Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #36
Posted: February 22, 2007

Work on the enhancements to the MEB atrium is nearing completion. All of the drywall has now been installed; taped and floated. The majority of the painting has been completed, with only the recently constructed knee walls and a few other small areas remaining. Most of the new ceiling tile is in place and the wireless network connections have been installed above the suspended ceiling. The preparations for installing the new flooring have been completed and the installation of tile is well underway. The new lighting fixtures have been delivered and installation has begun. New furniture for the atrium has been ordered and delivery is scheduled for later in the month.

The majority of the old ceiling tile in the Clinic and Administration Buildings at the Dental School has been removed in a combined effort by LSUHSC Facility Services personnel and a contractor hired to assist in the efforts. The LSUHSC Industrial Hygienist has completed his assessment of the buildings and he is completing his review of the environmental remediation and duct cleaning needs at the Dental School. The new motor control center is being installed and the various new or repaired elements of the building systems will shortly be back under normal control.

LSUHSC Facility Services is finalizing their work with the Dental School architects to develop plans for replacing the old ceiling tile in both the Clinic and Administration Buildings. The use of mold and humidity resistant tiles that are also smaller in size may present an opportunity to seek additional reimbursement from FEMA for some additional components of the replacement costs.

A contract to make temporary repairs to the roof of the Medical Education Building has been issued and work is beginning. The architects are also working on the specifications for the permanent repair/replacement of the MEB roof. Additional temporary repairs are also planned for portions of the roof of the Nursing/Allied Health Building and permanent repair plans will be developed for that building as well.

At 1542 Tulane Ave. the contractor continues to install additional electrical components necessary to fully power up and light the building. New submersible sump pumps are being installed that will protect the basement spaces from the intrusion of ground water during heavy rains. Repair work on various building elevators continues. Several change orders have been priced and the remaining issues related to FEMA reimbursement of those change orders are being addressed so that the work can be authorized.

Here are highlights of work that has been accomplished since our last update was posted two weeks ago.

Project to Make Temporary Repairs to the Dental School:

  • The new motor control center arrived and the contractor made preparations to install it in place of the old, flood damage one.
    • The new motor control center was positioned on the 2nd level in the Power Plant.
    • The contractor reviewed the plans to install the new motor control center in the Dental Power Plant with the engineers and LSUHSC Facility Services leadership. Procedures were developed to minimize the amount of time that the buildings will be without HVAC.
      • The contractor will have a crew that will consist of 7 workers; 4 in the day and 3 at night.
      • The plan provided for at least one of every component in the HVAC system (1 chiller, the 1oop pump, 1 chill water supply, and 1 condenser pump) to be operating within a 24 to 32 hour period.
      • Work began late on the switch over from the old motor control center to the new one on Wednesday, February 14th.
  • The initial phases of the project to replace the ceiling tiles in both the Clinic and Administration Building continued.
    • The ceilings were removed from the 1st floor space previously occupied by the Faculty Dental Practice.
    • LSUHSC Facility Services personnel began removing the ceiling tiles on the 5th floor of the Clinic Building. They proceeded to the 7th floor, and then the 8th floor. When the 8th floor was completed, they moved to the 6th floor.
    • The contractor hired to supplement the efforts of LSUHSC Facility Services personnel removed the ceiling tiles from the 2nd floors in both the Clinic and Administration buildings.
      • The ceiling tiles have been removed from the 3rd floor.
      • Tiles have also removed from the majority of the 4th floor spaces.
  • The project to restore telecommunications to the Clinic and Administration Buildings also continued.
    • The contractor installed the fire rated backer board in the 5th floor room set aside in the Clinic Building for computers, network equipment and the telephone switch. 
    • The electrical contractor has had to remove the conduit they ran in the penthouse of the Clinic Building and re-run it.
    • BellSouth technician inspected the 5th floor room and has suggested some additional work to be done in preparation for reestablishing service to the buildings.
      • BellSouth and the representative for the manufacturer of the replacement telephone switch have been asked to provide written specifications describing their requirements so that the necessary work can be put under contract and completed.
  • The elevator contractor has completed the elevator controller replacement and is ready to start the electrical repairs for the elevators in the Dental Admin Bldg.
    • Work has continued in the elevator pits of the freight elevator, and elevators #1 and #2 in the Clinic Building.
    • The contractor has 3 elevators in the Clinic building close to being able to be certified. 
      • They have been asked to expedite the certification of at least two of the elevators, so that personnel (contractor and LSUHSC) will be able to use the elevators.
      • Smoke and heat detectors were installed in the elevator penthouses on both the Dental Clinic and Administration Buildings.
  • The State’s disposal contractor picked up the flooded grounds equipment from the Dental School back campus.
  • The contractor is working to change out four damaged electrical panels in the Clinic Building.
    • They shut down the power to the south west side of the Clinic Building to change out the 1st panel.
  • The contractor is preparing to remove the old support rods from the old chillers in the Dental Power Plant.
  • 120 volt power was run to the wet vac system in the basement of the Clinic Building.

