Sussex County Community College plans fall reopening

Newton. The college is taking a phased-in rotation approach by using non-traditional spaces, like the Performing Arts Center and outdoor tents, for classrooms, and by directing foot traffic through buildings and issuing key cards.

20 Jul 2020 | 06:26

Sussex County Community College has issued its How-to Guide for reopening this fall.

The announcement comes at the recommendation of the college’s Pandemic Taskforce, an appointed group of faculty and staff charged with determining the best course for a safe return to campus. The team discussed a range of scenarios, taking into account guidance from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Three groups made up of faculty and staff developed plans that address each area of campus life, including student services, registration, financial aid, and advising.

“This plan is indeed a milestone that involved the input of countless individuals from all areas of the college, but hard work still lies before us in terms of putting this plan into action,” said Dr. Jon Connolly, president of SCCC. “It will be the responsibility of each individual to maintain self-regulation in terms of practicing good hygiene, social distancing, communication, and continuous care for one another’s well-being.”

After college leaders reviewed recommendations from the taskforce, they decided to go ahead and filed the reopening plans with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

The college will observe social distancing by adding non-traditional spaces for classroom instruction, including faculty and adjunct office space. New classrooms have been set up in the cafeteria, library, and Performing Arts Center. Two outdoor tented areas have been set up for maximum distancing and air flow.

The college is taking a phased-in rotation approach to increasing occupancy through the following steps:

• Adhere to CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting facilities.

• Revise schedules and direct foot traffic through buildings – including traffic limitation, one-way traffic, and air control.

• Provide employees and students with key cards.

• Manage scheduled visitors and daily deliveries.

• Adhere to guidelines from The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers “in as many applications as possible.”

• Keep the campus informed of updates, reminders, and changes to operations.

• Require that each member of the SCCC community stay home when sick.

The college will share its How-to Guide on its website at sussex.edu/readytoreturn.

“Hard work still lies before us in terms of putting this plan into action. It will be the responsibility of each individual to maintain self-regulation in terms of practicing good hygiene, social distancing, communication, and continuous care for one another’s well-being.” --Dr. Jon Connolly, SCCC president