Volume 9, Issue 3 University of Houston
Water damage prompts renovation efforts
by DEBORAH ARANDA
The Lamar Fleming and Fred J. Heyne Buildings have undergone construction over winter break because of heavy rains this fall, and renovations for the two facilities are expected to last through March, according to UH Today.
"The infiltration of water into the Fleming basement has been a problem for a number of years, especially in the undergraduate laboratories and stockroom," David Hoffman, chairman for the Department of Chemistry, said.
"The faculty and staff in (the Department of Chemistry) have been able to work around the problem to keep the labs open, but recently it has gotten worse and we were thinking we might have to close one of the labs next semester," Hoffman said. "We are very pleased and thankful that this repair has been made a priority by the University."
Dave Irvin, associate vice president for Plant Operations, said the heavy rainstorm during the fall placed a higher priority on the buildings’ repairs. The plans for renovation include waterproofing and excavating around both buildings in order to repair the damages. Each facility will also have a new drainage system installed.
Irvin said the class laboratories in Fleming are the most damaged, and it affects the ability of students to learn and the faculty to use the space for instruction.
"There was mold from the water, damaged floors and water leakage coming from the ceilings, and this was impacting students and faculty," he said.
The expected costs for renovation are $250,000 for Fleming and $200,000 for Heyne, Irvin said.
Irvin said other buildings, including the Law Center, also suffered minor water damage, but repairs won’t be in store for a while.
"Since (the) budget is tight, planned renovation for other facilities and classrooms will be delayed until next summer, perhaps," Irvin said.
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