Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject:  Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #3
Posted: October 28, 2005

In our initial update of September 29th and in the next update posted on October 14th , we were able to share a number of steps that had been taken as part of the effort to bring the New Orleans facilities back on line.  Most of the work accomplished to date has focused on the initial clean up, making temporary repairs to reduce or eliminate additional damage to facilities (from water, mold growth, etc.), and to position us to begin working with architects, engineers and contractors to make the permanent repairs and to remediate the environmental issues found in our buildings.   Most of the highlights reported below will also fall into that category of work.

Some of the updates we have been reporting reflect temporary power and air conditioning being restored to various buildings.  We’ve also noted where selected elevators have been put back into operation for temporary use.  It is important to realize that these temporary repairs are not designed to allow buildings to be immediately re-occupied.  There are still a number of permanent repairs to be done and inspections to pass before we’ll be able to return to normal use of our buildings.  Specific needs are likely to vary significantly from building to building; depending on the severity of damage, the complexity of environmental issues present, and the nature of the repairs needed to restore each building to normal operations.  While specific timelines cannot yet be set forth for a particular building, we can describe the general “pattern” of work that will be followed as we move into the permanent repair phase of the recovery effort.

We will be working closely with the State’s Office of Facility Planning & Control (OFPC) to complete these major repair projects.  They have been charged by the Governor and the Commissioner of Administration to provide the primary oversight and coordination of the major repairs for all State agencies and institutions impacted by the two hurricanes.  They have promised to work to expedite processes as much as possible to reduce delays to accomplishing the needed work.  We have already received their permission to proceed with some selected smaller projects and we are encouraged by their cooperation and flexibility in working with us early on.  Here is a summary of the pattern that we currently anticipate following to accomplish the major building repairs:

  • Architect Selection.  Architect(s) are required by State law and regulation to do the design of major construction, repair and reconstruction projects.  This insures that current building codes, fire codes, etc. are taken into account and that final occupancy permits will be secured when the work is complete.  OFPC is using an expedited process to select architect(s) and the LSUHSC Facilities staff is already working on this task.

  • Develop Bid Package(s) For Building Repair.  The architect(s) selected will begin developing the bid packages for the repairs needed in each building.  LSUHSC and/or OFPC will provide the original “as built” drawings and specifications for each building which will assist in speeding up design.  LSUHSC will also have detailed descriptions of the damage assessment and needed repairs to share (produced thru a separate contract entered into early on with an architect & engineering firm), which should help to expedite this step.  The resulting bid packages will be used to solicit sealed bids and award the contract(s) for building repairs to contractor(s).

  • Develop Environmental Remediation Plans and Specifications.  Concurrent with the above, the selected architect(s) will also develop plans and specifications for the work needed to perform any environmental remediation in the flood damaged buildings.  LSUHSC has already provided the written reports of our environmental consultant to OFPC and these will be used in developing the remediation specifications.  These specifications will be used to solicit sealed bids and to award the remediation contact(s). 

  • Bid and Award Contract(s).  The bid packages for building repairs and the plans/specifications for the environmental remediation of each building will be made part of competitive bid packages.  (We anticipate that the environmental remediation work will be done separately from the building repairs.)  These packages will be advertised, bids received, and the contracts awarded.  LSUHSC envisions that bids may be issued and contracts awarded on a building by building basis, or in groups of buildings, as plans and specs are completed in accordance with the priorities that we have established.

  • Construction, Repair & Remediation.  Once a contact has been awarded, the contractor will begin work to complete the repairs required.  Time to complete the work will vary depending on the extent and complexity of the repairs.  The environmental remediation work will also be completed during this phase.

  • Final Inspections.  As a contractor completes the work for a building, the final inspections will be scheduled and completed.  Re-occupancy will require that the State Fire Marshal, building inspectors, the State elevator inspector, and an independent environmental consultant certify that the repair and environmental remediation work has been completed and the building may be occupied.

 Throughout the process described above, LSUHSC will be working closely with OFPC, the State’s Office of Risk Management (our insurance provider) and with FEMA to do all that we can to maximize the available reimbursements and to reduce the fiscal impact to the institution.  It is important to observe that we anticipate FEMA to be the predominant source of funds for most of our permanent repairs, and they are only authorized to reimburse the State for 90% of the eligible repair costs. 

Here are highlights of work that has been accomplished since our update from Friday, October 14th:

  • The contract with the architectural/engineering firms to assess the damage to the campus buildings is close to being completed.  All of their field work, inspections, etc., have been completed.  They have been working on the preparation of the detailed, written reports for each building.  Completed reports for some buildings are expected to be provided to LSUHSC shortly.  This information will be used to develop the specifications for the permanent repairs (see above), and will also help to document claims for reimbursement with ORM and FEMA.

