Facility Services Actions

Actions by Facility Services on Campus to Reduce Risks of Transmission of Covid-19 Virus

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

Bates has a portfolio of approximately 90 buildings on campus covering academic, athletic, residential, student, and administrative facilities, with over 1.6 million square feet. Like many New England small colleges, there is a mix of larger and smaller, newer and older structures with a similar systems mix. Modifications to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, where possible, are underway. In 14 buildings representing approximately 700,000 square feet we have increased the filter ratings to minimum efficiency rating value (“MERV”) level 13 or higher, deemed by ASHRAE to be efficient at capturing airborne viruses.  Where possible we will be increasing both outside air intake and overall air circulation through our installed systems, balanced within other operating parameters of noise, static pressure, and outside conditions.

Looking across our core campus facilities over 70% of the Bates facilities, by square footage, are serviced by air handlers of one type or another, and over 50% of Bates’ square feet are in facilities that have filtration of MERV-13 or better. Our academic spaces in particular are almost entirely (over 90%) serviced by air systems, and nearly 70% of those square feet have MERV-13 rated filters. Over 75% of the space in athletics facilities are serviced by systems using MERV-13 filters. Our student housing is a set of over 30 buildings. Approximately a quarter of our students are in buildings with the MERV-13 filters, and approximately half of our students are in beds with air handlers and systems of some kind.  Student residence houses and buildings have operable windows for fresh air circulation.


Facility Services is providing standard signage throughout the campus regarding required distancing including: “please wait here” floor signs, face coverings, hand washing, hygiene, and other CDC recommended guidelines.  We are working with college leadership to determine occupancy ratings of spaces where needed and posting signage accordingly.


Cleaning kits will be provided by Facility Services in each building for staff and faculty to use in their offices.  Our custodians will be focused on cleaning and disinfecting in common areas, restrooms, and classrooms throughout campus. Centralized trash and recycling drop-off locations are also being established in each building for occupants to bring their own waste to as the increased focus on common spaces and need for physical distancing will not allow for custodians to pull trash from each office. 

Facility Services is also providing hand sanitizing dispensers in locations all over campus for ready access.  Please note that white dispensers are for soap near sinks and yellow dispensers are for hand sanitizer.

Physical Controls

Plexiglass shields have already been provided by Facility Services for many transactional areas where distancing is difficult to maintain. Other physical barriers may also be appropriate and will be evaluated through a work request submission after all operational controls have been considered. Please see this link for a list of potential operational controls and considerations.