POCAHONTAS, Ark- The college plans to “re open responsibly” in three different phases starting next week.
“As we discussed we took other members of our faculty and staff to get their input,” says Black River Technical College Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Brad Baine. “We looked at it and felt that this was the best approach to our students who are always our top priority. We thought it was just feasible to do it in these three phases.”
Phase one will include faculty and staff back to campus and taking percautions including daily fever screenings.
BRTC will also have certain students return to campus to complete laboratory work while social distancing that had to be postponed due to moving classes online.
The campus will also remain closed for phase one but will open back up to the public during phase two.
Phase three will inviting students back on campus. That is not expected to happen until the end of summer. Baine says they are considering other options to host classes if needed.
“August 17th I’m hoping to walk down the halls and see staff and students and interact as guidelines will allow that is the plan. However, we do have two contingency plans one being if we aren’t allowed to return at all and fully online,” says Dr. Baine. “We are also developing a contingency plan that what if we do return to campus back as normal but in the middle of the semester we have to go online again. We just want to be repaired.”
While BRTC’s commencement was planned for this week, Dr. Baine has a message for their soon to be graduates.
“I regret that we could not have a commencement, it was scheduled to be this Thursday, but I just want to take a minute to congratulate all of our students receiving their degrees.”
BRTC does not have set plans for how long each phase will last. Dr. Baine says they will announce any changes related to in-person classes later in the summer.