From Tim Wynn: Desk Notes, Vol. 9, regarding WWU construction projects
Heidi Zeretzke, a grounds and nursery specialist with WWU's Facilities Management, works to clear a pathway during an early season snow storm on Dec. 17, 2008. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
This is the ninth edition of my "Desk Notes." Currently, Facilities Management is pressing ahead with a very aggressive execution schedule for the 2009-11 biennium Minor Capital Projects program. The good news for those of you who like construction (I think there are at least two of us here at Western) is that, of the 53 projects identified to date in that program, all but eight will be executed next spring/summer. The remaining eight are "easy" access projects (projects that won't impact the academic learning environment) that have been held until after the intensive construction in the summer. This schedule means that there is going to be even more construction being done on the central campus this next summer than there was this past summer. We will attempt to do everything we can to decrease the impact of this work but, realistically, everyone should be braced for a heavier than normal summer construction environment. Some of the projects that I think will have the most impact on the academic mission are:
- PW610 Improve Indoor Air Quality at 32d St. (AC Bldg)
- PW611 Fine Arts Ventilation System Upgrade
- PW617 Replace Gutters and Plumbing Connections
- PW625 Biology Bldg Electrical Upgrade
- PW607 ES Exterior Renewal (hopefully final phase)
- PW602 PAC Concert Hall and Mainstage Upgrade
There are a number of the other projects that I might add to the "most impact" list as we develop the scope and determine how the contractors will probably be executing the projects. I will try to keep you updated as the summer approaches. The good news is that this is a lot of work that is very badly needed by the university and will be welcomed (when we are done) by the occupants.
We have four major ongoing projects that are continuing this academic year. They are Miller Hall renovation, Wilson Library Special Collections, Chemistry addition and Buchanan Towers addition.
The Miller Hall renovation is winding down the "hard" demolition phase. Kudos again goes to the Woodring College personnel. We have already started framing the interior of the 1960s wing and roughing out the electrical and mechanical systems. Work is progressing on schedule with minimal surprises, so far.
Wilson Library Special Collections is almost finished. The contractor is performing some final corrections and cleanup. Move-in is scheduled for next week. The construction will then move to the Collaborative area on the second floor.
The Chemistry addition is still progressing very nicely. The project is on schedule for completion in May. The installation of the drywall is going very well. We have had the windows delivered but are still waiting for delivery of the exterior metal panels. Installation of both should start shortly. The Chemistry faculty and staff get some more kudos for their perseverance.
The Buchanan Towers addition is starting to come out of the ground, and you can start getting a sense of how the structure will enhance the south entrance to the campus. We look forward to completing this and moving the first group of students into the addition next fall.
Other items of interest:
Snow may be coming our way some time in the future, so I thought I would entertain the campus with how we react to a major snow event prior to an academic day here at FM (other than various versions of "Gracious, I do hope that this will not be too disruptive"). Our response begins very early in the morning or possibly late at night. Gary Hodge, the supervisor for Outdoor Maintenance, is alerted either by snow forecasts or a phone call from the steam plant indicating snow is falling. Gary then waits until he is sure that I am sound asleep and calls me to consult on whether we should mobilize the crews for campus clearing (In almost all cases, after some bitter denunciations of weatherpersons and storm gods, I give permission to mobilize the crews very early in the morning. The exact timing depends on the rate of snow fall, weather projections, etc., but it is generally around 5 a.m.). Between 4 and 4:30 a.m., I will chain up and head in to campus to perform an assessment. On arriving at campus, I will drive around all the campus roads and walk the central campus pathway and try to project how much clearing we can accomplish and what it will be like in four or more hours when people arrive in the parking lot and begin using the walkways (Note: If anyone would like to volunteer to help make this assessment, your input would be welcome, although my appreciation of it will be heavily tempered by my concerns over your sanity for being there in the middle of a snow storm). I then return to my office and, using my computer and telephone, check with the weather forecasts, WTA, Bellingham Schools and the Campus Police. I then call the vice president for Business and Financial Affairs with a recommendation at about 5:30 a.m. on whether we should be operational or not on that day. The V.P. BFA then consults with the president and provost to make a determination on whether WWU will implement "Suspended Operations" that day.
Once that determination is made, University Communications is alerted and immediately puts an appropriate message on the Storm Line at (360) 650-6500. The Western Alert system also will be used to notify students, faculty and staff through a variety of means, including text messages, e-mail and messages on the university homepage. Various media, such as KGMI Radio (AM 790) also are notified. Western students, faculty and staff who have not yet registered to receive Western Alerts via text message are asked to update their personal information via the Web4U application. If everything works correctly, that notification will get on the Storm Line not later than 6:30 a.m. and possibly as early as 6 a.m. All in all, I think we are all in agreement that we (I) would rather not go through this whole process, so let’s concentrate on preventing snow.
Chant together now:
(I can’t hear you!)