Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Administration & Finance

From: Ronnie Smith, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Recovery – Update #100
Posted: August 28, 2009

The 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has arrived and this is our centennial (100th) issue of our biweekly updates. It seems appropriate to pause and reflect on all that has been accomplished since Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

Within a month of the disaster, temporary facilities had been established in Baton Rouge and every class in every School had been resumed. By early October, 2005 the Finn Jet had arrived and was moored on the west bank of the Mississippi. Faculty, staff and students were moving on board and settling into their interim housing. The mobile home site on River Road was soon opened to accommodate families with children and those with physical challenges that couldn’t be accommodated on the ocean going ferry.

Within the first few weeks, millions of dollars of temporary repairs to the campus buildings were begun. A plan quickly developed to make the necessary repairs to allow the upper floors of the main buildings to be reoccupied and put back into use as quickly as possible. By June, 2006 every major building on the downtown campus, with the exception of the Clinical Education Bldg., was back in use and the temporary facilities in Baton Rouge began to be shut down.

The damages to the three main buildings at the Dental School and to the Clinical Education Building were much more severe and temporary repairs were significantly more complex and time consuming. The School of Dentistry was able to return their operations to New Orleans for the start of the fall semester, 2007. The front portions of the Clinical Education Building have been reoccupied by clinical faculty and staff over the past year as work on individual floors has been completed.

While the extensive temporary repairs were being completed around campus, the planning and design work for the permanent building repairs and hazard mitigation was underway. The complexities of FEMA’s hazard mitigation program posed challenges to the architects and periodic changes in FEMA interpretations delayed much of the design work. The Lions/LSU Clinic project was the first major repair and mitigation project to be approved and contracted. Work on that project was completed earlier this year.

During the past few months, we have received FEMA approval and funding for 4 additional permanent repair and mitigation projects. Bid documents have been prepared for the Allied Health/Nursing Building, the Student Residence Hall and the Resource Center. We expect these projects to be advertised by the Office of Facility Planning and Control within the next several weeks. The final construction and bid documents for the Clinical Education Building are being finalized and the project will go to bid shortly after the documents are complete.

Recent communications with FEMA and GOHSEP indicate that we are close to having an acceptable permanent repair and mitigation project that will jointly address the CSRB and the MEB. The elevation of flood damaged animal care functions from the 1st Floors of both buildings into an addition to the CSRB will restore the pre-storm capabilities to house research animals on the downtown campus. Critical building equipment will be elevated above flood water levels in both buildings. Significant emergency generator capacity will be provided in the addition to power emergency circuits in the surrounding buildings and provide basic conditioning of the interiors. This will minimize damages to building contents and mold growth in a similar future event.

Our proposal to jointly address the Dental Clinic Building, the Administration Building and the Power Plant will be submitted to FEMA shortly. The construction of an annex to the Clinic Building will allow the elevation of the critical building equipment out of the shared basement. It will also house the flood damaged clinical and research functions that were housed on the 1st Floor and the basement prior to Katrina. Animal care space will be provided to replace the space lost in the basement.

We took advantage of the delays in getting other major repair and mitigation projects approved to address Katrina damaged roofs. Contracts to replace the roofs of several buildings were bid and awarded. The roofs of the Medical Education Building, the Dental Clinic Building, the Dental Administration Building, the Dental Power Plant, and the Allied Health/Nursing Building have been completely replaced. The Resource Center roof replacement project has been awarded and work is underway.

Finally, we have received approval and funding from FEMA for well over 100 Project Worksheets that address the repair and/or replacement of building contents damaged by the storm. The obligated value of these PWs exceeds $20 million and the Schools and Departments are making use of these crucial resources.

Four years is a long time, yet the time seems to have passed very quickly. Our efforts haven’t been restricted to storm-related recovery during that time. We’ve made major efforts to enhance campus safety and security through major initiatives on exterior lighting of the campus and expansion of access control. Projects to modernize the Multi-Disciplinary Labs and research labs utilized by Physiology and Pathology in the MEB have been initiated and largely completed. The morgue facilities were substantially upgraded.

Major renovation projects to the MEB cafeteria, the MEB 2nd Floor elevator lobby and the lobby of the Student Residence Hall have been completed. The atrium that connects the Allied Health/Nursing Building and the MEB was modernized. A new Commons area has been created in the Resource Center Library. Major renovations and upgrades to the audio/visual systems have been made to the MEB Auditoriums and to the Dental School Auditoriums A and B. A major project to modernize the interiors of building elevators has been underway for some time and work on many of the elevators is complete.

A complete overhaul of the landscaping on the downtown campus is nearing completion. Student parking lots that had been gravel-covered were paved and the nearby sidewalks were replaced. Fences that surround the perimeter parking lots have been replaced and decorative elements have been added to enhance the sense of "campus". Since Hurricane Katrina stuck four years ago our intention has never been to merely restore the institution to its pre-storm condition. Rather, our vision has been and continues to be to emerge from the recovery period as a better, stronger, and more modern institution; able to withstand a similar future hurricane/flood event with minimal damage. The work to fulfill that vision continues.

Here are highlights of work that has been accomplished during the past two weeks.


  • The contractor mobilized equipment on the roof.
  • The contractor removed the existing stairwell penthouse roof on the Tulane side.
    • They lowered one roof drain and applied a two ply roofing system.
  • The contractor removed the existing UPS penthouse roof on the Tulane Ave. side of the building.
    • They lowered two roof drains and applied a two-ply roofing system.
  • The contractor removed the existing mechanical room penthouse roof on the Tulane Ave. side.
    • They lowered three roof drains and applied a two-ply roofing system.
  • The contractor removed the existing mechanical room penthouse roof on the Gravier St. side of the building.
    • They lowered three roof drains and applied a two-ply roofing system to the penthouse roof.

