University reduced buildings operations plan

November 17, 2020

This message was sent to faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

The fall semester has demonstrated the resiliency, determination, and strength of the people of our University in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It hasn’t been easy, requiring hard work, long hours and sacrifice by everyone at our University. The effort, from every corner of our campus and by every person at our institution, has made a difference. We are meeting the challenges of COVID-19 because of the willingness of our students, faculty and staff to come together for the good of our people and our University.

As we all know, however, COVID-19 is a relentless opponent, and there are more challenges that still await us. Among them are the impacts to state finances resulting from COVID-19 that have had an acute effect on the University’s operating budget. The University leadership team and I have looked for ways to realize savings, and the move to remote instruction starting on November 30 and the extended winter break through January 24, 2021, presents an opportunity to achieve significant savings by reducing building services to save utility costs.

Just as importantly, by reducing building services, we will be doing our part to slow the recent surge in COVID-19 cases throughout our community by lessening the density of individuals on our campus and by reducing the potential of spread through in-person gatherings in many of our buildings. This was a major goal for Nevada stated by Gov. Steve Sisolak last week during his “Stay at Home 2.0” announcement.

Therefore, while the student body is away after November 30, the heat will be reduced in many University buildings, and other service reductions will be implemented. Staff are asked to work from home as directed by their supervisor during this time; your commitment to this effort can make a difference. Research and laboratory operations will continue in their current mode.

During the campus closure last spring, we saw a reduction in our utility consumption equating to just over $500,000 in savings compared to the same period the year prior. These savings were achieved without deliberate effort. During our mitigation efforts this fall and winter, with a more focused effort we hope to achieve even greater savings. All utilities savings are aggregated in the centrally managed utility accounts and will be used to offset budget reductions.

Review the University Reduced Buildings Operation Plan

To achieve this goal, we need your support. You will find a reduced building operations list by reviewing the University Reduced Buildings Operation Plan.

Please also review the important building safety information below:

  • Buildings under reduced operations will be locked. 
  • Access to reduced operations building allowed. Access is permitted should an individual need to pick something up or otherwise access their space.
  • Door and space access will require a key or keycard. Exterior door and space access by any individual will require a key or key card. During remote operations, if the individual does not have exterior door access, they should gain access from a supervisor or formally request keys through key request processes (by appointment only). Per the University Administrative Manual, Facilities Services and Police Services will not grant access to buildings.
  • Eating or disposing of food is prohibited. Eating or disposing of food waste in the building is prohibited as custodial service will be infrequent and pests are unwanted.
  • Break and office areas must be free of perishable items. Food must be removed from break and office areas and refrigerators emptied of all perishable items.
  • Buildings checked weekly. Buildings will be cleaned and checked once per week.
  • No trash or recyling services available. No trash or recycle services will be provided.
  • Building temperature will be reduced. The temperature in the buildings will be reduced to the lowest safe level, likely in the 50 to 60 degree range. In buildings where thermostats are controlled locally and occupancy is reduced, occupants may receive an email with instructions for adjusting the thermostat downward. Overriding building thermostats is prohibited.
  • Space heaters not allowed. Space heaters are prohibited.
  • All small appliances and electronic equipment must be unplugged. Occupants must unplug all unused small appliances and electronic equipment prior to departure for the closure, this includes toasters, coffee makers, personal refrigerators (emptied first and doors left ajar), computer monitors, printers, scanners, copiers, etc. Computers should be turned off unless they are necessary for remote access.
  • Problems must be repoted to Facilities Services Service Center. If an occupant arrives at the building and discovers a building problem, they must report it to the Facilities Services Department Service Center at 784-8020; this number is monitored 24/7 and provides access to the Standby Team in the event of an after-hours emergency.
  • Utility Plant will be operational. The Utility Plant will remain operational with personnel on site 24/7.
  • Snow removal service operations remain in effect. The Weather Essential Team will provide weekday snow removal services as usual during remote operations to maintain safe access to occupied buildings and response to weekend snow removal will be event-dependent
  • Maintenance technicials will be available. Facilities Services will have maintenance technicians available during regular business hours to take care of any calls for service, preventative maintenance and critical repairs.
  • Custodial team will be providing services. The custodial team will provide weekly services for closed buildings and open buildings will receive daily weekday service.

For further details or questions you may have, please contact your supervisor.

In addition, I hope you will plan to attend the University-wide meeting for faculty and staff tomorrow, Wednesday, November 18 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. to ask any questions you may have and learn more. To join the University-wide meeting, which will take place as a webinar on Zoom, please register online. Should you have questions you would like to provide prior to the meeting, please send them to UniversityWideMeeting@unr.edu.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval
President