Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #34
Posted: January 22, 2007

The New Year has come and the recovery efforts are continuing at full speed.  Repairs to the electrical service to the various parking lots are well underway on the downtown campus.  The initiative to make some enhancements to the MEB atrium and 3rd floor corridors (unrelated to the storm) is progressing well.

LSUHSC Safety staff and an environmental contractor completed the identification, removal and disposal of chemicals that had remained on the 1st floor of the Dental School Clinic Building.  The temporary dehumidifiers have been turned off so that we can determine the effectiveness of the temporary chillers and boilers in controlling the internal air quality.  We expect to remove the dehumidifiers shortly.  We are close to having the freight elevator operating in automatic mode and parts for the repairs of the other elevators have been arriving and are being installed. 

Specifications for the duct cleaning and environmental remediation projects at the Dental School are under review and should be finalized in the near future and the bids put out on the street.  The third party assessment of the flood damaged boiler has been completed and FEMA is reviewing the report.  Various punch list items are being addressed by the general contractor.  The 2nd phase of the incinerator repair project has been completed.  Only the repair of flood damaged fire brick remains before the unit will be fully functional.

At 1542 Tulane Ave. the contractor continues to install additional electrical components necessary to fully power up and light the building.  The elevator contractor has been busy making a series of repairs to components of the building elevators as parts arrive.  A few new change order proposals have been priced out by the contractor and are now being considered for eligibility by FEMA.  We also continue to discover minor but important items that were damaged by the storm as building systems are tested and those are being addressed as quickly as possible.

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 mechanical sub-contractor is working on the exhaust fans on the roof.  They are checking the operation of the fans, and replacing belts and bad fans as necessary. 
  • LSUHSC Safety personnel and Veolia Environmental Services worked for approximately a week to remove old chemicals from spaces on the 1st floor of the Dental School Clinic Building; identifying the chemicals and preparing them for proper handling and disposal.
  • The new basement doors for the Clinic elevators have arrived and all have been installed.
    • The freight elevator will be ready to operate in automatic mode in the near future.
    • The elevator contractor is working on the repairs to the 1st floor call buttons and to the rollers on the doors in the basement of the Clinic Building.
    • The installation of the elevator doors on the 1st floor of the Dental Clinic Building has begun.
  • The temporary dehumidification units that have been operating at the Dental School were shut down late last week at the request of LSUHSC. This allowed the LSUHSC Facility Services staff to assess the capability of the new temporary chillers and the repaired building systems to maintain an acceptable humidity level in the buildings prior to instructing the contractor to remove the dehumidification equipment.
    • Periodic readings have been taken throughout the buildings on a daily basis.  The initial readings suggest that the interior air is being well controlled.
    • If the readings continue to show adequate control, the contractor will be instructed to remove the dehumidification equipment.
  • The mechanical subcontractor wired the motors to the control panel for the wet vac system in the basement of the Clinic Building. 
    • The system was started and flushed out several times.
    • A significant amount of post-storm debris was removed from the system.
  • The contractor has been identifying the switches and wires in the flood damaged motor control center that will be used in the installation of the replacement unit. 
  • Preliminary work necessary to re-establish telephone and network connectivity to the Dental School has begun.
    • The contractor has delivered some of the materials needed to install a new back board and supply electrical power to the location where BellSouth will terminate their trunk lines and fiber optic (network) cable. 
    • Boe-Tel Communications has surveyed the site to provide a quote on the cabling necessary to install and connect a new telephone switch.
  • The mechanical subcontractor worked on the steam condensate line in the Dental School Power Plant at the platform level.
    • They also found a crack in a 4" vacuum line in the Faculty Practice area on the 1st floor of the Clinic building when they started up the unit.
  • The water hoses that connected the chilled water supply and the return lines to the emergency chiller at the Dental School have been removed. 
  • The transformer that had been serving the temporary chiller outside the Power House is being disconnected.
  • The manufacturer of the incinerator at the Dental School completed the Phase II repairs. 
    • Only the repairs to the fire brick that was damaged by flood waters remain to be priced and completed.
  • The formal inspection and assessment of the flood damaged boilers has been completed and the report has been forwarded to FEMA for review.  FEMA’s initial comments have been returned and a joint visit to the site by the assessment company representative and the FEMA team is being coordinated.

Project to Make Temporary Repairs to 1542 Tulane Ave.:

  • The installation of new, temporary lighting in the basement of 1542 Tulane Ave. is an ongoing effort. 
    • The contractor is installing electrical panels for the 13 – 8 switchgear and pulling wires for lighting and switches in the basement.
    • New conduit and wiring is being run to supply power to the new fixtures.
    • Conduit and wiring is also being installed to connect the various equipment starters that are located on the 1st floor.
    • The old, flood damaged conduit and wiring that has been abandoned in the basement is being removed.   
    • The old transformers were removed from the parking lot at 1542 Tulane Ave.  
    • The contractor received 2 pieces of electrical switchgear for the outside generator.
    • They also installed new electrical panels in the basement to service the elevators.
    • The contractor received two new transfer switches for the emergency generators located at 1542 Tulane Ave. and they are installing them at this time.
  • The elevator contractor continues to make repairs to elevator equipment located in the penthouse located in the rear of the building.
    • He is also removing the damaged elevator controls so that they can be replaced.
  • The mechanical sub-contractor is removing old pipes in the basement that have been replaced and abandoned.
    • They also received the four sumps pumps that will be installed in the basement.
    • The subcontractor found two drain lines capped off.  These were apparently damaged by the clean-up contractor and then capped.  When the lines were traced out, they were found to be serving two sinks on the 3rd floor.  These drains will need to be replaced.
  • Steam was not restored to the building recently as originally planned due to the discovery of a flood damaged steam valve, and flood damaged pop-off and steam traps.  Repairs will be made shortly.

MEB Atrium Renovation:

  • Work on the enhancement project in the MEB atrium and the 3rd floor hallways is continuing.
    • The completion of the work in the 3rd floor corridors was waiting for the delivery of the remaining new light fixtures.
    • The remaining lighting fixtures have recently been delivered and are being installed.
    • The exit signs have been installed in the 3rd floor corridors of the MEB.
    • The sprinklers located in the ceilings of the 3rd floor corridors were temporarily moved so the last of the new light fixtures can be installed. 
  • The installation of drywall on the atrium fur downs and walls is well underway.    
    • The contractor was asked by the architects to install angle iron bracing on the ceiling beams to provide additional support for the fur downs.   
    • 80% or more of the sheet rock is now installed and is being taped, floated and prepped for painting. 
    • The remaining sheet rock installation is waiting for the frames for the new light fixtures to be installed.
    • The fire sprinklers that were covered by the new fur-downs have been lowered so the contractors can finish those areas.
    • Approximately 80% of the new grid for the ceiling tile has been installed.
  • The contractor installed new fire alarm speakers in the MEB 3rd Floor corridors, and LSUHSC personnel tested them to insure that they were all operating properly. 

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Leaking water valves were discovered on two floors of the Medical Education Building.  There was a domestic water outage scheduled during the evening of January 10th so that the valves could be replaced. 
  • An additional problem was found with the de-ionized water in the Clinical Sciences Research Building. The system has had some additional work done on it and it is not suitable for use.  Users in the building will be advised when the system is cleared for use.
  • A number of valves and faucets in the Residence Hall are leaking.  A domestic water shut down has been scheduled for the evening of January 25th to allow repairs to be completed.
We encourage you to follow the details of our progress through the daily updates which are posted on the web site.