Repair Work at 1542 Tulane Ave.:

  • The plumbing contractor made the final connections for the 3-compartment sink and grease trap, the hand-wash sink, and ice maker that serve the coffee kiosk in the 1st Floor lounge.
  • They made final connections for the coffee maker and espresso machine for the 1st Floor coffee kiosk.
  • The electrical contractor installed the electrical outlets for the espresso machine, coffee maker, ice machine, bakery case, and air curtain.
  • Facility Services replaced the automatic double-doors on the 1st Floor.
  • The painter painted the walls in the 1st Floor lounge.
  • Crews cleaned the coffee kiosk area on the 1st Floor.
  • The contractor painted the door frames that lead into the hallway behind the coffee kiosk and cleaned the kiosk area.
  • The contractor prepped the floor in Room 122F (Women’s restroom) to receive new VCT.
  • The contractor installed lounge furniture and tables in the 1st Floor lounge.
  • The contractor pulled and connected the network cables for the 1st Floor lounge coffee kiosk.
  • Facilities Services installed locks on all kiosk cabinets.
  • The contractor installed metal studs for the access panels in the Women’s restroom.
  • In preparation for the creation of an ADA compliant entrance, the contractor removed conduit from the garage entrance.
  • The contractor replaced cracked window glass in 3rd and 6th Floor offices.
  • Workers replaced cracked window glass in Stairwell #1 and #3.
  • New doors and frames were installed for the parking garage pipe chase.
  • The contractor prepped Rooms 203 and 203A for mastic and insulation removal.


  • The contractor flashed in the front of the AHSON entrance.
  • They finished trimming the roof covering the entrance roof to the building.
  • Workers installed aluminum flashing on the 4th Floor roof.
  • The contractor removed his trailer from the 440 Lot.


  • The mechanical contractor programmed the sequencing for the 2nd Liebert unit in the A/V Room.
  • The electrical contractor certified the additional network cables installed in Auditoriums A and B.
  • The fire alarm contractor tested the fire alarm system for proper operation.
  • The broken window glass on the 4th Floor crosswalk was replaced.
  • The A/V contractor configured connections from the A/V rack to the Access Grid rack.
  • They installed the projectors and the podium monitors in Auditorium B.
  • Crews installed and configured additional components for the podium in Auditorium B; podium 95% complete.
  • The A/V contractor programmed the Creston display panel in Auditorium B and continued programming in the rack room.
  • The contractor relocated a smoke detector in Auditorium B.
  • Facility Services installed furniture in the auditorium lobby.
  • The Auditorium project successfully passed the State Fire Marshall Inspection.


  • The contractor finished testing and balancing air handling units 6-A and 7-A.
  • Facility Services completed shifting the temporary A/C units to the 4th and 5th Floor Quadrant D (corner of Bolivar Street and Perdido Street) and monitored performance.
  • The contractor demolished the old air handling units 4-D and 5-D.
  • They installed new ductwork and installed new AHUs 4-D and 5-D.
  • Air handling units 4-B and 5-B were delivered to the 440 Lot storage area.
  • The contractor continuing installing new piping for AHU 5-D.
  • They completed chilled water piping and insulation for AHU 4-D.


  • The contractor installed vinyl flooring in Room 7207 (the walk-in cooler).
  • The rough-in electrical for Rooms 7221, 7241, 7244, and 7250 was completed.
  • Workers laid VCT tiles in Rooms 7221, 7241, and 7250.
  • Crews patched, taped and floated walls in Rooms 7221, 7241, and 7250.
  • The contractor painted the walls in Room 7221 and 7244.
  • The contractor completed installing the ceiling grid in Rooms 7241 and 7250.
  • Crews are installing the ceiling grid in Rooms 7244 and 7250.


  • The flooring contractor installed carpet in the A Tower lobby area and on both mezzanine floors.
  • The network contractor pulled network wires in the C Tower lobby area.
  • The contractor taped and floated the walls adjacent to the TV cabinet area.
  • They installed corner guards throughout the 2nd Floor lobby.
  • Crews installed mini blinds in the recreation room.
  • The floor contractor installed and grouted porcelain bases on the vertical wall across from the A, B, and C Tower elevators.
  • The contractor trimmed out the floor boxes and ran network wires for the security desk.
  • The painters painted the walls perpendicular to the window wall across from Elevators A and B.
  • They applied a second coat of paint to the walls of the entire 2nd Floor lobby.
  • The contractor completed installing a metal screen on the security desk and the TV enclosure cabinet.
  • The contractor installed the ceiling mount bracket for the 65 inch LCD TV in front of the mailbox area.
  • The contractor roughed in the electrical service in the new security desk.
  • They installed the countertop and cabinet for the security desk.
  • The digital signage LCD screen was installed in the TV enclosure cabinet.
  • The contractor began the final clean-up.


  • The wall panel contractor installed the first and second sets of the metal wall panels.
  • The contractor completed installing the electrical door hardware.
  • They installed a register above the digital sign.


  • Facility Services completed planting sod and shrubs on the Tulane Avenue side of the Roman Street Garage.
  • Facility Services completed installing irrigation piping on the Gravier Street side of the Roman St. Garage.

We encourage you to follow the details of our progress through the daily updates which are posted on the web site.