Gorgas Core Support Project Update 7/15/2019

We’re in the eleventh week of renovations and things are moving along great!

There are currently three separate renovation projects going on simultaneously in Gorgas Library.  They are the Gorgas Core Support Project (Elevators and Restrooms Project), the Second Floor Meeting Rooms Project, and the JavaCity Project.  Here are some brief updates on each of those projects.

Gorgas Core Support Project:


  • Demolition of the staff elevator shaft is complete, but it is possible that the shaft will need to be enlarge an additional 2.5 inches to the north of the existing staff.  That decision will be finalized this week.  The next step will be to install the steel supports for the elevator shaft which will involve bringing in large steel beams, inserting them into the shaft, and welding them together on site.  The welders will be using all required precautions during this process and are required to use high velocity exhaust fans in order to minimize odors from the shaft.  Once the support system is in place, installation of the car and equipment will begin.  The staff elevator renovation should be complete and it should be operational in January/February, 2020.  This completion date is behind schedule due to the many complications the building has presented to the contractor during the demolition process. 
  • Once the staff elevator renovation is complete and that elevator is fully functional, all floors and spaces within Gorgas Library will be assigned a new number.  Renumbering all floors and rooms will require us to carefully consider all publications, instructions, and websites that include information about locations that will need to be changed.  The architect is going to provide a form that can be used to facilitate the room and floor re-numbering transition.  The form will list old room numbers and corresponding new room numbers.  As soon as I have this information, I will share it with everyone.
  • After the staff elevator project is complete, renovation of one of the passenger elevators will begin.  After that project is complete, the other passenger elevator will be renovated.  The elevator project is expected to be completed by the end of next summer (2020). 


  • Demolition of the first floor restroom is complete and that restroom has been changed over to the new plumbing system.  Currently, the anticipated completion date for the first floor restroom is mid to late August. 
  • Demolition is underway in the second floor restroom.  The work in the second floor restroom will not be as complicated as the work was on first floor and should not take as long to complete.  In addition to the work on the restroom on second floor, the elevator lobby, and Circulation Services Desk will also be renovated.  The Circulation Desk has been temporarily relocated to the Pearce Foyer and will remain there until the work has been completed in the second floor lobby and restroom areas. 

Second Floor Meeting Rooms Project:

  • Demolition work in Gorgas 205 and 205C is complete. The ceiling grid has been installed, and conduit is being installed for electrical and data lines.  The locations for the two video walls have been finalized so that prep work can begin for the installation of those two systems. 
  • The work for the Meeting Rooms Project is on schedule and the anticipated completion date is November 1, 2019.

JavaCity Project:

  • The JavaCity Project is scheduled for completion by August 15.  New sheetrock has been installed, new ceiling grids have been put into place, the plumbing is complete, and everything is in place for the new kiosk that will be provided by a third-party vendor.  The plan includes two self-service sales points for “grab and go” items, and a check out point for custom drink orders.  This arrangement should eliminate the long lines that we previously experienced in JavaCity.  Once JavaCity reopens, they will offer an expanded menu with more food options. 

University Archive Facility Update 7/15/2019

Construction of the University Archive Facility is currently on schedule and is expected to be completed by late fall, 2019. 

Here are a few updates on the UAF construction project:

  • The restroom in the current Annex building is being renovated, so the staff there have been in the midst of a noisy, messy process.  The contractors have declared that the Annex staff  are “real troopers” as they have endured saw-cutting and other loud noises, and continuous movement in and out of their work space.  When I was there, a wheelbarrow loaded with wet concrete was being transported into the restroom via the front door and office space.  The good news is that the slab has been re-poured which should mean that some of the noisy and dusty work inside their work space will subside. The work on the restroom is required in order to meet building codes and ADA standards. They do have a restroom trailer, but that is not real convenient on a rainy day.  
  • A crew from the Patterson Pope office in Wisconsin (compact, moveable shelving vendor) was on site last week to confirm interior measurements of the new building to ensure that the shelving will fit into the structure as planned. 
  • Documents for the fire suppression system are in the process of being routed through all of the necessary stops for review and final approval.
  • Electrical and mechanical systems are being installed.
  • The equipment that will be used to access materials on the shelving has been selected and is the process of being purchased. 

Water Shutdown July 12


There will be a water shutdown on all floors of Gorgas on Friday, July 12 from 6:00 a.m. to approximately 9:00 a.m. The restroom trailer on Capstone Drive will be available during this time.

Work on 2nd floor

The second floor restrooms are CLOSED for renovation. The upper level restrooms are open.

The Circulation desk has been temporarily relocated to the Pearce Foyer.

Temporary walls are being built in the study areas on second while the circulation desk area is being renovated.

Face masks and ear plugs are available on first floor.

WATER IS BACK (9:35 a.m.)

Water Outage Thursday

There will be a water outage tomorrow morning, Thursday, June 27, in all of the core restrooms, floors 2-5.  The outage will begin at 7:00 a.m. and is expected to last about 2 hours.  The restroom trailer on Capstone Drive will be open during this time.  The water outage is necessary so that temporary plumbing pipes that have been installed can be connected.  This will allow the project to move forward and demolition of the restrooms on second floor will proceed on Monday, July 1.   

Last Day of Summer 1

Wednesday, June 26- Join us on the second floor of Gorgas, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Computers on first floor are available again!

Gorgas 102 and 104 have been reopened and are available for use.  Everything is back in place and working fine. Thanks to Custodial Services, OIT, OLT, and the Electrical Shop for getting everything back in good shape.   

Nursing Mothers Room

The nursing mothers room in 208A has been permanently closed because it is located within the construction zone for the Gorgas 205 project on second floor.  The nursing mothers room is being temporarily relocated to M416 on floor 4M.  When the restroom renovation project is complete, there will be a new nursing mothers room located on the first floor next to the rest room.