Guttman is a small vertical campus, without significant flexibility in employing or reconfiguring open spaces to social distancing requirements. Only the Atrium and Library/Information Commons, located to the front and east of the Public Safety Desk, are the two open and large enough spaces that can be adapted to meet social distancing requirements without entrance into the deeper interior of the building. The College exists in one building at 50 West 40th Street, rented from Allied Partners. Building custodial and maintenance staff are contracted by Allied and are not CUNY employees.
All Guttman first-year students have their classes in the 40th St. building. For the past several years, some classes for continuing students have met in classrooms at the CUNY School for Professional Studies. Guttman had reached an understanding with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies that we would move these classes to their location for the 2020-21 academic year. This plan does not include descriptions of SLU’s spaces. Since the shutdown of the campus on March 16, 2020, we have strictly limited access to the interior of the building, which lies directly behind the Public Safety Desk at the entrance. The Public Safety staff and building cleaning and maintenance staff have been the only staff in the building on a regular basis.
Prior to reopening of any kind, Guttman is committed to providing a safe environment for all building occupants. This includes upgrading HVAC filters, checking for mold, and continuing to flush and run water in bathrooms so water is not stagnant. In regard to ventilation, where possible the campus will ensure the adequate flow of fresh air to work spaces and optimize the ventilation system settings. The Campus will identify confined spaces and restrict occupancy consistent with guidelines of Public Health authorities. The Campus will identify spaces that are too small to occupy with the given requirements of social distancing and block access as necessary.
At 50 West 40th, the College has only one entrance and exit available to all members of the community, with two elevators that provide access to the basement level and throughout the seven floors. There is one service elevator and two narrow stairwells with no ventilation. The hallways in the building are extremely narrow. Restrooms are available on every floor and will be limited to half capacity when reopened.
There are very few individual offices on Guttman’s campus. Only senior staff and some administrators have private offices, and all faculty and many staff have cubicle type offices in rooms that are not now conducive to social distancing requirements. There are 13 classrooms, 10 repurposed classroom that house the faculty and student-facing staff in cubicles, one multi-purpose space for Student Engagement staff who sit in cubicles [known as the “Mezz”], and a “Hub” area that includes Registrar, Financial Aid, Admissions, and the Bursar’s Office in open cubicles or small offices that house several staff. Information Technology staff are housed in one small repurposed classroom, also with cubicles for the staff. In pre-COVID days, this room (#304) is where students would go to pick up technology.
The basement level includes the Public Safety Offices, the Single Stop Office, one classroom, one computer lab, two student lounges, a Student Government Association room, male and female restrooms and an ADA single restroom, and three staff offices. There are no windows on this level at all, and the hallway throughout is very narrow. We do not anticipate reopening these spaces in the All-Phase Reopening Plan presented here.
The following narrative and tables present the phased plan of reopening from our closure in March 2020 to what we anticipate to be the fourth and final stage before the return of pre-COVID practices and procedures.
As we described above, Guttman is a small campus with such serious space limitations that the College must take a cautious and measured approach to reopening. All transitioning between stages will be condition-based and assessed through periodic risk analysis. In the case of any outbreak or community spread on campus, we will immediately shut down the building and return to Phase 0. Phase 0 will remain in place until all cleaning and any required quarantines have been completed.