Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School is excited to welcome students back to in-person classes in August. While this schedule will differ for LBC | Capital’s various locations, the commitment to adhere to state and federal guidelines and safety protocols in an effort to keep all students safe remains the same.
At the Lancaster campus, traditional undergraduate students will return to classes Aug. 31. In the meantime, the LBC | Capital staff has been hard at work to ensure a smooth and safe transition.
“We’re planning to provide an in-person experience for all our students, which includes in-person classes and on-campus living,” LBC | Capital President Dr. Thomas L. Kiedis announced June 4. “This will mean adjusting to a new reality with respect to social distancing and other safety protocols. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our students’ safety and security has been our utmost concern, and we’ve already instituted protective measures across our campus.”
Two LBC | Capital employees who are leading teams for the fall semester preparation are Esther Henrie (’18), Housekeeping Manager, and Ben Stauffer (’12), Director of Physical Plant. Staff members for two years and seven years, respectively, both Henrie and Stauffer began as student workers in these same departments.
Here are several ways they’ve been preparing the Lancaster campus for students’ return and the first day of classes on Aug. 31:
1. ‘The Disinfecting Gun’
Henrie and Stauffer’s teams are utilizing a special disinfecting gun by spraying door handles and other high-touch areas this summer. Originally purchased by the LBC | Capital Athletics Department to disinfect mats and sports equipment, the gun, which holds a quart of disinfectant at a time, is now being used throughout campus. Two portable electrostatic backpack sprayers that hold 2 gallons of cleaner each have also arrived. These will make disinfecting the entire campus easier and quicker.
2. Hand Sanitizing Stations
Students, faculty and staff will encounter hand sanitizer dispensers throughout campus, and even more are on order.
3. Plexiglass Installation
Large sheets of Plexiglass have been installed at locations where face-to-face interaction is common, such as information desks and registration areas.
4. Enhanced and More Frequent Cleaning Protocols
The campus undergoes what Henrie called a “deep clean” every summer, but that cleaning regimen took on even greater importance this summer. Without special events and conferences on campus over the past few months, housekeeping and physical plant staff members were able to do a “clean sweep” of the entire campus, using CDC-approved disinfecting products. Likewise, Stauffer said, every classroom will be disinfected twice daily, at lunchtime and in the evening. Henrie and her team are currently cleaning and disinfecting dorms, now that all students have picked up their belongings. The college is also in the search and hiring phase for additional full-time custodians.
5. Cleaning Products and Lessons
The college will provide cleaning supplies and microfiber cloths to students in dorm areas with apartment-style bathrooms. Previously, students were required to purchase their own cleaning supplies for these areas. Henrie’s team will also instruct Resident Directors and Resident Advisors how to use these products and how to pass the information on to students. Additionally, in late June, Henrie was part of a SOAR—Student Orientation and Registration—video where she talked to incoming students about the cleaning protocols currently underway and those that will continue.
6. Learning from the Best
Seven LBC | capital staff members, including Henrie, have taken an online course about COVID-19 from Johns Hopkins University. Video sessions were followed with knowledge tests about the latest information.
7. Limits on Room Capacity
Stauffer said limits will be placed on some rooms, restrooms, elevators and gathering areas around campus. Signage will be posted outside areas where people may congregate.
8. Readiness in the Health Realm
In the event that students experience coronavirus-like symptoms, a quarantine area will be utilized until testing can be completed at a local hospital or medical facility. Additionally, temperature-taking stations and other health screening measures are also planned. At the Wellness Center, a pass-through window is being added to the current doorway to assist in communication and transactions, and the carpeted floor is being replaced with vinyl flooring that will be easier to clean and disinfect.
“At this point, we’re doing everything we can,” said Henrie. Stauffer added that the college monitors CDC recommendations and continues to follow CDC guidelines.
President Kiedis reassured students of the college’s commitment to their health and safety in a video earlier this summer.
“In Proverbs, the Lord says the righteous are as bold as a lion, and he also says two times in Proverbs, a prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions,” Kiedis said. “So this is our approach—boldly rise to the challenge in front of us and humbly take all the precautions we can so, Lord willing, we’re looking forward to welcoming (students to) campus this fall. It is going to be a fantastic semester.”