Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #28
Posted: October 27, 2006

The design teams have been asked to suspend most of their active work on planning for the permanent repairs and the related 406 Hazard Mitigation proposals, while a number of major policy matters are resolved by the new FEMA leadership. These policy matters will materially impact on how the design process will move forward and what components of the project costs will be eligible for reimbursement. We are cautiously optimistic that a number of the policy matters will be resolved in ways that will benefit the plans for rebuilding the Health Sciences Center. In the interim, the design teams are refocusing their efforts on the "scope alignment" process; where they develop and refine their damage assessments and reconcile them to the FEMA estimates. In some instances, the scope alignment has resulted in significant increases in the damage assessments and the value placed on the needed repairs, so the efforts have been paying off.


The recent discoveries of additional mold growth in parts of the Dental School Clinic and Administration buildings have consumed a significant portion of our time and the time of the architects and engineers who are responsible for the repair projects at the Dental School campus. The Office of Facility Planning and Control has worked closely with the team to rapidly develop and implement measures to protect the buildings from additional damage and to complete the environmental remediation of the interior spaces. A room by room environmental assessment has been completed, and the consultant is developing the bid specifications for a new remediation contract. The on-site contractors are rapidly assessing the building HVAC system controls on upper floors, so that necessary repairs can be completed. Portable dehumidifiers and HEPA filters have been brought on site and are operating within the critical portions of the building to help curb any further mold growth while the more comprehensive repairs are rapidly completed. More specific information is available below.


At 1542 Tulane Ave., there have recently been several change orders reviewed and approved. Work on these new tasks will begin shortly. The change orders are focused on completing some additional work that will move us closer to being able to use the upper floors of the building. Additional change orders are anticipated to be necessary as power is returned to the building, the contractors complete their work and further assessments can then be made by the architects & engineers.


While not related to the hurricane, the project to improve the lighting at the Student Parking lots on the downtown campus has progressed well. Inclement weather has recently slowed some of the work, but the contractor continues to take advantage of breaks in the weather to move forward. A bid is also on the street via the Office of Facility Planning and Control to make needed repairs to the electrical systems that feed the various parking lot control systems at lots around campus. Bids will be opened next week, and we hope to see a contract awarded shortly.


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


Dental School Temporary Repairs

  • Phase One Updates:
    • The Phase 1 electrical contractor has been on site making a list of materials needed to connect the remaining light fixtures on the 1st floor.
      • He has recently begun the task of illuminating additional fixtures on the 1st floor.
    • The electrical contractor is also making plans to begin working on the condensate & chilled water pump motors and the motor control center.
      • The chilled water & condensate pump motors have been removed for shop repairs.
      • Temporary emergency repairs of the Motor Control Center (MCC) are scheduled to begin next week; these temporary repairs are necessary to "properly" operate the temp chillers and HVAC system until the new MCC is delivered & installed.
  • Phase Two Updates:
    • The Phase 2 electrical contractor has been on site finishing some punch-list items (i.e., testing the dock lighting, clean-up of debris & materials, etc.).
    • The mechanical sub-contractor has been working to completing the identification and labeling of the remaining sewerage & drain pipes.
  • Elevator Repair Updates:
    • The call station buttons and lights arrived for the Dental School elevators, but will not be installed until the hall doors arrive. No revised delivery date has been given for the new doors
  • Mold Remediation Updates:
    • The environmental consultant has completed his detailed, room by room survey of the Clinic and Administration Buildings. Based on this work, he is preparing a bid solicitation that will be used to secure an environmental remediation contractor.
    • Efforts to stabilize the buildings air quality so that additional mold growth will be inhibited have continued.
      • The Phase 2 environmental remediation sub-contractor set-up negative-air machines and portable dehumidifiers on the upper floors of the Dental School buildings to help arrest additional mold growth.
      • The Phase 2 mechanical contractor has begun checking all of the building Air Handling Units for proper operation. This will help to insure that all areas of the building are receiving proper amounts of chiller and/or heated air as the temporary chillers and boilers are brought on line.
        • The inspections in the Clinic Building were completed on 10/25/06.
        • The inspections in the Administration building began on 10/26/06 and the work was completed on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
      • The contractor is making a check-list of all the items that require repair/replacement in the air handling unit rooms in both the Clinic and Administration Buildings. As the design team and LSUHSC review and approve the lists, the contractor will order parts and complete repairs.
      • The contractor is identifying all of the thermostats and actuators that require repair/replacement in the two buildings. Over 90 thermostats were found to be malfunctioning in the Clinic Building alone. By the end of today, 12 more thermostats were identified in the Administration Building on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
      • The various sources where exterior (unconditioned) air can enter the building have been identified and are being closed or sealed as necessary.
      • Random sampling of the humidity within the buildings indicates that the levels have been reduced to a point that additional mold growth should not be occurring. Periodic testing will continued until the temporary repairs to chillers, boilers and the associated motor control center are completed, the AHU’s have been repaired or verified as operating properly, and the thermostats replaced as necessary.


