By TRACEY EASTMAN
Published January 30, 2023
University Facilities continues to make significant progress restoring campus spaces damaged during the December blizzard in an effort to prioritize the continuation of faculty research and operations in affected areas.
Although it was initially projected that the entire Biomedical Research Building (BRB) on the South Campus would be offline for 12 months due to water damage during the storm, University Facilities has determined that only the first floor and certain areas on the upper floors will be unavailable this semester as repairs get underway.
Faculty members with office or lab spaces under repair in BRB are being assigned temporary spaces in BRB or in another building.
“We have finished assessing the damage to UB’s buildings and restoration work has been scheduled for most projects,” says Tonga Pham, associate vice president for university facilities. “The university is doing all it can to accommodate faculty, staff and researchers to ensure their important work continues with as little disruption as possible.
“Those with workspaces that were directly affected will receive temporary work and lab space assignments, as necessary,” Pham adds. “There are still a few spaces that will be temporarily blocked off or marked with signage to ensure the safety of community members. We don’t expect the repairs to cause major disruption to classes for the spring semester.”
Elsewhere on the South Campus, repairs to Cary Hall will begin in a few weeks. The second and third floors will remain open during repairs, while the ground and first floors will continue to be closed until further notice.
On the North Campus, spaces within Clemens, Cooke and Fronczak halls are under repair. Areas under repair will be either blocked off or marked with signage to ensure the safety of community members.
Unit Facilities Planning Management Officers (FPMOs) and deans with spaces impacted by the storm are receiving frequent status updates and have been in contact with affected individuals with instructions about temporary workspace and lab relocations, as necessary.
As noted last month, only one student residence building was damaged during the storm. All housing spaces are now able to be occupied.
The university has filed a FEMA Emergency Reimbursement application to recapture costs incurred in repairing the storm’s damage.
University employees who encounter any damage to their area’s work, classrooms, seminar spaces or lab areas should inform their unit’s FPMO of the problem immediately. FPMOs will report the issue directly to University Facilities. If your unit FPMO is unavailable, report the issue directly to University Facilities customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-645-2025 during regular business hours.
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