The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Build-back and Hazard Mitigation Project is set to begin this week. The university selected Brice Building Company as the contractor for the project, following a public bidding process. The contractor is expected to begin erecting a perimeter safety fence around the library and its construction zone this Wednesday, August 21.
As a result, Newcomb Place will be closed in both directions to all vehicular traffic and parking starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. from in front of Dixon Hall to Freret Street, and lasting until project completion in 2015. Signage will be installed detailing alternative pedestrian and vehicular routing.
Parking spaces within the area to be enclosed by the perimeter fence will be unavailable until a point expected late in the project when the fence will no longer be needed. Until then, reserved and handicapped parking spaces currently in front of the library will be moved to the portion of the remaining Newcomb Place parking area that is closest to Freret Street and the fenced safety area. Visitors to campus have the option to pay to park on the ground level of the Diboll Complex and there are a limited number of other parking meters located around the campus (see campus map). Additional parking for faculty and staff is available at the Diboll complex, the Rosen Parking Area (further up Ben Weiner Drive), and at Uptown Square. Both the Rosen and Uptown Square parking areas are served by the Campus Shuttle Service.
The purpose of the construction will be to build two additional floors on top of the existing Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building. This addition will house elements of the library that were formerly located in its basement, as well as elements from the damaged lower stack level of Jones Hall. These areas were flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The new floors will provide replacement of lost library spaces as well as the replacement and relocation of the building’s primary mechanical and electrical systems, which were also destroyed. The principal architect on the project has been Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, a firm based in New Orleans. Funding for the project is to be provided through a Hazard Mitigation and Build-Back Program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). See here for details about the project. Photos here.