IPF preparations for reopening CAMPUS

Karen Crawford, IPF Custodian

IPF Communications

May 29, 2020



In preparation for the state of Michigan and the university to begin allowing additional employees back on campus at a future and yet-to-be determined date, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) staff have been working to ensure a safe and healthy return to work for all Spartans alongside our colleagues in Environmental Health and Safety; Facilities Planning and Space Management; and others.

Because MSU’s East Lansing campus has more than 100 occupied buildings that normally don’t sit vacant for weeks at a time, reopening buildings is not as simple as unlocking doors and flipping on the lights. That said, IPF teams are making every effort to make the return-to-work transition as safe, healthy and comfortable as possible for the MSU community.

Here are some key processes our teams are carrying out:

Workspace cleaning

IPF Custodial Services has been performing basic cleaning at least weekly in buildings that were closed, as well as normal cleaning services performed in those buildings that remain open. While cleaning, custodial staff are focusing first on the health of building occupants. Each worker has received extensive training and is equipped with special tools and products to perform their job, including the use of a germicidal cleaner and a backpack vacuum with HEPA-level filtration. Building touchpoints in occupied buildings are being cleaned multiple times a day. To increase its cleaning capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Custodial Services has purchased additional disinfecting equipment, including misting systems to clean areas more efficiently and effectively.

We also are making cleaning solution and spray bottles available if requested so that building occupants can clean their own workspaces. Hand-sanitizer stations are being added throughout campus as well.


James Miller Custodian at Bott Nursing Building
James Miller, IPF Custodial Services, using a mister to clean a classroom. (Photo: Nick Schrader/IPF Communications)


Building water systems

As you may have seen in recent news reports nationally, water that sits unmoving in building pipes can become a health concern, which IPF staff are well aware of. To ensure that the water provided to building occupants is fresh and healthy, IPF custodial and maintenance staff members will be running building systems prior to the arrival of MSU employees. They have carefully reviewed and are following CDC guidance about reopening buildings. In some cases, staff may notice water discoloration when a faucet is first run due to naturally occurring minerals settling in pipes, which is not a health hazard. People should run the faucet for a few minutes until the water runs clear.

Building air circulation

Since most employees began working remotely in mid-March, most building air circulation systems have been run minimally to conserve energy and reduce utility costs. Prior to a building being reoccupied, IPF Central Control will be running building air systems to bring in fresh air and will set temperatures to a comfortable level as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers. If you have a significant number of employees returning to campus outside of an expected date, contact Central Control at hvac@msu.edu to have appropriate air circulation schedules resume.

Vehicle fleet precautions

IPF Transportation Services is disinfecting all touchpoints on rented vehicles when they are returned, and before and after mechanical work is performed on the vehicle. Staff is wearing gloves and face coverings.

IPF employee safety procedures

Because IPF employees, especially custodial and maintenance staff, circulate widely throughout campus, we have instituted a strict daily health screening, social distancing and other measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 consistent with state and university requirements. IPF employees must wear face coverings and those working on campus already have received comprehensive workplace safety training about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Workplace safety signage

IPF has developed workplace safety signs that support the CDC Guidelines related to COVID-19. The signs have been reviewed and approved by the University Physician’s Office and are available through the IPF Sign Shop. The Sign Shop would be happy to assist in planning, ordering and installing your safety signage. Simply call 517-432-2468 or submit a service request at ipf.msu.edu. The signs can be viewed online.


Kim Piper, IPF Sign Shop
Kim Piper, IPF Sign Shop, installing campus safety signage at ISTB. (Photo: Nick Schrader/IPF Communications)


Energy conservation

Due to the reduced campus population, campus energy demand has been reduced by more than 18% , helping save the university energy costs during this challenging time.

To help further our energy conversation efforts while many MSU employees are not on campus for extended periods, we encourage units to close window blinds, set thermostats to 76 degrees, and to turn off or unplug:

  • Office machines
  • Printers if not needed for use by others
  • Monitors and desktop computers
  • Refrigerators if they are cleaned and emptied

I know I speak for all of my IPF colleagues when I say that we look forward to seeing our all of our university co-workers back on campus. We take great pride at IPF in our work that helps you advance knowledge and transform lives, and campus isn’t the same without all of you here.

Stay up-to-date with Michigan State University's response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.