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Board of Trustees Dec. 1 meeting: University plans more in-person classes for spring; Daniel Hall renovation and expansion to begin



Board of Trustees Dec. 1 meeting: University plans more in-person classes for spring; Daniel Hall renovation and expansion to begin

Clemson is planning to offer more than 50 percent of its Spring classes with an in-person component during the Spring semester, President Jim Clements and Provost Bob Jones told the Board of Trustees Tuesday.

“Our aggressive testing strategy in the fall proved to be very effective, and we’ll build upon it to provide more in-person experience this Spring,” Clements said.

The new CLIA testing lab in Jordan Hall is working at full capacity now, allowing for a greater number of people to be tested more quickly, he said.

“We’ve heard our students and their parents’ desire for more in-person classes,” Provost Jones said. “Our faculty and staff who did an exceptional job over the fall are hard at work to configure classroom space and make plans for a safe and effective Spring semester.”

“Again, data and science will guide us through this process and we will continue to be flexible and make adjustments as needed,” President Clements added.

Provost Jones pointed to the online COVID-19 dashboard showing the percent of positive tests has between 1 and 1.5 percent for more than a month.

“Because of this long stretch of low infection rates, much lower than the state, much lower than the nation, we have developed a lot of trust among our employees and our parents and our students about having an environment where we can operate safely while increasing our face-to-face learning,” Jones said.

Before on-campus students can return for the Spring semester, they must have two negative PCR tests – one between December 28 and January 2 and the other upon move-in beginning January 3. Employees and off-campus students need to have one negative PCR test between December 28 and the date they enter main campus facilities.

Beginning January 11, all employees and students on campus will be asked to test once a week.

The testing success and availability of classroom space facilitated the University’s ability to have 31 percent of courses return to fully in-person, Jones said. Twenty-six percent will be blended online and in-person and 43 percent fully online.

Daniel Hall expansion and renovation

The trustees also heard a report from Executive Vice President for Finance and Facilities Tony Wagner that the planned and previously approved Daniel Hall expansion and renovation, put on hold during the fall due to the pandemic, is ready to proceed this spring.

The project includes a 60,000-square-foot expansion of the building next to Cooper Library, and a renovation of the existing building. The $59.7 million project, to be financed by state institution bonds and University maintenance and stewardship funds, was approved by the board and the state in the summer.

Wagner said the project is a top E&G priority as Daniel Hall is one of the top credit-hour producers on campus. “It was built in 1969 and since then just about every undergraduate who has gone through Clemson has had classes in this building,” Wagner said.

The expansion is expected to be completed by fall 2022 and renovation in fall 2023.

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