A note of thanks from John Bollier

March 27, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The last three weeks have presented us with unusual and disturbing challenges that we have never had to face before. Witnessing our collective response to this environment, it is clear to me that our entire department has “stepped-up,” and I write to express my deep gratitude for your contribution to this response.

Thank you! Your skill, professionalism, commitment, and collaborative spirit have yielded remarkable results, and this has been noticed by many members of the campus community. Your work has helped protect our community and has allowed the university to continue operating and fulfill its mission. Some of the specific critical tasks that our department has recently completed include:

Lanman Center Field Hospital:

Over a two-week period a fully functional field hospital was installed in the gymnasium, and it is now certified by the State for use when needed. This huge and complicated undertaking involved multiple disciplines; MEP trades, General Trades, Managers, and Engineering – and it involved a great deal of coordination with the leadership of Facilities Operations, Yale Health, and Yale’s Environmental Health and Safety group.

Cleaning / Disinfecting:

Beginning two months ago, when a visiting student from China was thought to be infected with the coronavirus (but fortunately was not), our Facilities Services group has been on the front line with EH&S, donning PAPRs (powered air purifying respirators) and then disinfected highly-contaminated rooms across campus. In all areas, Area Managers and their teams have ramped up cleaning and disinfecting, increasing the frequency of disinfecting all occupied buildings. This work on the front lines has been essential in helping maintain a safe environment, particularly at the Poorvu Center, Yale Health Center, Yale Physician’s Building, and the new drive-thru testing center at the Prospect St. garage.

Student Move-out:
Immediately after undergraduate students were told not to return to campus, the Facilities Services work crew in the residential area went through every dorm room to remove perishable food items, and ensure the rooms were safe/secure until students can return to campus (some months from now) to remove their belongings. Additionally, the crew assisted with the retrieval of students’ critical items (i.e. books) to be mailed to them so that the students can continue their studies.
Graduate Student Dorm “De-densification:”

Facilities Service staff in the residential area also oversaw the effort to prepare 110 rooms in only three days, mostly at Old Campus, to relocate grad students and their belongings from the Helen Hadley Hall and E.S. Harkness dorms in order to meet guidelines for safer living conditions within these dorms. This work required a tremendous amount of boots-on-the-ground coordination with multiple groups.

Suspension of active construction projects: The Capital Program group has implemented a suspension of essentially all active construction projects on campus, coordinating with our Contracts group, the General Counsel’s office, our OCIP insurance manager, and numerous construction managers.
And, while all this has been underway, practically all of our office-based work has transitioned to being handled on-line by staff working from home. Now, via our on-line processes and interactions, contracts and invoices can be paid, and the design of our future construction projects continues. Taken together, these are remarkable outcomes and a clear testament to the depth, strength, and resolve of you, the many individuals who comprise our organization; which gives me great confidence that together we will prevail over the current situation.
Thank you!
John Bollier