Campus Cleaning and Air Quality Update

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Following the events of the Woolsey Fire, Pepperdine has begun an extensive environmental and property restoration process for the Malibu and Calabasas campuses. In the past week, the University began engagements with two leading restoration firms, BELFOR USA and ATI, to assist with efforts to restore all impacted spaces on both campuses. Together, these companies have deployed more than 200 contract employees, in addition to our 130 facilities services team members, who have been working 24 hours a day in anticipation of students returning on Monday.

The University began by completing a thorough evaluation of the Malibu and Calabasas campuses, including a careful inspection of each building for smoke odors and ash or soot particulate. Crews have begun cleaning processes that include high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuuming, the wiping down of fixtures and surfaces with a smoke particulate sponge, carpet cleaning, filter changes for central heating units, and the deployment of HEPA air scrubbers and deodorizers. The University has also taken measures to clean all campus roads, plazas, sidewalks, and other hardscapes in order to minimize the reintroduction of ash and soot into clean campus buildings.

Following assessments of each building’s HVAC system, customized cleaning plans have been made for each system. These plans include filter changes, HEPA vacuuming, and cleaning impacted system components such as fans and intakes. Each building’s HVAC system will be cleaned, inspected, tested, and reactivated upon completion of the cleaning in order to circulate building air before faculty, staff, and students return.

The University has also been working with its longtime partner American Environmental Services (AES), a leading firm that provides air quality measurement and impact assessment services, to conduct a series of indoor air quality tests to ensure the safety of our campus community. The University will continue to utilize AES for air sampling services when necessary as weather conditions change in order to ensure we are maintaining a healthy campus environment.

Regular custodial and maintenance services for the Malibu and Calabasas campuses will resume on Monday, November 26. In the meantime, and in the days or weeks that follow, you may continue to notice smoky odors from soot that remains on the slopes or hillsides surrounding the campuses, particularly during wind or rain events. Each individual responds differently to these conditions, and any campus community member with questions, concerns, or additional needs around ongoing cleaning efforts is encouraged to contact Facilities Services at 310.506.4101 or