From: Ronnie Smith,
Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #24
Posted: September 4, 2006
A year has now passed since Hurricane Katrina struck the
Gulf Coast and fundamentally changed our lives and the institution we
serve. As we have wrestled with the daily challenges of the recovery
effort, we may have occasionally lost sight of all that has been
accomplished. So we will begin this update by looking back over the past
12 months, at least briefly, so that we might appreciate how far we have
come since those difficult early days.
- August 25, 2005. Hurricane Katrina is entering the Gulf of
Mexico. Although projections show it heading to the panhandle of
Florida, LSUHSC-New Orleans implements some critical emergency
procedures. Payroll staff gear up and work late to complete the upcoming
payrolls that would potentially be impacted. On Saturday, the wire
transfers for all direct deposits are confirmed, so faculty and staff
are assured of having funds deposited into individual’s accounts on
time. Checks are printed and are transported to Shreveport by the N.O.
Payroll staff who evacuates to Shreveport, where they plan to operate
remotely if necessary. The Computer Services staff begins a complete
series of backups of all the production systems. Back up tapes are
transported by the core IT staff who evacuate to Shreveport to support
- August 29, 2005. Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast. The eye comes
ashore just east of the City of New Orleans. As people go to bed that
evening, it is believed that the city has avoided serious damage. Water
is standing in the streets around the campus, but depths are only 1.5
feet or so.
- August 30, 2005. In the early morning hours, LSUHSC staff who
remained in campus buildings report that water has risen dramatically.
The tops of stop signs are being covered and water is entering the 1st
floor spaces. Emergency generators are being inundated and emergency
power is expected to be lost shortly. The initial assessments of the
major buildings on both the downtown and Dental School campuses will
later reveal that extensive damage has been done to every major building
and their critical systems (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, elevators,
- September 2, 2005. Approximately 180 LSUHSC employees and family
members are successfully evacuated from the campus. All are safe and in
reasonably good health.
- September 9, 2006. Shortly after the levee and flood wall
breaches are confirmed, the IT staff begins ordering, receiving and
installing servers, network equipment, storage devices and back up
systems for a complete data center/hot site at the Department of Public
Safety in Baton Rouge. Staff members are mobilized so that work
continues 24 hours a day. On the 9th, a payroll for
approximately 14,000 classified employees is successfully completed.
Additional core administrative and clinical systems continue to be
restored and put into production over the next few weeks.
- September 26, 2005. Classes that were interrupted by the storm
are resumed in a variety of temporary facilities in Baton Rouge. A
remarkably high percentage of the students enrolled prior to the storm
- October 8, 2006. Faculty, staff and students begin to board the
FinnJet ship which is docked across the river from Baton Rouge in Port
Allen. Breakfast and dinner are provided. Wireless Internet connectivity
is established on board. Bus service is provided to selected locations
in Baton Rouge to assist those who do not have personal transportation
available. Before the ship departs in early June 2006, nearly 1,000
individuals will have been provided a place to stay in support of the
temporary LSUHSC facilities established in Baton Rouge.
- October 13, 2005. Through the efforts of key LSUHSC Facilities
staff and a variety of contracts, temporary electrical power and limited
air conditioning is returned to most of the downtown campus buildings.
This helps to slow further damage to the interiors from mold. Damage to
the main buildings on the Dental School campus and to 1542 Tulane Ave.
is so severe to make any temporary repairs and restoration impossible.
- November 21, 2005. The State Architectural Selection Board
selects the design team (architects & engineers) to design, specify and
oversee the repairs to the downtown campus. Work begins immediately to
design the environmental remediation contracts that are critical to the
re-occupation and use of the buildings.
- December 14, 2005. The Selection Board selects the design team
to design, specify and oversee the repairs to the Dental School campus.
Work begins promptly to design the large, temporary repair projects that
will allow the re-occupancy of the upper floors of the Clinic and Admin
buildings as quickly as possible. (It will take until early March, 2006
before environmental issues are resolved and the basement spaces can be
safely entered by workers who are not wearing personal protective
- January 17, 2006. The upper floors of the CSRB are re-opened.
Elevators are not yet certified and water pressure is too low on floors
above the 4th floor to use the restrooms, but researchers are
able to return and restart their research.
- March 6, 2006. The upper floors of the Medical Education
Building and the Lion’s/LSU Clinic Building reopen. Elevators are not
- April 7, 2006. Two large contracts for temporary repairs to the
Dental School Clinic building, Administration building and the Power
Plant are issued. The specifications are focused on restoring use of the
upper floors of the buildings; similar to the patterns followed for
downtown campus buildings.
