From: Ronnie Smith,
Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #26
Posted: September 29, 2006
With much of the work on temporary
repairs to the major buildings completed, the efforts of the two design
teams, the Office of Facility Planning and Control, and the LSUHSC staff
have begun to shift towards developing the plans for permanent building
repairs. This is a process made more challenging by the many Federal
regulations and policies that drive the reimbursement process, and the
complexity of the program that may help to mitigate the threat of damage
in a similar event. Because these Federal funds represent the vast
majority of the funding that we will have available to accomplish the
permanent repairs, developing the plans in ways that insure eligibility
for reimbursement remains critical.
The architects and engineers for both
the downtown campus and for the Dental School campus have developed and
proposed multiple versions of concepts for the mitigation of major
buildings. This is an iterative process, where FEMA reviews the
concepts, asks questions and provides feedback to the design teams
regarding feasibility, eligibility for reimbursement, and compliance
with the program requirements. The learning curve has been steep for all
of us and has consumed significant amounts of time and energy. We learn
more with each iteration and we hope to soon see some of the more mature
concepts receive the initial conceptual approval which will allow us to
take the next step in the process.
The temporary repairs to 1542 Tulane
Ave. have progressed to the point where Entergy will re-energize the
building so that the electrical repairs can be tested. Recent concerns
about a potential natural gas leak in the basement have delayed this
step, but the process should move forward in the near future. There have
also been a number of repairs that have been identified that are
required to prepare the building for temporary occupancy. Pricing and
proposals for the timeframes to complete this additional work are just
arriving and being reviewed, so the projected timeframe for being able
to use the upper floors of the building remains uncertain at this time.
The other challenge that faces us is staffing up sufficiently to operate
and safely maintain any additional buildings that we may wish to reopen.
People in the trades (plumbers, electricians, etc.) and custodian staff
are particularly difficult to recruit in the current environment.
The repairs to the Dental School
Clinic and Administration buildings and the Power Plant have also
progressed steadily. The contractors are working on completing a number
of the final tasks, but the majority of the initial contract work has
been completed. Somewhat similar to 1542 Tulane Ave., some additional
work has been identified that must be completed to allow the upper
floors to be reoccupied. We are also facing the problem of insufficient
staff to support reopening these large buildings. Creative solutions are
being sought to help deal with the staffing challenges, but the
competition for people with the necessary skills and experience is very
stiff in the metropolitan area.
Here are highlights of work that has
been accomplished since our last update was posted two weeks ago.
- 1542 Tulane Temporary Repair Project:
- The installation of the fire pump, the
jockey pump and the related control panel has been completed.
- Two booster pumps and an exhaust fan have
been delivered and the installation has begun.
- The exhaust fan installation has been
interrupted because it was delivered with the wrong
louvers. The correct louvers are on order.
- The electrical cables have been run
to the booster pumps.
- A wiring diagram is needed to allow
the booster pumps to be connected to the control box;
however they have been temporarily connected without going
through the control box to allow them to be tested once
building power has been restored.
- The electrical feed for the exhaust
fan has been connected.
- Two mobile emergency gasoline pumps have
been assembled and are ready for use.
- The contractor has cleaned the debris out
of the basement and has closed up the new electrical panels, in
anticipation of Entergy energizing the building.
- Entergy has installed their new current
transformers for the electrical metering of the building.
- The planned energizing of the building
has been postponed due to concerns about a possible natural gas
leak. The contractor is preparing a proposal that will allow
testing occur. Once this safety issue is resolved, Entergy and
the contractor will proceed with energizing the building.
- Dental School Clinic and Administration
- The repairs to the Medical Gas System
were completed and the system was tested on Friday, 9/22 and no
leaks were found in the pipes. However, the connectors at the
end of the pipes on the upper floors are believed to be faulty.
The contractor will submit a price to repair the faulty
connectors to the architects for approval.
- The Soft Water System has been
successfully repaired, started and tested. Only a few minor
leaks were discovered which will be repaired once the
replacement parts arrive.
- Concrete block and related materials have
been delivered to the job site so that repairs can be made to
various walls damaged in the basement.
- The repairs to the loading dock wall
have been completed.
- The block wall by the chemical
storage area and the morgue is approximately 85% complete.
- The contractors have completed the
re-installation of the cabinets and miscellaneous fixtures in
Lab 6314B. These items were originally removed to allow the
remediation contractor to address the molded walls in this area.
- The gas lines that feed the incinerator
have been purged of water and moisture. The next step in the
repair process will be to ignite the burner to test its
- The elevator contractor received a
shipment of parts for the repair of the damaged elevator door
assemblies. These will be utilized when the new elevator doors
themselves are received. Other repair work continues:
- The walls for Elevator #3 in the
Clinic Building were installed over the weekend of 9/22.
- The whisper cable has been installed
on Elevator #3 as well.
- One set of control panels has been
delivered to the site. The contractor is preparing the
controls and contacts so that it can be installed in
Elevator #4 in the Clinic Building.
- Work has begun on the repairs to the
motor control center. The removal of the chilled water pumps has
begun as part of the task.
- The insulation and labeling of the many
new pipes that were installed in the basement spaces continues.
- The small emergency generator that was
initially used to provide power for the temporary repairs has
- At the Central Utility Plant, the contractor
has been working on the replacement of the VFD and the rebuilt pump.
- All of the original equipment that was
damaged by the flood has been removed.
- The VFD, the rebuilt motor and the
filters have been delivered to the site.
- The motor has been completely connected
and tied into the building systems; however the electrical
panels have been left open to allow for inspection.
- The VFD must be raised 6 inches so that
it will meet the existing connection points. New taller channels
have been ordered for the VFD to rest on.
- The VFD has been temporarily raised
on wood blocks so that the connections to the filters and
electrical power can be prepared.
- As soon as the new channels are
delivered, the installation will be completed and the system
will be tested.
- A contract to provide additional, improved
lighting for Student Parking lots on the downtown campus has been
bid and awarded. The contractor has been given the notice to proceed
early next week.
- The environmental remediation contractor at
the Residence Hall has begun reinstalling the closet doors in the
"A", "B", and "C" towers. This work was part of the punch list that
remained from the original remediation contract.
- The air handling unit at the MEB that was
replaced as part of the renovations to the large Lecture Halls had
broken belts. The belts have been replaced and the unit has been
restarted. Additional repairs will be completed in the near future.
- The replacement table tops and modesty panels
for the MEB Lecture Rooms arrived and were installed over the
weekend of 9/24. The remaining raceway covers and pedestal covers
were also installed. The furniture installers will be leveling the
table tops as the class schedules permit throughout this week. The
old tops and modesty panels have been removed from the building.
Please continue to follow our progress through our
Daily Updates that are also available on the web site.