Project to Make Temporary Repairs to 1542 Tulane Ave.:

  • The contractor continues to install electrical panels in the basement, run new conduit and install new lights in the basement of the building.
  • Jefferson Sprinkler has replaced the damaged heads on the fire suppression sprinkler system and repaired the broken pipes located in the old kitchen area in the basement of 1542 Tulane Ave.
  • The mechanical sub-contractor has been working to complete the installation of the new, submersible sump pumps in the basement.
    • The sumps in the basement are being cleaned out.
    • Old pipes connected to the original sump pumps are being removed and/or modified as necessary to allow for the installation of the new pumps.
    • The remaining new sump pumps were delivered.
  • The insulation contractor continues to insulate the new chilled water pipes in the basement.
  • Repairs to the building elevators continue.
    • The elevator contractor has been removing old damaged parts from the elevators and the elevator penthouse.
    • The contractor has assigned additional personnel to the job to speed up the completion of the repairs.
  • The contractor has completed pulling wires for the fire alarm panel in the security office.
  • The mechanical sub-contractor received the platform needed for the emergency generator installation.
  • LSUHSC Facility Services personnel removed file cabinets and boxes from various mechanical rooms throughout the building to provide the access requested by the contractor.

MEB Atrium Renovation:

  • The painting contractor completed the priming and painting of the majority of the new drywall.
    • The finish contractors prepared the ceilings for paint and the painting contractor completed the ceiling.
  • The electricians are hanging the supports for the new ceiling lights and installing the new light fixtures. A significant portion of the new fixtures are now in place.
  • The ceiling contractor reworked the acoustical ceiling grid so it would not affect the layout of the lights.
  • The wireless network access points have been installed above the ceiling tiles and grid.
  • The flooring contractor has removed all of the old vinyl tile flooring from the atrium and the elevator lobby in the Nursing/Allied Health Building.
    • The floors have been sanded and prepared for the installation of the new tile.
    • The tile installation is well underway. The new floor tile has been installed on the primary lower floor of the MEB atrium.
    • Tile must still be installed on the ramps, the upper floor section and the floor area where the vending machines are located.
  • Both of the knee walls that separate the elevated portion of the atrium on the Nursing/Allied Health side from the MEB side have been framed up, and dry walled.
    • The wiring (power and network) has been completed in both of the knee walls.


  • The Air Handling Unit (AHU) 4-2 in the Clinical Sciences Research Building, which supplies conditioned air to the North (Lions Eye) side of the 4th floor, has been operating with an undersized blower wheel while the new blower wheel was ordered. The new blower wheel was received and installed during the evening of February 2nd. 
  • Repeated testing of the elevators and the automatic transfer switch (ATS) in the Medical Education Building revealed that the ATS for the elevators needs to be replaced. The ATS is the device that controls the switching of power from normal power to emergency power. When there is a power loss and the generator is operating, the ATS for the elevators notifies the elevator controller what power is available so that the elevators can function accordingly. The ATS was replaced on Saturday, February 10th.

We encourage you to follow the details of our progress through the daily updates which are posted on the web site.