Students and faculty can expect to see some of the Medical School elevators operating again soon.
Students and faculty can expect to see some of the Medical School elevators operating again soon.

While a few weeks of work have been lost following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall last month, officials say infrastructure repair projects continue to make progress at McGovern Medical School.

The repairs, made possible by Tuition Revenue Bonds from the last session of the Texas Legislature, were delayed a few weeks by Hurricane Harvey. Brady Smyth, senior project manager with Facilities, Planning and Engineering, said repairs to the Medical School Building’s elevators are down to the last two units. Green elevator Number Five should be inspected at the end of October, while the final Yellow elevator should be inspected in the first week of November.

“At that point, all of them will have been modernized,” Smyth said. Smyth previously said that the end goal of the renovations of each of the 10 elevators was to have them running “like new machines” with new motors, cables, internal electronics, hall displays, push buttons, and position indicator lights.

A new network-based system also notifies riders and officials when an elevator is out of service.

“It allows us to catch it and get a mechanic to start working on it right away,” Smyth said.

Work is progressing on the construction of 12 new offices over the infill area of the Learning Resource Center, and the air distribution project is moving along as well.

Steven Bennett, senior project manager with Facilities, Planning, and Engineering, said work on the air distribution project began in the blue section of the sixth floor, and engineers are currently working their way up on the Fannin Street side toward the green section. The project focuses on replacing air ductwork, mixing boxes, temperature control sensors, lighting, and interior finishes from the sixth floor to the first.

The sixth floor is expected to be completed in early 2018, but Hurricane Harvey did no favors for engineers and construction companies working in and around the Medical School Building.

“It’s hard to guess how much time was lost, but we estimated we had about three weeks of lost time,” Bennett said.

The electrical project, involving the replacement of the building’s switch gear and transformers, has also made headway, and Bennett said engineers had their first successful shutdown last week. However, future outages have been postponed citing a need to “confirm material deliveries” from manufacturers. The vacuum pump replacement project has been completed and while it may appear from the outside to be a struggle to complete certain projects, progress has been made on a few major component replacements, he said.

“People should continue to pay close attention to the construction notices around the building,” Bennett said.