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Campus Construction Update
May 2012 - Update
March 23, 2012 - Update
Effective March 29, 2012 the Professional Schools Building north doors (Parks & Parkways/Clock Side) will be closed for normal use for two weeks due to construction. The doors will be available for emergency exit only. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your cooperation. Contact Keith McKendall, MS, CAGS- Assistant Vice President Facilities if you require any additional information.
The Hartzell/Camphor and Straight Hall dormitories, which have been uninhabitable since Hurricane Katrina, are currently undergoing major renovations. Many people in the Dillard community have inquired about these construction projects. This question-and-answer session is the first in a series of construction updates to come from the Dillard University administration in 2012.
Construction projects on the Dillard University (DU) campus continue in March, with much progress being made. Several buildings are in the restoration process, with new amenities such as lighting and cameras being installed as well.
STUDENT UNION PHASE II The Student Union Phase II portion of work started in February. The contractor is Landis Construction with the partnership of Landmark Consulting and Vanir Construction Management (both DBE firms) serving as project managers for Dillard University. This project scope of work includes: landscaping, drainage, finalizing the parking lot concrete work, lighting, cameras and warranty issues. Completing the Warrington Drive was a requirement before starting the project. This $2 million project is funded via the HBCU fund and is schedule for completion in August 2012.
HARTZELL/CAMPHOR DORMITORY PROJECT The scope of the project is to repair and restore the dormitories after the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The architect is a joint venture between Campo Architects and Sizeler, Thompson, Brown with Vanir Construction Management (Nationally Ranked in Top 25 and DBE Firm) as the project manager. Currently, the exterior scope of work is to restore the exterior façade of both dormitories by removing windows and the abatement of paint and other exterior issues at the site. The windows will be restored or replaced. Several new windows will be built to match the existing and installed. The National Park Service and FEMA grants are funding the majority of this project with the entire construction scheduled to be completed by the end of the year 2012.
Progress This Month: Removal of all window sashes was completed in January. Over 300 sashes have been stripped of paint and a progress site visit from Dr. Ali Miri- National Park Service. R. David Contractors has been contracted for the exterior scope of work.
STRAIGHT HALL The scope of the project is to repair and restore Straight Hall after the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Currently, the exterior portion of the project is to restore the exterior façade of both dormitories by removing windows and the abatement of paint and other exterior issues at the site. The windows will be restored or replaced. Several new windows will be built to match the existing and installed. The demolition scope of work requires the removal of all interior walls. The demolition portion of work being conducted concurrently has a 25% DBE requirement. The National Park Service and FEMA grants are funding the majority of this project with the entire construction scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2012.
Progress This Month: The project is currently on schedule with both scopes of work that includes the exterior and demo portion of work. Construction Masters is the contractor for both packages scope of work. Dr. Ali Miri- National Park Service has conducted a progress site visit.
January 9, 2012
1. What is the current status of the project to renovate the Hartzell/Camphor and Straight Hall dormitories?
Currently, the project has secured funding from a National Park Service Grant and FEMA with limited funding by Dillard University. An environmental study was completed at the end of 2010 that included industry best practices for the design approach going forward. We are coordinating with the National Park Service, FEMA and State of Louisiana historical agencies to ensure the proposed design receives approval as required, since all the structures are registered on the National Historic Registry. Once approved, we can finalize the design and proceed with the renovation. We have proceeded in accordance with the National Park Service scope of work, and contractors are currently being procured for the interior demolition.
2. Why did Dillard University choose to build the Student Union and Professional Schools Building before focusing on renovation of the dormitories?
This never was an either or proposition. The renovations to the residence halls are to be funded by FEMA and the National Park Service, and the two new buildings by the HBCU Cap Loan, which runs through the U.S. Office of Education. Hence, the university has had to deal with three different federal agencies and their bureaucracies, each with its own regulatory policies and procedures. FEMA is part of Homeland Security and generally requires projects to be funded on a reimbursement basis with fully detailed project work sheets. Securing FEMA support requires patience and persistence. Hartzell/Camphor and Straight also required environmental remediation (removal of asbestos, lead and mold) before construction could commence.
Moreover, these are national historic preservation sites, and Department of Interior (National Park Service) funding is for historic preservation. The renovations have to meet approved design standards of that agency for “historic preservation.” All of that is to say: the residence hall renovations entail many factors: funding mechanisms, different regulatory requirements, environmental mitigation requirements (both state and federal), and unique architectural qualifications due to historic preservation requirements, etc.
The environmental remediation work has begun on Hartzell/Camphor and Straight Hall. We anticipate that these residence halls will be completed in the last quarter of 2012. 3. Why has the project taken so long?
Hartzell/Camphor and Straight Halls are currently on the National Historic Registry for historic buildings and will be significantly funded by federal grants. This requires coordination between FEMA, the National Park Service and the State Preservation Agency to ensure the historical integrity of the buildings is maintained. This requires Dillard University to follow a design process very different from traditional construction processes. Also, we proposed preliminary designs that were not initially approved, which has hampered the speed of the process. We have had several personnel changes in key departments that required “transitional time,” which also delayed the process. We have hired Vanir Construction Management, Inc. (www.vanir.com), which is ranked among the top project management firms in the U.S., to assist with this project. 4. How long will the project take?
The design team has projected the project will take 14 months once full construction has started. We anticipate the construction to be completed in the last quarter of 2012.
5. Will the bed levels be increased?
There will not be an increase in bed capacity levels with the anticipated design. The design team will propose a design that will be modern on the inside while maintaining the buildings’ traditional look on the outside. This includes designing to the current codes and university requirements with modern features that support current students’ needs. Our goal is to provide finished dormitories that will not only house current students but attract future students as well.