Construction on Ohio University’s campus continues while the rest of campus remains quiet ever since classes were moved online.

Construction, including school construction, is considered essential infrastructure under the Ohio Department of Health’s stay-at-home order originally issued March 22. 

For OU, that means current projects like the new Chemistry Building, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine academic facility and chilled water plant will continue construction during students’ absence from campus.

“The Ohio Department of Health’s Stay At Home Order defines construction activities as Essential Infrastructure. As such, our active construction projects are continuing at this time,” Jon Cozad, executive director of design and construction, said in an email.

The construction on campus is done by third-party contractors. Therefore, the construction workers on campus are not employees of OU. 

“Contractors are responsible for developing and implementing safety programs for their respective projects, which includes safety precautions related to COVID-19,” Cozad said in an email. “While the University has not developed the safety programs or protocols for project sites, we are aware that the contractors working on our projects have taken additional precautions to follow the guidance and best practices recommended by the CDC and Ohio Department of Health.”

The additional cautions the construction employees are taking are very similar to those being taken by other essential businesses and employees around the country.

“Contractors have implemented additional precautions such as more frequently sanitizing project sites, adding additional hand washing stations, wearing recommended face coverings, and social distancing to the greatest extent possible,” Cozad said in an email.