  • The separate contract with our environmental consulting firm is also nearly complete.  All of their field work was completed some time ago and they recently delivered all of their reports in hard copy.  All that remains is to receive electronic copies of their reports.  LSUHSC has already provided copies of these reports to OFPC for their use in developing the remediation specifications (see above).

  • The temporary IT data center at the Department of Public Safety is stable and supporting key software applications.  Additional power supplies were needed to support the number of servers and related equipment required and the necessary parts were delivered and installed over the weekend of 10/8/05.  Additional software applications that had been waiting for the additional power supplies are now being brought on line.

  • All of the temporary window repairs have been completed so that any inclement weather will not damage the interiors of our buildings further.  A thorough survey of the buildings by LSUHSC Facilities staff was completed and damage to a few additional windows was discovered, reported and addressed.

  • All of the emergency (temporary) repairs to the roofs of campus buildings have now been completed.  Any permanent roof repairs will be made part of the permanent building repair contracts described above.

  • Ground water has continued to enter the basement spaces at 1542 Tulane, Stanislaus, and the Dental School.  Temporary, electric sump pumps that operate automatically were ordered and installed in Stanislaus Hall and the Dental School basement.  They are maintaining minimal water levels as desired.  Temporary power is not yet available to the pump at 1542 Tulane, so water levels are monitored daily and the gasoline powered pump is used to remove water when necessary. 

  • All of the temporary repairs to building electrical and air conditioning systems that were found to be feasible have been completed.  Temporary provision of basic electrical power and air conditioning has been provided as follows:

    • Resource Center (Floors 3-8)

    • Stanislaus Hall

    • Residence Hall

    • Nursing/Allied Health (Floors 2-10)

    • Lions Eye Center (Floors 2-9, and lab exhaust)

    • CSRB (Floor 2, and lab exhaust)

  • A contract has been awarded to provide temporary power (as needed) and emergency air conditioning to the Dental School Clinic and Administration buildings.  The contractor is on site …

  • The contractor hired to clean and restore the library collections at the Resource Center and the Dental School has completed the removal of the collection from the Dental School.  This will insure that no further damage to books and materials can occur.  The Resource Center has been determined to be stable enough (temporary A/C) that the collection can remain in place at this time.  The cleaning of the collection will be coordinated with the contract for environmental remediation of the Resource Center.  This will allow the books to be removed, inspected, cleaned as needed, and immediately returned to clean, environmentally-remediated spaces in the Library and avoid any risk of new contamination.

  • The contractor who was hired to power-wash the building exteriors and to clean/disinfect the basements and selected 1st floor rooms has completed the majority of the work.  All that remains is to wash down the basement spaces, once the movable equipment & furnishings have been removed (via a separate contract).

  • The assessment of the damage to elevators across the campus has begun.  The existing elevator maintenance contractors have had their contracts amended to cover the permanent repairs (with the approval of OFPC) and have begun their assessments.  As parts are made available, permanent repairs will begin.  The contractors have also assisted in making temporary repairs to get selected elevators in buildings operating.

  • Implementation of the plans for providing temporary housing in Baton Rouge for students, faculty and staff continue to progress.  Room assignments on the FinnJet ship continue being made for faculty and staff.  The initial 100+ house trailers are projected to have electricity connected and be made available for occupancy by the end of next week.  Students with children who requested temporary housing are being accommodated first.

  • The contract to clean selected areas of campus buildings has been issued and work has started.  Bathrooms, kitchens and public spaces are covered by the contract.  (Other building areas will be cleaned by LSUHSC staff.)  Cleaning began in the Residence Hall and work is progressing quickly.

  • Movable equipment and furnishings in basements and 1st floors has been assessed by LSUHSC staff and the contract for the removal and disposal of the items that are not salvageable has been awarded.  (Items that may still be usable will be removed, given an initial cleaning and stored off site until they can be assessed further.)  Work under the contract is expected to begin early in the week of October 31st.

  • The permanent repair/rebuilding of domestic water pumps in three of the downtown campus buildings has begun.  Pumps have been removed from the MEB and the Resource Center and are being worked on.  When repairs on those pumps are complete, they will be reinstalled and the remaining pumps will be removed for repair.

With much of the emergency and temporary work being concluded, and the permanent repairs requiring additional time for planning and bidding before contracts can be awarded, we expect that there may be fewer updates in the days and weeks to come.  But as meaningful events occur, we will continue to keep you abreast of the progress being made.