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May 2010

May 28, 2010

The state Fire Marshall inspected our site yesterday and, unfortunately, has informed us that we must close the old bridge now. The concern is that there is so much construction near the old bridge that there is not sufficient fire protection and egress in the event of an emergency. This means that for 5–6 weeks we will be without a bridge connection between Legal Research and Hutchins Hall.

We have been making remarkable progress with the building project as a whole and have made good progress on the new bridge—the basic structure is assembled, the floor has been poured, life/safety infrastructure is going in, and windows will start in the next two weeks. We are scheduled to open it in early July, and originally had hoped to have the old bridge in place until we opened the new. On the up side, both elevators in Legal Research should be fully functional by next week, making the trek from Legal Research to Hutchins easier.

We regret that we couldn’t have delayed this closure until we were closer to opening the new bridge, but we MUST comply with the directives from the state Fire Marshall. The existing bridge between Hutchins and Legal Research will close permanently on Tuesday, June 1.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, Director of Finance and Planning


May 21, 2010

We now have an average of about 100 contractors on site, so you are probably seeing someone on a ladder every time you turn a corner.

A special note about safety
Please remember that the southeast stairwell in the stacks should only be used in case of an emergency. Right now there is falling debris everywhere, as they are doing the demolition work. As Chicken Lois says, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

The hallway between the stairwell near the faculty lounge and the bridge will be closed on Saturday, May 22, so the new opening can be cut for the new bridge. The kitchen will be accessible, but only from Hutchins.

The elevator inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25. Both elevators may be out of service on that day for short periods of time.

Fire Alarms/Sprinklers
All week (May 24–28), sprinkler heads will be installed in 9th floor offices. The work will be done during the day, but at the convenience of the occupant.

Please refer to the Fire Alarm Schedule to see when offices (except Reading Room offices, which will be scheduled later in the summer) will be affected. Much of the work will take place after 4pm (described as "second shift" on the schedule). Please make note of when your office is scheduled for work; you do not need to do anything to prepare for the contractors.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, Director of Finance and Planning


May 14, 2010

OK—I’m a recent transplant from California, but I thought April showers brought May flowers, not 40 degree weather! Unfortunately, it coincided with our need to have the steam off for the contractors, for safety reasons, so thank you for your patience as you shivered through the past couple of days.

As will be the case throughout the summer, there is a lot going on this week:

General Information

  • The snack bar will be closed from May 21 to May 28, for fire alarm work.
  • Classroom schedules have been updated and are accurate. Time shown as available on the schedule truly is available.
  • All stacks occupants have been relocated (even the unfortunate bat discovered during the move). New office numbers are posted in the online directory accessible through the administrative portal.
  • You might have noticed that the block of Monroe Street between Oakland and State is not closed. That will come in the near future, so keep checking back on this site for updates.
  • We've had a lot of inquiries about the fire/life safety work that is touching each of the spaces. Next week we will post a detailed schedule showing where the work will be done and when; most of it will take place after 4pm.

Hutchins Hall
  • We've also had a lot of inquiries about the construction outside the stairwells. These enclosures are required for the fire/life safety upgrade and will be a permanent fixture. Most of them have already been started; the enclosure near the back entrance to B38 will be built May 14–24.
  • Good news/bad news
    First the good: the faculty lounge kitchen will be back in service on Monday, May 17.
    The bad news: the faculty lounge will be closed for the entire week of May 17. The contractors will be completing the duct work overhead for a better cooling system in the lounge. For safety reasons, we can’t have people below them while they are walking around.
  • The 2nd-floor bathroom (232A Hutchins) is currently being re-plumbed. It will be opened as a public unisex restroom once the plumbing is completed.
  • Starting Monday, May 17, a new ramp will be under construction in the basement of Hutchins Hall to correct the grade of the existing ramp. The concrete and terrazzo take time to cure after they are poured, so this will be under construction for most of the summer.

Legal Research
  • The new elevator inspection has finally been scheduled for the last week in May, but prior to that we will have to shut down the stacks elevator for fire safety testing on Tuesday, May 18, from 5am to 1pm. You may want to use the elevator in Hutchins as an alternative. There may also be brief shutdowns on May 25 for the actual inspection.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, Director of Finance and Planning


May 6, 2010

Katie, bar the door…

As of Monday, May 10, we will have contractors aplenty in the building doing as much work as possible before the summer session starts; they will be everywhere. I will keep you apprised of the work through these updates, but know overall that the summer will be a very busy and critical time for the project.


I cannot emphasize enough that safety must be the priority for everyone this summer. We expect the contractors to employ safe building practices and they have done a remarkable job to date. But the safety of the entire community also depends on everyone paying attention and being careful around project areas. Keep your eyes up and pay attention as the project changes on a daily, if not hourly basis.

A particular note about welding: Welding will begin on the steel as soon as finals are over. Please do not look directly at any welding activity as it can be harmful to your eyes. Workers are wearing protective eyewear while they do the work, but you will be able to see it from across the street.


  • On May 10, Monroe Street will be closed from Oakland Avenue to State Street; it may last for the duration of the project. Contractors will maintain emergency egress, but the street will no longer be accessible to cars. Bike racks will be relocated to the other side of the Monroe Street entrance. View the map of the street closure.
  • The last piece of the Hydro-lift (the moving scaffold outside of the stacks building) will be erected starting on May 10, on the east side of the stacks. There will be overhead protection, but the lift will go across the sidewalk leading to the entrance to Legal Research.


  • Work on permanent piping to the air-conditioning system will be happening outside of the library. Because there will be welding done, protective sheeting will be hung across the glass entrance to the underground library. We will be rerouting people past the storeroom area from May 10–May 31 to complete that work.
  • The women’s restroom in Legal Research across from the Snack Bar will be closed from May 10–May 31.
  • Handrails have been installed in the stairway on the southeast corner of the stacks, but because this will be completely open to the outside, we ask that you please not use this stairway unless it’s an emergency.
  • The faculty lounge kitchen will be closed the week of May 10 so that the ductwork for the cooling system can be brought across the ceiling. We will create a coffee station inside of the lounge. The week of May 17 the lounge will be open, but there will be contractors working in the space on the fire alarm system and cooling ducts.
  • Part of the fire upgrade on Hutchins Hall requires that the stairs be enclosed on certain floors. Construction of the stair enclosures on the 3rd, 4th, and basement levels will begin the week of May 10.
  • Fire alarm system installation will continue throughout the building with a focus on getting the classrooms completed before summer session starts. Throughout the course of the summer, every individual office location will be modified, so you should expect to have that happen at some point. We will keep you updated on where the work is happening in the building.
  • Effective May 10, building steam will be shut off for the season.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, Director of Finance and Planning


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