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MSB Renovations Expected to Begin Again in Spring
Published February 2010
Construction is about to make a comeback at the Medical Sciences Building (MSB).
Phase II of the MSB renovation project, involving major infrastructure work for the 36-year-old building, is expected to begin this spring, says Greg Braswell, director of planning for the Academic Health Center. It’s the first of four remaining phases following the August 2008 completion of Phase I, the Center for Academic and Research Excellence/Crawley Building.
Renovations for the MSB include new air-handling units, major duct work and a new sprinkler system to bring the building up to National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code. The project also involves consolidating electrical and communications closets throughout the building, installing new ceilings and light fixtures and replacing fume hoods in MSB laboratories.
Phase II affects the northeast quadrant of the MSB, adjacent to Levine Park and the Cardiovascular Center (work is done from top to bottom of the quadrant because that’s the way the ventilation is set up). Braswell says offices and labs in the quadrant should be cleared by sometime in March, with actual work beginning in May.
“We are working to get under contract the firms that will be doing the work,” Braswell says.
The first steps in the renovation will be the construction of barriers that will segregate the northeast quadrant from the rest of the MSB. Meanwhile, outside areas will be prepared, with Levine Park used as a staging area for the project. An exterior hoist, which will deliver materials to construction areas, will go up along the north face of the MSB for use in Phase II and Phase III (the northwest quadrant).
Braswell says work on Phase II is expected to last about 18 months, followed by a four-month break to move people back into the northeast quadrant and out of the northwest quadrant. Phase III work is expected to take about 11 months.
Phases IV and V, which might be consolidated into a single phase to save costs and time, involve the southeast and southwest quadrants of the MSB. Completion of the entire project is expected in 2015.
The exterior hoist, which avoids service elevators and keeps materials outside the building as much as possible, and the barrier walls are among several measures being taken to avoid disruptions in the rest of the MSB during renovation periods. Additionally, contractors will run “negative exhaust” in construction areas, meaning if someone opens a door the air will blow into, not out of, the construction area.
The Academic Health Center Planning, Design and Construction Office plans to hold a series of meetings to keep people informed about the renovation process. Presentations will be scheduled in the upcoming months.