Friday, October 11, 2013

Disruption Alert: Shear Wall Construction in the Library Stairwells

Some internal structural work preparatory to building the framework for two new floors atop the library will become more noticeable to library users over the next several weeks and direct access to some areas of the library may be affected.

This work will involve building shear wall vertical concrete slabs running from the 2nd floor to the top of the existing building within the emergency stairwells at each end of the library building and behind one of the marble panels in its central stairwell. The shear walls in the stairwells will be done in sequence with the entire project projected to last from October through May. The first stairwell affected will be the emergency stairwell on the Freret Street side of the building and its work will last about 6 weeks.

The contractor has begun raising temporary panels to seal in the work areas on the Freret Street side stairwell. Some books adjacent to the stairwell have been removed and temporarily placed on carts nearby. The library is working with project managers and the contractor to try limit the impact of this work, but fire codes may require restrictions on access to some areas served by the emergency stairwells while each is out of commission.  Library users can find assistance locating materials in the stacks at the Help Desk in the 1st floor Learning Commons. 

More information on the likelihood of these restrictions and what specifically they may be is expected next week. Already, however, occupants of about five faculty carrels on the Freret Street side of the 4th floor last week had to be notified that those carrels will be temporarily inaccessible.

Other construction events expected next week include removing concrete in preparation for laying foundations in the construction staging areas, building contractor's management offices in the library basement, and putting up safety rails to protect workers on the library roof.

Meanwhile, library users and those walking by along Freret Street can expect more deliveries of construction materials, equipment, and dumpsters for construction debris through the main gate into the construction zone. Some noise outside the library can be expected from electric tools, roll off dump trucks, Bobcat loaders, jack hammers, hammer drills, screw guns, and vehicle back-up alarms.

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