- April 21, 2006. The environmental remediation of 1542 Tulane
begins. Significant environmental issues in the basement prevent the
initiation of temporary repairs to the building electrical/mechanical
- May 1, 2006. The upper floors of the Nursing/Allied Health
Building are reopened.
- May 19, 2006. Stanislaus Hall reopens and students begin
returning to on-campus housing.
- May 26, 2006. The Residence Hall reopens and begins to accept
- June 1, 2006. The Resource Center reopens and core
administrative units return to the city.
- June 9, 2006. The environmental remediation at 1542 Tulane
progresses to the extent that the contractor making temporary repairs to
the electrical/mechanical systems can begin.
- August 10, 2006. Repairs to Lecture Room B in the Medical
Education Building are completed and classes begin in that space.
- August 16, 2006. Repairs to the Gross Anatomy Lab, the Swing Lab
and the Morgue are completed. Students begin their studies in these
The challenges faced by the institution during the past 12
months have been daunting. It has been the untiring efforts, perseverance
and dedication of staff and faculty that have brought us this far.
Representatives from the State’s Office of Facility Planning & Control,
the Office of Risk Management and FEMA have stood with us and supported us
throughout. And the work continues …
The environmental remediation contractor has completed
work in 1542 Tulane Ave. Results from the final air monitoring have
allowed faculty and staff to enter the upper floors of the building once
again, through a controlled access process.
The food service operation in the Medical Education
Building will reopen on Monday, September 11, 2006. Hours of operation
will be 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Catering services will
also resume with the opening of the facility. The coffee kiosk in the
Atrium is also scheduled to resume operations sometime later in the same
week, but not later than Monday, September 18th. Its hours of
operation will be from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Another parking lot at the intersection of Perdido Street
and S. Roman Street has been re-opened for use. The Perdido St. parking
lot parking is authorized for use by Graduate Students, 3rd & 4th Year
Medicine Students, and assigned Roman St. Garage faculty and staff. The
Perdido Street lot also offers accessible parking spaces for employees and
students with mobility impairment.
The contractor responsible for temporary electrical and
mechanical repairs to the critical building systems in 1542 Tulane has
been making excellent progress. Many of the details are provided later in
this update. Additional repairs necessary to allow re-occupancy of the
building are now being identified. Specifications are being developed and
will be addressed via change orders to the existing contract, or through
new contracts as appropriate. We continue to focus on the fall of 2006 as
the timeframe for reopening the building.
Work on the repairs to the main Dental School buildings
also continues. The majority of the initial contract work has been
completed. However, there are a number of additional work items that have
been identified as required to allow reoccupation and use of the upper
floors of the Clinic and Administration Building. Change Orders have been
issued for some of these tasks and work is already underway on some of the
critical items. New contract specifications have been developed for other
tasks and bids will be solicited. The extent of the damage to these
buildings has made the repair process particularly complex and
challenging, but the design team and LSUHSC are working together closely
to address the issues as they unfold.
Here are highlights of work that has been accomplished
since our last update was posted two weeks ago.
- The temporary repairs to the School of Dentistry Clinic and
Administration buildings continue.
- Work under the contract to remove and properly dispose of the
flood damaged medical records that were stored in the basement has
been completed. All of the records have been removed and destroyed.
- Mold Remediation of heavily molded rooms (6413B, 6409, & 7409A) is
complete. The contractors have installed the new drywall and are
taping and floating the new walls.
- The fabrication and piping of the medical gas systems (oxygen,
nitrous oxide) has been completed and the pipes have been insulated.
- The system was filled and placed under 80 lbs of pressure in
preparation for system testing.
- The system test occurred on 8/30 and some issues were
identified. Those are now being addressed and a 2nd test
is scheduled for 9/5/06.
- Domestic Water System Sterilization/Sanitizing has been completed.
The final/official test results & supporting documentation certifies
that the system is ready for operation.
- The temporary emergency generator has been delivered to the site
and the installation is well underway. It should be completed and
tested in the near future.
- The contractor is completing the installation of the control panel
for the ice water heat exchanger, Air Handling Units and Fan Coil
Units (for the Basement & 1st Floor), steam to hot water converter,
and the hot water heaters.
- The hot water system is operating at half capacity due to a
faulty panel supplied with one of the hot water heaters. The new
panel is on order and is expected to arrive shortly.
- Insulation of the newly installed water piping in the basement has
- The labeling of the new piping and insulation is currently
underway. The contractor has completed the chilled water piping, the
steam piping, and the heating hot water piping. They have begun to
work on labeling the domestic water and steam condensate pipes.
- The contractor is working on repairs to the Soft Water System in
the Power Plant. Two of the three soft water tanks have had the pipes
and gauges changed.
