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Campus construction update

Categories: Campus, Leadership communications, Provost

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Dear Stanford community members,

We have been evaluating on-campus construction projects as part of our assessment of allowable campus operations and activities under the shelter-in-place order issued for Santa Clara County and five other Bay Area counties. 

After careful consideration, we want to let you know that the university plans to move forward on two high-priority projects beginning Monday, March 23 – Escondido Village Graduate Residences (EVGR) and the installation of temporary chillers for the Central Energy Facility – that are considered “Essential Infrastructure” under the order because they support critical housing and infrastructure for the campus community. 

The EVGR project will fill a significant need for on-campus graduate housing for over 2,400 students and increase graduate student housing capacity by almost 20 percent, meeting a critical university priority as Bay Area housing costs continue to rise. Completing EVGR is essential to meeting our housing needs for fall quarter, and it provides the university with additional flexibility to provide housing while adjusting to changing public health circumstances.

As we experienced last summer, the installation of additional chiller capacity at the Central Energy Facility is vital to our ability to cool campus buildings, including the hospitals, and maintain health and safety as the weather gets warmer. 

We are proceeding with limited construction activity after thorough consultation with the County of Santa Clara, the Health Department, and in coordination with the Stanford Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), which is leading the university’s response to the current public health crisis. In making this critical decision, we have sought to balance the health and safety needs of the campus community and vendors with the continued necessary business operations of the university.

This work will be done with close attention to the health and safety of construction workers, and our contractors have developed specific plans to provide for this. The two projects are proceeding under COVID-19 protocols as established by regional health officers, the Centers for Disease Control and EH&S. These involve several actions already well-publicized by the public health community to prevent exposure to the virus: proper hygiene practices, including frequent handwashing; use of personal protective equipment; regular cleaning of construction environments; social distancing as much as possible; maximizing use of telecommuting and video conferencing for construction engineering and management staff; and other recommendations as needed to limit personal contact and impede the spread of COVID-19. 

We encourage community members to stay informed through the Heads Up website, where you can also sign up for a weekly newsletter, so that we may continue to collaborate and share project-related information. Residents of housing located near EVGR should reach out to the proper residential front desks with any housing-related questions.

Please continue to refer to healthalerts.stanford.edu for ongoing health guidance and information from Stanford.

Sincerely,

Persis Drell
Provost

Robert Reidy
Vice President for Land, Buildings and Real Estate

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