1542 Tulane Ave. Temporary Power Project:

  • Entergy powered up their electrical vault in the basement at 1542 Tulane on 10/16/06.
    • The power from the vault to the switch gear was tested and determined to be good.
  • The contractor powered up the switchgear and the rest of the equipment installed as part of the Temporary Power Project on 10/17/06.
    • They began the process of going throughout the building; verifying that the electrical panels they intended to supply power to now have electricity.
    • The 1000KV transformer was left on to provide temporary power in the basement.
    • The fourth floor riser and the 480KV transformer that powers the panels on the upper floors were turned off during the evening hours and turned back on during the days, so that the contractor could test/check the many electrical panels on upper floors of the building.
    • The testing of the electrical panels throughout the upper floors of the building continued throughout the entire week and was completed during the following week.
  • The small generator that had been powering temporary working lights in the basement was removed. The lights are now being powered via the switch gear.
  • The environmental remediation contractor returned to 1542 Tulane Ave. earlier this week to clean out the drains and sump pits in the basement.
    • The intrusion of ground water into the basement has continued to be a problem for the contractor. Temporary, manually controlled sump pumps are operated daily, but the drains and sump pits also appeared to be clogged or restricted in some areas.
    • The remediation contractor (also licensed as a Master Plumber) is using a snake to muck out debris and pressurizing the lines to remove trapped debris.
  • Several of the proposed change orders to address additional work required to bring the building up to standards necessary for re-occupation of upper floors have been approved recently. Work should begin on some of these change orders in the near future, while others may have longer lead times on needed items.
    • Additional change orders are anticipated to be necessary to address damage that has not yet been identified, while the temporary repairs to the basic building systems were being completed.


Central Utility Plant VFD and Pump Repairs:

  • Now that the 2nd pump and VFD have been repaired and are operational, the remaining work on the VFD and pump that were repaired last fall is underway.
    • The contractor ran a raceway from the filter to the VFD.
    • The junction box that was previously installed over the VFD was moved to the filter. Connections were made from there and run to the VFD.
    • The sub-contractor came out to correct the amp output reading on the VFD. They will return on Friday to finish making the correction.
    • The new filter has been connected to the VFD and pump.
  • The test and startup for the refurbished VFD and motor and new filter was completed on 10/26/06. 
    • Entergy was able to access the Energy Management System and they were able to command the chilled water pump VFD.
    • They were able to shut down the refurbished motor and start up the original motor.  This motor will run until next week to check that it is fully operational. 
    • Then the refurbished motor will be started up again to run full time and the original motor will be used for backup. 
    • Corrections to the amp output monitor will be made to the new VFD while the older motor is being tested. 
    • When the test has been completed, the refurbished motor and new equipment will be put back into service.


Student Parking Lot Lighting Project:

  • The contractor finished backfilling the trench that contains the electrical conduit in Student Lot #3.
    • They are running wire from each light pole to the distribution panel. This work is substantially complete in this lot.
    • They repaired a section of conduit that was found to be damaged.
  • The contractor has been digging the trench that will carry the conduit in Student Lot #2. 
    • As the trench is being dug, they are running the conduit and backfilling the trench as the conduit is laid.
    • Approximately 50% of the trenching has been completed.
  • The new light poles for the Student Parking Lot Project were delivered early last week.
    • Plans to begin pouring the new concrete bases for the new light poles at Lot #3 has been delayed for several days due to heavy rains and wet soil conditions. When the weather permits, this process will begin.
  • The new circuit breaker panels have been delivered.