- Repairs to the elevators in the Clinic and Administration Building
- The contractor has changed the hoist cables, the travel cables,
and the governor cables on the freight elevator & Elevators #1, #2,
and #4 in the Clinic Building.
- The hoist cables, governor cables, and the travel cables have
been replaced on Elevator #5.
- The contractor changed the governor shivs on the freight
elevator and Elevators #1, #2, #3 and #4 elevators.
- Elevators #6 & #7 in the Administration Bldg. are being prepped
by the contractor. The rails and tracks in the elevator pits and
shafts are being sanded & painted to add corrosion resistance.
- The buffers have been changed on Elevators #6 & #7. However,
further elevator work is now on hold until additional parts and
- Bids have been received, evaluated and a contract has been awarded
for additional repairs to the chilled water pump and related
mechanical/electrical components in the Central Utility Plant, attached
to the Roman St. Garage. These additional repairs will insure that we
have sufficient chilled water capacity for the hottest summer months and
also have a redundant pumping system should one fail or require repairs.
- The variable speed drive and filters are on order. The necessary
valves are ready to be replaced.
- The repairs to the pump motor are expected to be completed within
the next two weeks.
- The contractor responsible for the temporary repairs to the
building’s critical electrical & mechanical systems at 1542 Tulane Ave.
has been making good progress.
- The 13.8 K Volt switch gear has been delivered, set into place in
the basement and it has been piped into the building systems.
- The electricians are flagging and painting the 13.8V pipes red.
- The electricians finished piping in the 13.8 V transformer to
the switchgear. All of the wires have been pulled except for the
wires to the vault.
- The contractor has piped in the 1000KV transformer with the
13.8K amp transformer. All of the electrical loads from the building
are terminated now, except for the loads to the elevators.
- The electrical grounds have been made from the 1000 KV and 500
KV transformers to the water pipe and the grid in the vault.
- The electrical grounds have also been connected to the 13.8 Amp
- The high voltage connections in the switch gear are being
- Workers are in the process of piping in the 4th floor
riser and they are piping in the vault to the 13.8 switch gear and
the 500 and 1000 KV transformers. They are also terminating the
electrical power and loads to the 1000 KV transformer.
- The 480 V circuits are landed to the troughs and the starter
- All of the PL panels (1-5) are also terminated at the 1000KV
transformer. The buses have been installed in the transformer.
- They are preparing the electrical cables for connecting the
loads run by the PL4 panel.
- All of the existing electric panels have been located throughout
- Because of the age of the building, drawings of the original
building systems as they were designed and built are not available.
Therefore, the contractor has had to trace all of the old wires to
insure that connections are made properly. This work continues.
- The contractor is tracing the circuits to the PL2 and PL3 panels
and the loads are being terminated as each trace is completed.
- The change order for an additional sub-panel and the elevator
feeder has been submitted. Once it has been approved, this work can
- MEB Repair Updates:
- In Lecture Room A at the MEB, the contractor installed the
remaining electrical & network connection pods in the table tops.
There are still 40-50 seats without electrical power, while waiting
for one additional wiring harness to be delivered and installed.
- The installation of the remaining raceways, modesty panels and
power pole covers is complete.
- The electricians have tested all of the data connections in the
data cabinets and at the table tops. They are completing the
labeling of all the connections.
- The gas pipe has been installed in Room 4207A, just off the Gross
- The last of the leaks have been fixed on the new sinks installed
in the Gross Anatomy and Swing Labs. All of the fittings were
tightened which seems to have resolved the last of the problems. The
rooms are being used for classes at this time.
- The contractor making permanent window repairs to the downtown
campus is progressing well. There are 106 windows in the original
project to make permanent window repairs on the downtown campus.
- There are 3 additional windows that were found broken. A proposal
has been sent to the architect for approval. It will take eight weeks
for the additional glass to arrive and be installed.
- Damage to parts of the metal curtains walls on the Nursing/Allied
Health Building and the CSRB have been addressed.
- There are only two windows left to replace on the Allied Health
- Six windows for 1542 Tulane have been delivered but not yet
- The contract to add new lighting to various Student Parking Lots has
been awarded and the demolition work under the contract has begun. We
expect that the additional lighting will increase safety and security
for the students who are back on the downtown campus.
- Elevator #1 in the Resource Center is back in operation, following
repairs completed today. (This was an elevator previously certified, but
that had been out of service for some time.)
- Elevator #4 is now certified and being used routinely.
- The contractor is correcting maintenance items so that the Freight
Elevator may also be certified.
- The elevator pits in the Roman Street Garage have been pumped out
and cleaned, so that repairs to the elevator parts in the pits can be
- The manufacturer of the Dental School incinerator is scheduled to
start the initial repairs next Tuesday.
Please continue to follow our progress through our Daily
Updates that are also available on the web site.