GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin Green Bay has announced a two-phased plan to bring students, faculty, and staff back to all four of its campuses for the fall semester.

UWGB says faculty and staff who need to be on campus to work will be able to return on July 1. Some outdoor spaces used by the public will open by the same day. The campus had essentially closed in mid-March due to COVID-19.

In the first phase, the campus will reopen to faculty, staff, and student employees on July 1 and be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. those returning will be required to wear masks, practice hand hygiene and physical distancing, and complete a daily symptom assessment. UWGB says The Phoenix Forward Return to Campus Plan, guidelines, and expectations will be distributed to all employees later this week.

The number of entry and exit points on campus buildings will be limited and the cleaning of common and high traffic areas will increase in frequency. Hand sanitizing stations and check0in/check-out procedures will be used. Those on campus will be asked to travel outside rather than in the tunnel system.

Shorewood Golf Course, the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, and Communiversity Park with access to the bay, and the disk golf course are all reopening to the public on July 1. UWGB asks the public to follow CDC-recommended best practices and guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

The second phase is focused on bringing students back to campus. The University says specific planning on bringing students back will continue into July.

Initial plans include the fall semester beginning, as scheduled, on September 2, and ending on December 21. Classes will be offered in various formats, including in-person, hybrid/blended, and online classes. The delivery methods that each class will be offered in is under development and will be finalized by mid-July. 

The Office of Residence Life, with campus health/wellness partner Prevea and the Brown County Public Health, is developing community standards and safety measures for campus housing, as well as safety guidelines for all four campuses. University officials are confident that all students with residence hall contracts will be able to be accommodated under the current guidelines. 

Move-in dates will be staggered to accommodate social distancing. Details about this are expected to be released in the near future.

“Our summer and fall enrollments are up and tell us people want to continue to learn,” said Chancellor Michael Alexander. “We will continue to do everything in our power to accommodate students so that they continue with their academic progression with the safety of our faculty, staff, and students as our highest priority.”

UWGB is reporting strong enrollment trends for both summer and fall this year. Summer student enrollment is up more than 600 students from 2019, an increase of more than 20 percent. Early reports also show that fall enrollment is up over last year’s. The University says that if the patterns continue, this will be the fifth consecutive year that UWGB’s enrollment has grown despite trends across the Midwest.

“We know how important access to an education is for the growth and well-being of our community,” Chancellor Alexander said. “Our mission to provide a transformative education to all who desire it is essential. We must be part of the solution to solve the educational inequity issues in our region, state, and country.”

Over the weekend, the UW System announced students would be returning to campuses for the fall semester. UW-Oshkosh has already announced a plan, called Titans Return, to bring students, staff, and faculty back to campus for the fall. At the end of May, St. Norbert College announced its plan to reopen campus for the fall.