
  • Do not prop open any building door.

If you need keycard or key access to a locked building, please talk to your supervisor or contact your building manager or the facilities staff of your school, college, or division.

Building Monitoring

All campus buildings are being monitored regularly by Physical Plant staff and the UW Police Department. 

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 Services

Many parking and transportation services on campus have been reduced or suspended, including monthly parking fee payroll deductions. Bus service continues to operate on a reduced schedule. Some parking lots are still controlled.

Visit Transportation Services for the latest updates.

Contacting Physical Plant

For issues related to department-specific Physical Plant support of COVID-19 related response, contact the Facilities Specialist for the relevant building. For all other issues, contact Customer Service.

The Facilities Specialist team is available and working remotely.  Contact your Facilities Specialist to inquire about scope for complex interactions with Physical Plant or building alterations of any kind. Site visits and consultations for new projects and to further existing ones will be held virtually when possible and on-site when social distancing can be maintained.



Environmental 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 coronavirus.

The university’s custodial cleaning program follows the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection guidance to clean high touch-points such as door handles, banisters, elevator buttons, public areas, and restrooms. Cleaning and custodial staff have also increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection activities across campus as an additional preventive measure.

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 Tyvek suits 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.

Custodial services in campus buildings have been reduced to essential services, as follows:

  • Cleaning and restocking each restroom once a week.
  • Cleaning and wiping down the lecterns and high-touch areas in classrooms being used for online instruction.
  • Wiping down high-touch areas in public areas and removing trash from central hallway areas.
  • Removing trash and recycling from building common areas (hallways, lobbies, etc.)
  • Removing trash from break-rooms and kitchenettes. 
  • Cleaning classrooms that are not used for online instruction.
  • Cleaning or removing trash/recycling from private offices or labs, or unused classrooms, conference rooms, etc.
  • Cleaning of break-rooms and kitchenettes.

Note: People who use their offices or work spaces must take their trash and recycling to a central trash/recycling receptacle in a nearby hallway.

Waste and Recycling

Collection and processing waste and recycling will continue to support the modified activity levels on campus.


Non-essential Grounds work has been suspended. 

Snow Removal

Limited response and capability is available.  

Water Flushing

To prevent damage to university facilities, buildings have been kept in an operational status instead of shutting them down fully or partially. In addition, we have instituted procedures based on CDC and industry guidance, including the flushing of building water systems.

The Physical Plant 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

Drinking Fountains and Sinks 

Water stagnation during extended breaks can result in changes to color, taste, odors, and turbidity.  These changes are normally resolved when normal water flow returns to the building. During or after periods of low occupancy, it is best to water run for a few minutes from drinking fountains, bottle fillers, or sink taps before using it for consumption. 

Report concerns about water quality issues to Physical Plant Customer Service

HVAC Systems and Air Handlers

Physical Plant continues to operate each building’s HVAC system to manage ventilation, vapor pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Careful management is necessary to maintain building environments and prevent excessive moisture, continuous temperature fluctuations, condensation, and microbial/mold growth. As part of this management plan, we have also increased outdoor airflow to further improve air quality. 

Physical Plant is working closely with Environment, Health & Safety to develop strategies and implement plans to optimize our building systems to provide maximum air quality while decreasing the potential for  the dissemination of droplets or aerosols, including those that spread COVID-19.

Report concerns about air quality issues (temperature, humidity, etc.) to Physical Plant Customer Service

Physical Plant Construction and Renovations

Physical Plant is resuming construction and renovation work for projects that are critical to the university’s restoration of full campus operations.

Limited additional work will be conducted only when resources are available.  This includes lab renovations, classroom projects, remodeling, and basic improvements like painting and adding equipment.  Contracted construction work is mostly unaffected at this time and may continue depending on the specific circumstances of the project and the contractor involved.

Summer Renovation Projects

The ability of the Physical Plant to complete projects planned for Summer 2020 was significantly impacted by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic during March and April. Physical Plant is working to accelerate these projects to achieve substantial completion before the start of the fall semester. Original project schedules have been affected by reduced operations, but Physical Plant staff have redeployed resources in order to finish these projects on time.

Planning and Design

Design efforts can continue during this time. Both designers and Facilities Specialists are available and working remotely. Site visits and consultations for new projects and to further existing ones will be held remotely when possible and on-site when social distancing can be maintained. 

Note: Departmental faculty and staff that are involved in project planning should remain engaged in planning and design efforts. Please coordinate ongoing efforts through your FP&M project manager.

Maintenance and Repairs (Service Calls and Departmental Work Orders)

The Physical Plant is currently focused on critical repairs relating to health, safety, or preservation of assets, maintaining basic system functionality, and preventing facility damage. All campus buildings are being monitored regularly. 

Major Construction Projects

Major construction projects on campus are continuing, as allowed by the Safer at Home order, including:

  • Babcock Hall/Center for Dairy Research
  • Chemistry Instructional Addition & Renovation
  • Meat and Muscle Animal Biologics Discovery Building
  • Nicholas Recreation Center
  • Linden Drive Parking Garage
  • MSC/Kinesiology Renovations
  • Bascom/Lathrop Utility Project
  • And others

At this time, project completion dates have not been impacted but this is subject to change.

Planning and design for future projects is ongoing, mostly by remote work and with appropriate social distancing.

Contracted design and construction firms are following CDC directives as well as additional directives from the State of Wisconsin, UW System, and UW-Madison as they perform their work on campus.

Biennial Capital Budget

The 2021-23 Biennial Capital Budget process continues to move forward through reviews with UW System staff. However, please note that the overall schedule and project recommendations in the 2021-27 Six-Year Capital Development Plan may need to be adjusted as the overall process moves forward. FP&M staff will keep school, college, and division staff apprised of any changes.

Classroom Technology Support

Classroom media support staff continue to provide support for technology-enabled and lecture-capture classrooms, as needed. 

Note: Instructors who wish to use these classrooms must make arrangements with the Office of the Registrar.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve remains open 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.

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

Billing for FP&M Services

FP&M continues to bill for services rendered. FP&M Business Operations and Purchasing is working remotely and available customer inquiries and support.

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, have been modified.

For more information about mail and package delivery, visit the UW COVID-19 website.

Additional Information and Feedback

For more general information about campus operations, please visit the COVID-19 website. Please note that any information on the COVID-19 website supersedes information posted here. 

Send feedback or suggestions for this page to