As everyone can see, there is a lot of construction activity at Monroe Hall. The exterior wall waterproofing system is coming together, the first of the new windows have been installed, and the exterior brick is available for installation to begin in about a month. The 700 and 800 level roofs are nearly dried-in, the wall system is being coated with waterproofing (the blue stuff), and as we close the remaining areas, we will continue to gain ground on having a “dried-in” building.
Next week, the South Tower bathrooms will be opened for use. The south stair will continue to be a construction area, but the stair will be available for emergency exiting, leading into the Chemistry entrance at the south end of the building. The interior of the bathrooms will be complete, but the transition area from un-renovated Monroe to the new bathrooms will be somewhat unfinished. As floors are taken for renovation, the transition areas will be renovated to match the new finishes.
When the south bathrooms are opened, the existing bathrooms in the center stair will be taken out of service. Demolition of the center stair will begin at the start of the Easter break, and should take about 4-6 weeks to complete. This is probably the most challenging aspect of the entire renovation project, and we will work closely with the contractor to monitor and coordinate this demolition and disposal. The center stair will be locked, and no one should try to enter at any time.
The existing exterior SW stair at the Palm Court will be the stair of convenience. Work will continue at the North Tower and the Center Tower, and these additional stairs will become available in the coming months. The new north stair is still available for emergency exiting.
The new passenger elevators (3) are being installed, and they are expected to be put in service sometime near the end of May. This will allow us to remove the existing passenger elevators, and continue with new mechanical and electrical installations for renovated Monroe. The freight elevator will be replaced during the summer months. During the transition, we have decided to not install the new interior finishes to the new passenger elevators, allowing us to use these for freight, if necessary. When the new freight elevator is put into service, we will install the new finishes in the new passenger elevators.
I have been asked about what to expect during the Easter break and during the summer. Certainly, we will take advantage of every opportunity to perform the most invasive activities when the occupancy of the building is reduced. With that being said, we will work with individual departments to coordinate work so that it best suits the needs of students and faculty. We greatly appreciate the continued cooperation that we are getting from all.