Changes are being made at Pitt State to get students back in class this fall

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Officials at Pitt State have been working hard the last four months to make sure the campus is ready for students this fall.

When students get back to the campus this fall, they’ll have some changes facing them. Dr. Paul Grimes, Dean of Kelce College of Business says “Right now we’re planning on opening face-to-face, but not all our classes will be in that old traditional format, we will also have some hybrid classes which will be a combination of online and in-class, we’ll have some HyFlex classes, which are another combination of online and in-class, but it will break the classes into different groups or different pods doing different things on different days of the week and then there’s the completely online format where everything would be taught online.”

To reduce contact on surfaces, doors have been removed at Kelce, and because of social distancing, they’re having to reduce their class sizes to about 1/3rd of their original capacity. “We have had to go in and juggle all of our classes, I don’t think there are hardly any classes that are still in the same room that we originally scheduled them for back early in the spring.”

And some of those changes include making space out of space that wasn’t really space before, like this old auditorium, the band department used it for rehearsals up until last year, now it’s got to be modified to hold business classes. Dr. Grimes says “Luckily the timing was right that we could take advantage of this large open space, but we are, we’re having to retrofit the computer projector and screen, we had to bring in a new teaching podium here.”

There’s changes across the campus, but some of the other more challenging situations are at the kansas technology center. Dr. Robert Frisbee, Dean of the College of Technology says “Also a lot of work with laboratories, getting the laboratories setup so we can have spacing between the students and make sure we still have the appropriate labs for them.”

And collaborative projects and classes pose a different challenge. “That’s a challenge, but one of the things we’ve worked with with the medical advice for the university is the mask and a face shield, so if we are in a situation where a student is closer than six feet, they’d have a mask and a face shield on and we’d like it not to be more than a 10 minute time frame.”

Officials say other plans include having signs or markings in hallways making one-way paths as well as converting some stairwells to up or down only.