FAQ: Building closures

With instruction moved online until at least mid-June and many employees working remotely to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, some campus buildings are locked for security.


Is Iowa State University open for business?

Yes. Course instruction has moved online, but the university remains open. Due to precautions taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many areas are practicing social distancing or flexible work arrangements during this health emergency.

Why is my building locked?

Decisions about building closures and hours of operation should follow protocols similar to those for the university’s partial closure over winter break. Together, building supervisors and unit leaders should review work priorities and research needs, while allowing for flexible work arrangements and social distancing.

Who decides if my building is locked?

Building supervisors and key/access card coordinators, in conjunction with unit leaders in the building, make a determination about building hours/availability. During this unprecedented time and with public safety in mind, university leaders could make a campuswide recommendation.

How do I access my workspace if my building is locked?

If they forgot their own key or access card, employees are encouraged to contact their direct supervisor should they need access to their workspace.

How do I access another locked building for university business or research?

Contact the building supervisor to get into a specific building. Do not expect ISU Police to let you into locked buildings. Building supervisors are listed on ISU's building information website. Locate the building and click on "show building information."

How can I find out which campus buildings are locked?

Individual building hours can be found online at the Facilities Planning and Management (FPM) building information page. Locate a building on the list and click on "See building information."

What is the process for locking my building?

Contact FPM Building Security Services, 294-4211, to secure the building. FPM will share this information with other units, such as Postal and Parcel, to adjust scheduled deliveries.

Who is responsible for communicating that my building is closed?

Information on closures or reduced hours must be clearly communicated to all building occupants, as well as to others who try to enter your building. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Staff should set procedures for managing incoming messages or an emergency.
  • Units should post planned office closings on their websites and main office and building entrances. Include appropriate contact information so students, faculty and staff know how to reach someone with questions or to request assistance. For consistency, we encourage units to use the building closure template.
  • Contact FPM Building Security Services, 294-4211, to secure the building. FPM will share this information with other units as necessary.

Will someone be checking on my building?

While public safety and FPM will have staff on duty, they will not be able to monitor the entire campus all the time. Unit staff should plan to check their buildings periodically. Trouble calls should go to 515-294-5100 (building concerns) or 515-294-4428 (public safety).

During each inspection of a building:

  • Inspect the exterior of the building for weather-related damage, lighting issues, signs of unauthorized entry and vandalism.
  • Complete a walk-through of all areas of the building to confirm necessary utilities, alarms (including those for laboratory equipment, refrigerators and freezers), and fire protection remain in operation. Inspect for any damage or irregularities to the interior of the building, such as water, mold, freezing, etc.
  • Verify all doors are closed, secured, and locked, including interior doors that provide protection between sections of the facility, and exterior doors that provide access to the building.
  • Confirm equipment and valuable or sensitive items are properly secured.