Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #17
Posted: May 27, 2006

During the three weeks since the last update was published, two critical buildings have re-opened!   St. Stanislaus Hall, one of the two student residence facilities, reopened on Friday, May 19th as the few remaining issues in that building were successfully resolved.  The Residence Hall began accepting students on Friday, May 26th as the LSUHSC Facilities and Auxiliaries staff pushed hard to complete the final cleaning and to get replacement refrigerators installed in rooms to be occupied.   With these two milestones reached, we have our student housing back to full capacity in time for the return of students from the Schools of Allied Health, Medicine and Nursing to the downtown campus as they prepare for their summer classes.  Just nine months after Hurricane Katrina forced the institution to temporarily relocate all of its classes and operations, the majority of the downtown campus functions have returned.

The work in the Resource Center has continued to progress well and plans are to be able to reoccupy the upper floors around the beginning of June.  The environmental remediation work has been completed throughout the building.  Work on the fire alarm system is largely complete and the few remaining items should be completed shortly.  The carpet replacement in the Library has been substantially completed and the re-shelving of the Library collection is nearing completion.   While two passenger elevators have been certified for some time now, work on the final repairs to the remaining elevators is well underway.  The State Fire Marshal has been asked to inspect the building on Wednesday, May 31st.

If progress continues as hoped, we will have all of the downtown campus buildings (except for 1542 Tulane) opened and back in use by the beginning of June.  As additional buildings come back into service, we wish to remind you that we have a very limited number of building maintenance and custodian staff.  The understanding, patience and support of all faculty, staff and students of this reality is appreciated.

The planned improvements to selected parking lots are proceeding.  The resurfacing of the Residence Hall lot and the improvements to Student Lot #2 and #3 are substantially complete.  All that remains is completing the installation of wheel stops.  Repairs to the parking lot access control systems have also begun.

The substantial temporary repairs to the Clinic and Administration Buildings at the Dental School continue at a rapid pace.  Two contractors have received contracts; one is addressing the buildings’ electrical systems and the 2nd is responsible for the other critical mechanical systems.  Both contractors have been instructed to complete their work by June 30th, although selected equipment items needed may not be available from manufacturers within that timeframe.    Regardless, the contractors are doing all that they can to meet this aggressive schedule.  Details on their progress are provided below.

The environmental remediation work has been underway at 1542 Tulane for approximately three weeks and is on schedule so far.  The contract for temporary repairs to the building electrical and key mechanical systems at 1542 Tulane has recently been bid and awarded.  This contract will provide electrical power to the upper floors and to help stabilize conditions within the building.

Here are highlights of work that has been accomplished since our last update was posted on Friday, May 5th.

