KALISPELL — Flathead Valley Community College is taking extra precautions for students as some return to in-person learning this fall, including a plan that ensures that every part of the campus will be properly sanitized.
President of FVCC Jane Karas explained to MTN that dorms are open this fall for commuting students. She explained that on-campus housing is crucial for students who aren't from the area.
"To ensure that students who do come to student housing will be able to be safe and live there and attend their classes because many of them can't come to college without that opportunity to live on campus," said Karas.
Karas says facilities will deep clean inside the dorms and extra sanitization supplies are available to students who want to clean in between themselves. She told MTN News that FVCC allows one student per dorm room and they have a plan in place in case a student does get coronavirus.
The college also doesn't have a communal dining hall and Karas says most students prepare meals in their dorm rooms.
"We'll be pretty close to full capacity," she said. "We'll have a few rooms in case we need to separate anybody."
Karas explained to MTN that the college even boosted wifi capabilities earlier in the spring so students could connect in, on their computers in the parking lot.
FVCC Facility Director Calvin Pippen told MTN News that the college uses hospital-grade germicides to clean the campus and explained that they have a unique way of alerting each other to spaces that need cleaning
"One side red and one side green," he said. "So, we have placed those on door handles throughout campus. So, if you have someone that maybe doesn't or hardly any time in their office, if they've been in their office they can flip the card so we know that someone's been there. So, it's kinda more of a signal to us."
He told MTN News that management cleans in between each class and they've provided supplies to students if they want to clean their own space in between.
"They can wipe down their spaces as well," said Pippen. "They're obviously going to be more attuned to what spaces they touched."
Karas said that if students don't feel comfortable returning to in-person classes, there are remote options available.
She added classes are starting a few days earlier this year with the Fall semester running from Aug. 24 until Nov. 25 in an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks due to holiday travel.