Thursday, November 6, 2014

4th Floor Closed to the Public: Nov. 10-28

Tulane’s department of Capital Projects & Real Estate (CPREG) has finalized its schedule for the closure of the library’s 4th floor. The floor is scheduled to be closed from Monday, Nov. 10, through Friday, Nov. 28.

The 4th floor houses the Latin American Library, the Music & Media Center, and general books stacks with call numbers A – DA. These areas will be inaccessible to the public during the closure period. The library will retrieve books requested from the Latin American Library and the general books stacks, and books in these areas may be requested via paper form at the library’s 1st floor Check-Out Desk and online. For instructions in requesting books from construction-affected areas online, see these directions. Some on-demand retrieval of books on the 4th floor from the 2nd floor Construction Concierge Desk during limited weekday hours is planned as well.

Staff from the Music & Media Center will provide a temporary music and media desk set up in the library’s 1st floor lobby and will retrieve recorded materials (CDs and DVDs) housed in the Music & Media Center from requests accepted at the temporary desk. This morning workers are cutting a hole in the wall between the Music & Media Center and the Latin American Library on the 4th floor to add a door that will allow staff to gain retrieval access to the Music & Media Center, which otherwise would have been blocked off.

The 4th floor closure is related to the removal and replacement of the ceilings in the library’s existing elevator lobbies that is needed to install the fire suppression (sprinkler system) required by building codes governing the construction of the library’s 5th/6th floor building addition. The ceilings to be removed were made with a material containing a low level of asbestos and their removal will require special containment areas to be set up around the lobbies and procedures for monitoring. On the 4th floor, the blocking of emergency egress caused by the work is the reason for shutting off public access to the floor and not necessarily the presence of asbestos there--since no asbestos release is expected during the removal process because of the strict regulatory abatement procedures to be used, according to CPREG and the abatement contractor.

The contractor for the lobby ceiling removal project is Quality Environmental Contractors, a firm that has worked in the library before. Their first order of business after the 10th will be to build a containment area around the lobby where the ceiling will be removed, then a crew will add moisture to the ceiling material to avoid any of it becoming airborne while it is dismantled in sections. The material will be sealed in bags and transported down the elevator and out of the building only between 4 and 6 am, after regular library hours . Once the ceiling is removed, all areas within the containment area must be thoroughly cleaned. Lastly the area will be tested and monitored for several days before being reopened.

If the work and subsequent monitoring can be completed before Nov. 28, the 4th floor will be reopened ASAP. The ceiling of the 4th floor elevator lobby will be removed and replaced first. The larger-area ceiling of the 1st floor lobby would be addressed during the intersession from Dec. 17 to Jan. 4. Work in the 3rd floor and 2nd floor lobbies would follow in the spring. Capital Projects & Real Estate (CPREG) has management oversight over the 5th/6th floor construction project.

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