  • The work on the 2nd contract for environmental remediation contract addressing the Nursing/Allied Health Building, the Residence Hall, Stanislaus Hall and the Resource Center has been underway since mid-March and work has been completed in all of the buildings.  The new tile installation is substantially complete, the new tile is being sealed and the finishing work is underway.
  • Work on the 3rd environmental remediation contract addressing the balance of the buildings and facilities on the downtown campus is underway.  The contractor has started the remediation work in the basement, 7th and 8th floor of 1542 Tulane Ave.  The basement is expected to require the majority of the 45 day contract to complete, while work on the upper floors should average approximately 10 days per floor.  While remediation is underway, access to the basement, 1st floor and the upper floor(s) being cleaned will be restricted.
  • The accelerated pace of repairs to building elevators continue. Elevators that have been repaired, inspected and certified for passenger use include:
    • All of the Stanislaus Hall elevators.
    • All five of the elevators in the Lion’s/LSU Clinic Building.   
    • The MEB elevators. 
    • The elevators in the Residence Hall.
    • Elevators 3, 4 & 5 in the Nursing/Allied Health Building.   
    • Two passenger elevators in the Resource Center.  
  • The temporary repairs to the School of Dentistry Clinic and Administration buildings continue.       
    • The temporary chiller and generators are on line at the Dental School Clinic and Administration buildings and the buildings are being cooled. 
    • Demolition of flood damaged building materials related to the environmental remediation is well underway in the basements (estimated to be 90% complete) and on the 1st floors of both the Clinic and Administration buildings (estimated to be more than 50% complete).
    • Installation of critical pipe insulation in the basement is complete.
    • The electrical contractor is continuing to progress with the work on a temporary electrical power feeds and the installation of temporary conduit, etc.
      • The temporary emergency generator is in place and ready for operation once the connections are completed.
      • The transfer switch and transformer for normal building power is in place. 
      • All of the tap boxes have been received and all but one has been installed.
      • All five of the buss ducts providing power to the upper floors are powered up.
      • Temporary power from the generator is now available in the building.
      • The temporary switch gear has been delivered and installation is approximately 50% complete.
    • The air compressor has been received on site. 
    • Demolition of housekeeping pad is well underway – estimated to be 70% complete.
    • The domestic water pumps are installed and operating at the Dental School and the two main buildings have partial water pressure.  (The City has been notified of the low pressure to the buildings.)  Domestic water is still off while isolation valves being installed to isolate damaged sinks on 7th floor.
    • Concrete pads removed for air compressors in Power Plant.
    • Housekeeping pads for temporary equipment being placed in the basement are being poured – 50% complete.
    • Valves for CHW system have been installed.  The system is being checked for leaks and will then be refilled.
    • The floor is being leveled for the channel line to be poured to support the temporary building switchgear.
    • A PO is being issued to empty flooded elevator pits in anticipation of repairs to begin to the building elevators. 
    • The temporary boiler has been delivered to the site and installation has begun.
  • Permanent repairs to building windows on the downtown campus have been bid and the contract has been awarded.  The contractor is now on site and beginning work.
  • A bid package for the permanent repairs to the MEB Lecture Rooms, the Gross Anatomy Lab, the Morgue, and the Multidisciplinary Labs has been awarded, with the assistance of the Office of Facility Planning and Control.   The pre-construction meeting was held on 5/25 and the work will begin on 5/30.  The contract requires completion of the work within 45 days.
  • Contracts have been awarded for the repairs to various types of pumps to supply water and heat to the Residence Hall, Stanislaus Hall, the MEB, CSRB, Lion’s Eye Center, Nursing/Allied Health Building, and Resource Center.  The following is the status of progress in each building:
    • Stanislaus Hall: 
      • The sump pumps have been installed and are operating.
      • The chilled water system has been refilled and air conditioning is available in the building again. 
      • City water pumps have been delivered and have been installed and are operating. 
      • The domestic hot water pumps are installed and operating normally.
    • CSRB:
      • Domestic hot and cold water pumps have been installed and are operating.
      • The heating hot water pumps have been installed and have been tested.
    • MEB:
      • The 3 boiler feed water pumps have been installed and are now operating.
      • The two chemical feed water pumps have been installed and are operating.
      • The brine pumps in the MEB have been installed and are operating.
      • The heating hot water pumps have been installed and successfully tested.
      • We are still waiting on receipt of the rebuilt condensate return pumps. 
      • The domestic hot water return pump has been removed for testing/evaluation.
    • Nursing/Allied Health:
      • The hot water recirculating pumps have been installed.
      • The city water pumps have been installed.
      • The domestic hot water pumps have been installed and are operating in the Nursing/Allied Health Building.
    • Lion’s/LSU Clinic:
      • The hot water recirculating pumps have been installed. 
    • Resource Center:
      • Two hot water recirculating pumps have been installed and are operating.
      • The domestic hot water return pump has been installed and is operating.
  • Contracts to repair the fire alarm systems and their components in downtown campus buildings have been awarded to the vendors who currently provide annual maintenance to the systems.  This approach will insure that the systems can be re-certified and remain under the existing maintenance contract.  Several of the systems have been repaired and inspected and work continues in the remaining buildings. 
    • CSRB, Lion’s/LSU Clinic Building and the MEB:  Completed and inspected. 
    • Stanislaus Hall: A temporary occupancy permit has been issued and the list of deficiencies is being addressed and will be resolved shortly.
    • Nursing/Allied Health:  A temporary occupancy permit has been issued and the identified deficiencies will be addressed within the next few weeks.
    • Residence Hall: The repairs have been substantially completed.  Final repairs have been made to door closers and the State Fire Marshal has inspected the building and approved reoccupancy.
    • Resource Center:  Only minor issues remain to be addressed by the contractor and they are expected to be resolved shortly.  The State Fire Marshal has been asked to inspect the building on May 31st.    
  • The contract for the repairs to the emergency generators at the CSRB, MEB, Lion’s Eye Center, Nursing/Allied Health Bldg., Resource Center and the Residence Hall has been awarded.  The following is the most recent status of the repairs:
    • The repairs have been completed on the roof mounted generator at the MEB.  This provides emergency power to the majority of the researcher’s freezers and walk in coolers in that building.
    • CSRB – the generator has been repaired, fueled, and is ready for use as needed. 
    • Lion’s/LSU Clinic Building – the generator has been repaired, fueled, and is ready for use as needed. 
    • Residence Hall – Both of the emergency generators for the Residence Hall have been installed and are being connected to the building’s electrical systems.
    • The rebuilt stators for the MEB, Resource Center and Nursing/Allied Health have been delivered.  Installations are complete at the Nursing/Allied Health and Resource Center buildings and the MEB installation should be completed early next week.  The electrical connections to the respective  building systems must still be made.
    • The contractor has inspected all of the automatic transfer switches (ATS) in each of the buildings to determine what repairs are needed. 
      • The Nursing/Allied Health Building will require a shutdown of electrical power to the building to work on ATS.  This will be scheduled. 
  • After experiencing 2 short term power outages in the CSRB, the switch gear manufacturer’s representative was requested to perform further tests of the switchgear to determine the need for additional temporary repairs.    
    • With switchgear elements tested and calibrated and all CSRB installed systems isolated or tested, testing of the CSRB internal electrical feeders was undertaken. These tests revealed 3 damaged electrical feeders. They included the feeders for the Lake and River side riser feeders (one 200 foot and one 50 foot run which provides lighting and receptacle power) and a 250 foot run for the Lake side Air Conditioning and Exhaust units.
    • Work to replace the damage feeders commenced Tuesday, May 9, 2006 with the removal of existing 500 MCM (about a ¾ inch copper cable) electrical cables for the Air Conditioning and Exhaust Feeder. This feeder is made of three sets of 4 cables (3 hot and one neutral) run through three 4 inch conduit. During attempts to remove the first (and damaged) set of cables that make up this feeder, the cable became stuck.
    • During an emergency outage on Wednesday, May 10, 2006, the contractor and LSUHSC Facilities staff removed the stuck cable and revealed a 4 foot threaded rod in the duct, probably left from construction of the CSRB. This threaded rod, which may have damaged the cable during original installation, and the introduction of water to the conduit by Katrina flooding, are one of the suspected sources of our electrical problems. Damage to the other feeders is yet to be determined. Since removal of this damaged cable from the electrical system, there has been no loss of power to the CSRB.
    • An independent engineering analysis concluded that all cables of the affected feeders, not just damaged cables, should be replaced, and a contract was awarded on Friday, May 12, 2006, to accomplish the work. 
    • Work began on Saturday, May 13th to replace all the building electrical feeders.
      • Work will result in testing, isolation and removal of damaged cables of the CSRB riser feeders (750 MCM cable is about 1 inch diameter copper or about 5 pounds per foot meaning each set weighs about 20 pound per foot). Removal of damaged cables from each feeder will also establish the baseline for the amount of time needed to pull and replace the remainder of the cables.
      • By the end of the day on 5/13, the contractor finished pulling the A riser feeder; one conduit of 4 cables. Pulling and preparation took about 5 hours.  The conduit carrying the feeder cables was not damaged and no surprises were found. This was the faulty set of cables for this feeder, so we are in an improved position even though much work is left to do.  Time did not allow the contractor to address the B feeder.
      • Additional outages will be necessary to complete the removal and reinstallation of remaining affected feeder cables. All work will be done evenings and weekends. No more than half of the building will be without power and air conditioning during these outages.  
  • The replacement of 20 year old carpeting in the Resource Center is proceeding smoothly.  The installation of new carpeting is substantially complete on all of the Library floors and the re-shelving of the Ische collection is nearing completion.    
  • A contract has been issued for repairs to the medical air compressors, vacuum pumps and water purifiers at the CSRB, Lion’s Eye Center and the MEB.  An updated status follows:
    • The damaged medical air and vacuum pumps and the damaged water purifiers have been removed from the CSRB and the Lion’s/LSU Clinic Building.   
    • The medical air and vacuum pumps have been installed at the CSRB.
    • In the MEB, the contractor has removed the medical air and vacuum pumps.  The contactor is still working to remove the housekeeping pad in the MEB.  The vacuum pumps have been delivered and installation will begin early next week.
    • The preparations for the installation of the new or repaired pumps at the Lion’s/LSU Clinic are complete.
  • Upgrades to the Seminar Rooms on the 3rd floor of the MEB have been underway for some time.  New carpeting has been laid, new and improved lighting has been installed, the old chalk boards have been replaced with new marker boards, and wireless network connectivity is being installed.  These new teaching facilities should be available for use by the students who begin their next semester on the New Orleans campus.
  • The Roman Street Parking Garage emergency power panel, which controls the electricity to the 1st floor lighting and emergency lights in the stairwells, has been repaired and is re-energized.
  • The replacement of carpet and tile in both Medical Center Stores and Campus Office Stores has been completed.  Both stores are in the process of moving their operations back into these spaces on the 2nd floor of the MEB.  
  • The exhaust fans powering the fume hoods in the MEB are now working.  The Safety Department has begun to certify the hoods in the building.
  • LSUHSC Facility Services is now located in their permanent offices on the 2nd floor of MEB, Suite 2110. The work order system is up and running and can be accessed through the LSUHSC website. Only the Downtown Campus work order section is attended. The phone number is the same, 568-7716.

Please continue to follow our progress through our Daily Updates that are also available on the web site.