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Faculty, staff in Wescoe to begin office moves in May

Changes made to allow repairs to ventilation

Commencement marks the end of the academic year, but it's just the beginning of a busy time for the occupants of Wescoe Hall. Numerous faculty and staff members will move to temporary offices within and outside the building to accommodate the replacement of air handling systems in the facility.

The work is part of an ongoing $3 million, two-year project to replace air handling systems in the building's first three floors. Immediately after commencement, graduate teaching assistants and nontenure-track faculty in the second and third floors will move to temporary offices either in Watson Library, the Military Science Annex (former Multicultural Resource Center) or classrooms in the fourth floor of Wescoe. The GTAs and lecturers will remain in temporary locations through the summer of 2009. New classrooms on Wescoe's first floor will be completed by the time of the moves. That will enable the classes on the fourth floor to move there temporarily, freeing up the rooms as office space.

Following the move of GTAs and nontenure-track faculty, all faculty and staff on Wescoe's third floor will move to offices on the second floor vacated by the first round of moves. That move is expected to happen mid-June, and faculty and staff originally located on the second floor will remain there.

The HVAC system on the third floor will be renovated from July to the fall 2008 semester. There will also be remodeling and cosmetic work performed during that time.

During winter break of the 2008-09 academic year, occupants of Wescoe's second floor will move to the third floor. Faculty and staff who were originally located on the third floor will most likely move back to their original locations, while others will occupy space vacated by GTAs and nontenure-track faculty. The HVAC system on the second floor will then be renovated between January and the 2009 summer semester.

By the summer of 2009, all occupants will move back to their originally assigned offices. All faculty and staff who will move have been notified, said Paul D'Anieri, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The air handling system renovations and accompanying office moves are the result of an epidemiological study led by John Neuberger. Employees had expressed concern that in the past decade, five people who worked in Wescoe were diagnosed with brain tumors. Three of them were benign. Neuberger's study found there was no substantial cancer risk in the building, but did find problems with the building's airflow.

Work has already begun to correct airflow problems on Wescoe's first floor. Classics department faculty and staff will move to the first floor. About 12 new classrooms, with multimedia capabilities and expanded natural light, and office space are being constructed in the space. Faculty and staff are scheduled to move to the first floor this summer, following completion of the work.

Work is also under way on the first floor to repair the concrete slab at the building's base. The slab had shifted, causing uneven floors and walls in some areas. The project was funded by deferred maintenance appropriations.

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