Tribe Renovates Admin Building to Support New COVID-19 Safety Measures

Tribe Renovates Admin Building to Support New COVID-19 Safety Measures

By Alex Harrison, Puyallup Tribal Member

Construction crews recently finished a new entry in the Tribe’s Administration Building. The changes are part of a series of upgrades that are being done in Tribal buildings throughout the reservation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The front gate on Portland Avenue will remain closed until further notice. Visitors are asked to enter through the parking lot entrance.

The 1,800 square feet of renovations have provided a new and improved look for everyone entering the building. It’s where Security’s new renovated office is located. Tile floors and key card access security doors have replaced the former open access hallways.

Visitors are asked to have an appointment or call before coming to the building. Security manager Michael Young and Security tech Nicholas Earl Sr. said they like the new setup, and they thanked everyone who assisted in the renovations.

As Puyallup Tribe Risk Manager Dan Kain said, “the best way to ensure everyone’s safety is to stay home if and when possible.” For those who need to visit, hand sanitizer and masks are available upon entry.

Along with the security renovation, some departments were given safety upgrades to help protect their employees. For example, clear acrylic safety shields were installed in the mail room office, Crisis Assistance Program Office (CAP), and Enrollment Offices. This critical infrastructure will help the departments function safely, according to Dan.

New check-in protocols

The renovations help support new entry protocols that were rolled out for employees and building visitors. Hand sanitizer and masks are required, and as of press time more precautions were under consideration by Tribal Council.

Tribal Administration staff have worked tirelessly to get the supplies needed to reopen buildings and oversee the renovations needed to improve health and safety. Administrative Operations Coordinator Lizetta Kelly and Purchasing Manager Barbara Mordhorst have been crucial in overseeing the challenges that COVID-19 has presented and getting the supplies needed to protect everyone.

The Tribe has been proactive in purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (known as PPE) and these supplies are available for Tribal Department employees upon request.

“Managed Properties has been very instrumental in picking up the tasks of purchasing and receiving donated PPEs and maintaining our current PPE stock,” said Administrative Manager Anita Oldbull. “They also took the responsibility of the remodel of the entryway to ensure social distancing and reduce foot traffic. They are an amazing team.”

According to Lizetta, there have been 20 deep cleanings of the four buildings her department manages since the pandemic began. The Tribe plans to do these cleanings regularly.

Lizetta, Barb and Dan thanked everyone on Council and in Accounting for being so supportive of their work while the Administration Building was closed.