Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Enclosure Installation to Temporarily Block Central Stairs Between Floors 1 & 2

The construction contractor plans to begin this week to build a fire-rated glass enclosure planned around the entrance to the central stairwell on the 1st floor. Some preliminary work began yesterday and workers may begin installing framing for the enclosure's glass panels today--so that the project can be finished or mostly completed before the beginning of the upcoming study and exam period that starts Friday, April 24.

During most of the week and a half or so in which the work will take place, use of the stairwell between the 1st and the 2nd floors will be blocked during the day. The contractor has agreed to make provisions to reopen access to the stairwell between those floors for the evenings after each workday and on weekdays when no work is being done. But during the work the area within the stairwell between the 1st and the 2nd floors, and immediately surrounding, will need to be cleared.

Alternate stairs to all floors should be available  from both the former emergency stairwell on the Freret Street (south) side of the building and the former emergency stairwell on the Dixon Hall side (north) of the building.  The building's elevator will be available as well.

The large glass panels that will be installed for the enclosure are very large and very heavy. They are considered fire-rated because they are more dense and thicker than, say, the glass panels between the 1st floor lobby and adjacent Quiet Area. In other words, they will be pretty unwieldy. Crews will need to bring the panels in through the former front entrance. The contractor has been reminded to use the correct entrance and exit doors for this and to keep the doors closed otherwise.

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