Orange elevators

As the result of Tuition Revenue Bonds from the Texas Legislature last session, the Medical School Building is undergoing some much-needed infrastructure repair.

Going up?

The elevator modernization project has started with the orange and freight elevators. Two elevators will be decommissioned from different elevator color banks at a time for renovations. Each elevator is scheduled to be down for 54 days, with the total project taking one year to complete.

Each of the 10 elevators in the Medical School Building will be renovated with new motors, cables, internal electronics, hall displays, push buttons, and position indicator lights.

“The end goal is that they should run like new machines,” said Brady Smyth, senior project manager, Facilities, Planning and Engineering.

A new network-based program will let facilities and riders know when elevators are out of service. During the elevator renovation project, an additional elevator service mechanic will be on campus in case an elevator goes out.

“As a reminder, all deliveries need to go through the freight elevators, as hitting the doors with carts can cause long-term damage to elevators,” Smyth added.

Office space

Starting this month, six offices will be vacated on the first floor of the Medical School Building (MSB) on the northeast and northwest corners of the orange section so that a total of 12 new offices may be built over the infill area of the Learning Resource Center. Six offices will be added on the Webber Plaza side and six will be added on the Fannin side above the Learning Resource Center.

These new offices will be in addition to the 14 new offices that are being finished over the Dean’s Office infill space on the first floor.

These additional offices will be used as office swing space for the air distribution project that will begin in summer of 2017.

Fresh air

Starting on the sixth floor and working down floor by floor to the first, air ductwork will be replaced as well as mixing boxes, temperature control sensors, lighting, and interior finishes.

“This project is expected to take one year per floor, affecting all offices and hallways,” said Steven Bennett, senior project manager, Facilities, Planning and Engineering.

During this time, employees in affected offices will move to the new swing space offices on the first floor while their offices are being renovated.

HVAC controls also are being updated in each lab to improve energy efficiency and improving air control at the master level.

Transforming the MSB

The Medical School Building’s switch gear and transformers will be replaced in addition to the diesel backup generator in the penthouse being replaced with a natural gas-fired generator. Eighty percent of the switchgear replacement is in the penthouse and is original to the building, Bennett said.

The building’s air handler units will also be replaced, which will take 4 to 5 years as no downtime can occur during the project.

“Much of this equipment is at the end of its life, and we are treating this as a mid-cycle renovation of the building,” explained Julie Lucas, director of project management, Facilities, Planning and Engineering.

All McGovern faculty and staff are invited to attend the monthly facility advisory council meeting, second Wednesday of month 9 am B.645 to hear regular updates on these projects and others.