Before students arrived, Housing staff labeled and sorted 15,000 room keys, hung 6,000 personalized door decorations and bought 90 rubber mallets.

Those were used to put lofts together in the residence halls.

Student with rubber mallets

A few of the 90 rubber mallets.

Summer wasn’t slow for staff preparing for thousands of students to arrive. Parking and Transportation processed 11,785 parking permits. Facilities Management was busy making sure 10,322 parking spaces were striped and ready to go, along with surveying 30 miles of sidewalks.

Campus Services stripped and cleaned nearly every floor on campus, which is more than 5 million square feet of flooring. Another 2 million feet required getting out the vacuum.

In residence halls, mattresses were flipped and steam cleaned, rooms painted, pianos tuned and fire alarm systems and generators tested. Elevator load limits were checked too.

And somebody had to put on all those rolls of toilet paper. The campus goes through 9,500 miles of toilet paper a year.

Campus Dining put in a big order, knowing students go through about 2,400 grilled chicken breasts a day, along with 400 pounds of bananas, 480 hamburgers, 400 turkey burgers and 200 gallons of milk. And that’s just in Watterson Dining Commons.

Student Health Services prepared for an expected 37,000 patient visits this year and stocked up on ibuprofen and allergy meds at the over-the-counter pharmacy.

 room keys

Now that’s a lot of room keys.

Grounds crews pruned around light fixtures to increase visibility and trimmed trees and shrubs around every single building entrance to provide an unobstructed view in the event emergency vehicles are called to campus.

“Safety is really important for us,” said Chuck Scott, director of Facilities Management.

About 500 ponchos and 160 tarps were bought to keep students and electronics dry during move-in, although those weren’t needed this San Diego summer.

Throughout campus the to-do list was crossed off with handrails painted, daylilies relocated, whiteboards and SMART boards installed, furniture switched between rooms, new carpeting laid, roofs repaired and washers and dryers replaced.

And the Health Promotion and Wellness staff didn’t forget about students who moved off campus. One afternoon, volunteers fanned out and knocked on doors at nearby apartment complexes, welcoming nearly 2,000 students by delivering gift bags with everything from hand sanitizers to reminders of local ordinances.

Welcome back.