Facilities receive enhancements, safety upgrades for fall semester

A. Sue Weisler

University Gallery is shifting from an exhibition and event venue to a drawing studio this fall.

The RIT College of Art and Design Facilities team, along with many others across the university, were hard at work over the summer upgrading spaces, labs and studios to provide a safe educational environment this fall and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Below are some enhancements made to Booth and Gannett Halls to ensure we are RIT Ready and protecting the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, alumni and guests:

  • All workspaces have been converted to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing at all times.

A student lays down tracks to hide wires in a computer lab.
Ghahyun Park, a fourth-year 3D Digital Design student and CADTech student employee, hides computer wires in a track inside the spaced-out New Media Design Lab.
  • Transparent barriers were installed in many instructional spaces and service desk areas to limit direct exposure to respiratory droplets.

  • Hand sanitizer dispenser stations are placed in building entrances and academic areas.

Computers spaced out in a lab.
This School of Film and Animation lab features a live feed of an adjacent space, allowing students to distance themselves while the same class is taught simultaneously in two classrooms.
  • Cleaning protocols require classrooms to be cleaned before and after every class. Learning spaces are equipped with carts of EPA-compliant disinfectant and other sanitation products for students and faculty to effectively disinfect their areas.

  • Students, faculty and staff will each receive two cloth masks and a mask with a clear plastic insert; and, on request, a face shield made in our Fab Lab.

Mike McNaught holds up a transparent shield created in the Fab Lab.
Mike McNaught, a third-year Industrial Design major, holds up a transparent face shield created in the Fab Lab.
  • New recycling bins, foot levers to open doors and touchless paper towel dispensers were installed in bathrooms across the university.

  • Bevier Gallery, University Gallery and William Harris Gallery have been repurposed as studio spaces and a computer lab for the fall. Other areas are also being reimagined to satisfy unique space needs. 

William Harris Gallery as a computer lab.
The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences' William Harris Gallery has been transformed into a computer lab for the fall.
  • Air chillers were installed to reduce the heat and humidity on the second and third floors of Booth Hall. Air purification bipolar ionization systems will also be installed soon.

  • Room capacities have been reduced to meet social distancing guidelines, with new maximum space capacities displayed outside each room.

  • Consistent COVID-19 signage around campus encourages health and safety practices and notifies the community about government-mandated regulations.

A computer lab with a sign encouraging six feet of distance.
One of the many floor signs encouraging six feet of distance.
  • The School of Film and Animation Cage is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Specific days are assigned for equipment pickup (Tuesday and Friday) and drop-off (Monday and Wednesday), with a 72-hour quarantine on returned equipment. Walk-up tech support services are also moving to Zoom.

  • The third-floor School of Photographic Arts and Sciences Cage is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. The fourth-floor Cage is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The Imaging Systems Lab is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.