Work began in May 2012 on two major renovations at Ross Hall: creation of a new Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty on floors 5 and 6 of Ross Hall and upgrades to the central utility plant in the basement levels, to support the new research center, strengthen the infrastructure within Ross Hall and to serve the future Science and Engineering Hall.
Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty: The School of Medicine and Health Sciences were awarded $15 million by NIH in 2010 which will be combined with additional funds to create:
- New open collaborative laboratory space on the west side of the 5th and 6th floors of Ross Hall for the research mission of the new center
- New exterior emergency egress stair on Ross Hall’s northwest side near the courtyard with an attractive glass and steel facade (expected completion summer 2013). Required upgrades to building systems (including electrical, plumbing and HVAC) on the west side of Ross Hall.
Central Utility Plant: Ross Hall’s existing central utility plant providing power, steam, and chilled water will be upgraded to serve both Ross Hall and the new Science and Engineering Hall currently under construction, including:
- Renovated boilers and new chillers
- New cooling towers on southeast corner of Ross Hall’s roof
- Upgraded electrical and gas service, and a Co-Gen system.
Work on the central utility plant on Level B2 requires a ground-level access shaft on 24th Street side of Ross Hall for delivery of equipment and materials. Also a trench across 23rd Street to connect Ross Hall and the Science and Engineering Hall will be installed in late 2012/early 2013. Additional information on this project can be found at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Ross Hall Construction website.
Mitigating Construction Impacts
Recognizing the around-the-clock nature of study and research in Ross Hall, the university has worked to minimize impacts of this project on the students, faculty, and research in this building by incorporating practices used during other recent phased occupation renovations (Smith Center, Marvin Center) as well as the ongoing Gelman Library entrance floor renovation project.
Noise & Vibrations: Project contractors have been instructed to minimize the impact of activities that may affect neighboring buildings and the Ross Hall community, to the extent possible. Per DC law, demolition and construction work may only occur Monday to Saturday, between 7am-7pm, except in pre-approved circumstances. Given the proximity of classrooms and labs to much of this work, efforts will be made to schedule exceptionally noisy work or activities that may create vibrations at times which will lessen the impact to animal facilities, sensitive equipment, research, lectures, and studying. However, it is not anticipated this would produce noise/vibrations noticeable outside of the building.
Material and personnel hoists are slated to be installed on both H and 24th Streets to allow access of equipment and materials to work areas on the upper levels. The hoists on 24th Street will also allow workers on the new research center to have direct access to floors 3-7 (in addition to an entrance at the loading dock). Trash chutes will be installed on both the H and 24th Street sides of Ross Hall to channel demolition and construction debris from the upper level floors down to a secured dumpster below.
Sidewalk and parking lane closures: To accommodate construction deliveries/equipment and to allow for continued vehicular passage, there will be changes to street parking and sidewalk access adjacent to Ross Hall including the closure of both lanes of vehicular parking in the 2300 block of H Street as well as on 24th Street from H Street to the Eye Street Mall. Extensive outreach has been underway with adjacent residential buildings, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and the Farmer’s Market vendors to share details regarding these changes. There has also been extensive coordination with this project team and the coordinators of the GroW Community Garden to ensure the garden will continue to successfully operate (albeit behind the perimeter fence for the construction project on H Street).
Ross Hall 5 & 6 Floor Renovation Quick Facts
Architect: Cannon Design
General Contractor: Clark Construction