Monday, March 31, 2014

4th Floor Update: Remediation and Construction Progress

Things are slowly returning to normal in the area of the library's 4th floor near the source of a roof leak that occurred a little over a month ago in the northeast corner of the building. The area has long since been dried and some 30,000 dry books that were removed from lower shelves there have been reshelved. The books were initially moved, in no particular order, on about 60 book carts, to the library basement.  They needed sorting before they could be moved back upstairs to shelves covered by plastic sheets from the construction overhead in that area of the building.

The reshelving process took just eight days and was accomplished by a small team of staff diverted from the Tulane Legacy Collection Analysis Project, which is identifying, examining for condition, and physically flagging the library's pre-1938 books stored off site, books that will eventually be among those housed in a new rare books area on a new 6th floor. The reshelvers--principally Kelsey Chapman, Katelyn Howells, and Izzy Oneiric--are employees of the library services firm LAC Group.

Books in preparation for freeze-drying
Meanwhile, the 2,200 wet books that were boxed, frozen, and shipped off to a restoration facility in Fort Worth, TX, are now on their way home. Samples sent in advance have looked good. The restored books will arrive first at our Recovery Center, still in operation after Hurricane Katrina, and they should be back on the shelves at Howard-Tilton in a few weeks. A relatively small number of titles will need to be replaced, but we know exactly which ones and replacements are expected to be ordered soon now that initial discussions of insurance have concluded.

In the 4th floor open stacks area, workers removed all the ceiling tiles and have been installing sprinkler pipe, roof drains, and, over the book stacks, motion sensors that will turn lights off and on in the aisles between each range. The sensors will dole out energy for lighting based on use of the aisles rather than simply leaving the lights on 24/7. Lights in broader access aisles or seating areas will have standard illumination. The ceiling work is expected to be completed in this area by the end of this week or early next, after which the plastic sheeting now covering the book shelves there will be removed.

Next, the same work will be repeated in an adjacent quadrant of the 4th floor and eventually will move sequentially throughout the building, although more limited in scope on the lower floors.

The contractor has completed the forms for the shear wall slab being built in the central stairwell and has poured concrete for about half the slab, with the rest to be completed this week. Nearby, another crew is removing walls between the men's restroom and the building's central chase to soon begin to build forms for a final shear wall there. Roof work has continued to remove a layer of rooftop“membrane” from a ten-foot wide swath around the roof perimeter. Workers are almost completely around the perimeter at this point and, basically, they have peeled the membrane back to where they are already constructing the base of what will be the outer wall of the library's new 5th and 6th floors. Steel for those floors should begin to arrive onsite very soon and erection of the steel frame will likely be accomplished in a concentrated and tightly phased time frame of about eight weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment