Table of Contents
2.0 General Campus Renovation Issues
During the survey process, several issues were revealed that merit discussion because of their substantial economic functional and operational impact. These issues arose as the result of governmental regulations, aging building systems, deferred maintenance, and changing program demands placed on buildings and equipment. Generally, these issues are the primary focus of the short term renovation plan for which the Board of Trustees is now seeking funding through bond sources.
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2.1 Life Safety and Health
Before any other issues are considered, these must be addressed and resolved as completely as possible. Life safety and health issues generally focus on
, means of egress, security, and accident prevention. Updates and renovations to facilities may provide increased protection in all of these areas; however, the real key to all life safety and health issues is the human factor operating through a well managed prevention program. The insurer for the campus will undoubtedly provide exhaustive information and assistance in all of the areas of
Substantial progress was made in the area of life safety and health.
2.1.1 Fire Protection
The campus should be equipped with a comprehensive, monitored, fire detection system as soon as possible. This is particularly critical in the dormitories. All of the buildings on campus are now connected via Honeywell mechanical systems monitoring equipment. This same communications link can be used to support campus-wide
system with minimal cost. The system should be monitored by local fire officials or a monitoring service. Standard operating procedures for building use, maintenance, and housekeeping must be updated and expanded to include loss prevention measures.
The campus has been equipped with a comprehensive, monitored, fire detection system. The residence halls were of first priority and systems were installed �in house� by WCJC
maintenance staffs in 1996. Followed by that a 3-year project was completed by installing stand alone systems in all other buildings not having systems 1997-2000. In 2001, the Johnson Health Occupational Center system was upgraded and communication modules were added to the dorms and LaDieu Technology Center. The systems were networked using the college LAN and are now being monitored by an outside company.
2.1.2 Means of Egress.
The east wing of Mullins Hall is seriously deficient in exterior exit. Dead end corridors exist on both the first and second floors. On the second floor, the mechanical room separates five rooms and the second floor showers from the fire escape. A similar situation exists at Frankie Hall. A recent state fire marshal's report cites numerous small deficiencies such as doors swinging the wrong way and missing panic hardware.
All residence halls were renovated by adding additional exterior exits to prevent any �dead
The science building has open stairwells that are accessible at all hours. Campus winter operating hours often require access to these stairwells in darkness. Inadequate lighting contributes to these areas being significant security problems. Outdoor security lighting is inadequate in many areas of the campus.
Security lighting was added to the following areas: Peace, Fine Arts, Student Center, Science, Rodeo Arena, Administration, Brooking Hall and Frankie Hall. Lighting upgrades
were accomplished by changing all exterior pole lights by the sidewalks from 150 watt to
400 watt fixtures.
2.1.4 Accident Prevention.
Proper maintenance and repair of all campus operating equipment are essential. The proper ventilation of all occupied spaces on campus should be reviewed.
A preventative maintenance system was started in January 1996. This allows Physical
Plant to track all equipment, buildings, and crafts through a computerized preventative
program, which includes routine maintenance, preventative
maintenance, deferred maintenance, supply inventory, equipment inventory, and warranty
information. This system is evaluated yearly by a cost history accumulation on equipment, a report by craft, and a report by site.
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2.2 Roofing Systems
Many of the major buildings on campus were built in the 1960s or early 1970s. The membranes on these buildings are either original or repaired versions of the originals. They have all met or exceeded their normal life expectancy. The re-roofing projects undertaken in the last 10 years have met with varying degrees of success. Roof systems in the Houston - Gulf Coast area are subject to some of the harshest conditions in the country.
Starting with the Fine Arts Building this year, the entire campus is scheduled to be re-roofed. New roof systems will consist of both new metal roofs and the use of the best modern roof membranes. New metal roofs will be proposed for the Administration Building and Frankie Hall. Other buildings will retain their flat built-up systems.The objective is to provide each building, over the next five years with a roof that will have a 25 to 30 year life expectancy.
All buildings on campus have been re-roofed with scheduled replacement in the year 2015.
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2.3 Climate Control Systems
The age, condition, and operational parameters of the air-conditioning systems on campus vary considerably. The systems range from new and well maintained to old and dangerous to operate. The mechanical systems in each building are monitored by a Honeywell system that constantly reports the operating status of each building. It also allows remote sensing of temperature and humidity and remote time on and time off for each system This is not an energy management system, although it does perform some basic energy management functions. This is a system that can quite possibly be built on to enhanced system operational control and energy efficiency.
2.3.1 Air Conditioning Systems
The campus utilizes two basic air-conditioning system types. The first is the chilled water systems typical of the Peace and the Science buildings. The second is the direct expansion (DX) system that uses refrigerant in place of the chilled water. Both systems used on campus are charged with refrigerants, namely, R-11 and R-22, that will soon be banned by the U.S. government under the 1991 Clean Air Act because of the effect of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) on the ozone layer. Since the potential economic impact of these regulations is so enormous a discussion of the issue is appropriate.
All air condition systems (DX and chilled water) have been replaced. Currently all units on
campus are within 10 years of age, with the exception of Sugar Land and Richmond, which
have exceeded their life expectancy.
2.3.2 What is the CFC Problem?
Breakdown of CFC refrigerants in the stratosphere results in a reduction of stratospheric ozone allowing higher levels of ultraviolet light to reach the earth's surface. Certain gases in the atmosphere, including CFCs and HCFCs, may cause a gradual warming of the earth's surface. This is known as the greenhouse effect.
In line with 1987 Montreal Protocol, the Environmental Protection Agency froze U.S. production of CFCs -R11, R12, -R113, -R114, and -R115 at 1986 levels on July 1st of last year. A 20% reduction from 1986 levels, based on the ozone depletion factor of the chemicals, is scheduled for 1993 and 50% reduction is slated for 1998. The freeze, which had the immediate effect of cutting production of CFC-11 by 9.5% and CFC-12 by 16.2% already has put users and the distribution chain on allocation. The revised Protocol (June 1990) called for a 50% phase-out by 1997, and a 100% phase-out by 2000.
The Clean Air Amendment was signed by President Bush on November 15, 1990. It called for a CFC phase-out starting in 1991 of 85% of 1986 production down to 0% in the year 2000. On February 11, 1992 President Bush announced a significant speed-up in the phase-out of CFC's to 1995. Mandatory capture and recycling of CFC's will be effective July 1,1992.
The refrigerants effected are R11, R12, R113, and R114. The college will be most effected by the ban on R11 and R12. R22 which is used in most of the smaller systems on campus has no replacement at this time. R12 is used in all of the refrigeration equipment on campus and in college owned automobiles.
The best replacement candidates are HCFC-123 (r-123) for CFC-11 (R11) and HCFC-134A (for R12). Both R-123 and R134A are in full production by Dupont now.
The college's strategy for the 90's should follow these guidelines:
2.3.3 Energy Management.
Energy Management will become more important every year as energy cost continue to rise. The most effective energy management measure the college can perform at the moment is to bring all of the climate control systems up to proper levels of maintenance and operational parameters. Many of the climate control systems on campus are not operating properly and are suffering from significant amounts of deferred maintenance. Poor operation contributes to high humidity levels in the buildings which damages finishes and equipment.
A new energy management system was recently install (2002). This is still not a true or
comprehensive EMS but it has the potential to grow with the campus.
Alternatives sources for air conditioning should be studied soon. There are programs available that utilize equipment for which HL&P will pay capital costs. One such program uses existing equipment to make ice at night which in turn provides the cold water for the air conditioning the next morning. This could be a very effective alternative since the college is largely a morning campus.
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2.4 Structural / Exterior Walls
In spite of the highly expansive soil under the campus, there is little structural damage. The Administration Building and Mullins Hall are the two buildings that have suffered damage significant enough to warrant repairs. This is due to the large trees to the west of both buildings. Repair techniques and costs should be nominal for both buildings.
The building exterior walls are in need of cleaning, sealing, and in some cases reglazing. The windows in the Administration Building need to be replaced. A tremendous amount of energy is wasted due to leakage through the old aluminum frames.
Leveling of the Administration Building has been taken care of and new windows were
installed. Not much progress was made over the last 10 years concerning the cleaning and sealing of exterior walls. Partial work was done at the Peace, Science, Administration, and Gym Buildings but only to assist with preventing water infiltration.
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2.5 Interior / Furniture / Fixtures and Equipment
The interior spaces in most of the buildings have not changed in 25 years. Spaces which were fine for programs in the past are not properly supporting programs now. Criteria for accessibility, lighting, signage, and comfort have changed over the last few years, and the campus has not kept up with the changes in many areas. As each building is reviewed, the proposed changes for that building will be detailed. Furniture, fixtures, and equipment(FF&E) refers to fixed items necessary for the functionality or use of the space for its intended purpose. For instance, the kitchen equipment in the cafeteria and the chairs in the dental hygiene lab are considered FF&E.
The campus has made progress with keeping up with accessibility, lighting ,and signage, but
continued up keep of equipment and budgeting for replacement equipment are extremely
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2.6 Site Planning and Landscaping
The issues in this category fall into five areas of concern.
The college has done a great deal of work improving the overall appearance of the grounds
and has received many compliments from the community, but there are still issues that have yet to be addressed.
There is no comprehensive storm sewer or surface water collection system on the campus. The existing ditch and culvert system has been so thoroughly compromised by soil movement, new construction, and lack of maintenance that it is non-functional. New sidewalks have been built to raise old broken walks out of the low water areas, and in the process they have created small lakes during rainy days.
Drainage is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
Many of the existing parking areas are too remote to some buildings such as Fine Arts, or they are non-functional in wet weather. The asphalt parking areas have deteriorated badly and have no curbs and gutters or drainage system. Vague, ill-defined areas such as the open area bounded by the library, cafeteria, and boys and girls dorms can be redesigned for greater utility and appearance.
New parking areas have been added and have relieved some of the over-crowding of the parking lots, but the existing asphalt parking areas have badly deteriorated. Parking lot signage was added to better define existing areas.
Site lighting for safe movement and security is inadequate. There are some areas that have been upgraded in recent months, but many dark areas remain. There has not been a consistent campus lighting design criteria established; this should be done in the context of a comprehensive landscape design study.
As mentioned earlier, numerous areas on campus have had either lighting upgrades or
additional lighting added. More lighting is still needed and is still a security issue.
2.6.4 Landscaping and Amenities.
As with the lighting, there has been no comprehensive campus landscape design plan for implementing an ongoing landscaping program. the campus is endowed with many trees that are in good health. The smaller scale plants, ground covers, and grasses are not well configured, sited, or maintained. The campus is lacking amenities such as outdoor benches, tables, water features, sculptures, and landscape features that are so important to the character of the campus. It is difficult to fund projects that focus largely on amenities, but for many students their first look at the buildings and grounds of the campus can be a very strong selling point.
A very strong amenity that was mentioned quite often during the survey process was covered walkways. They are very powerful visual elements and can be used to visually as well as physically tie a campus together. The convenience of moving about the campus without getting wet would be appreciated by everyone.
While there might not have been a comprehensive landscape design for the campus, little
by little over the last 10 years, the quality and appearance of the landscaping have greatly improved. Trees have been trimmed on a regular basis, irrigation systems have been added, benches, tables and new patios for students have been installed. Exterior campus directories were also recently added.
2.6.5 Power Distribution
The campus maintains its own power distribution system. Power is distributed to the buildings both overhead and underground. The overhead portion of the system that runs east - west just north of the library needs to be replaced. The poles and support arms are rotting and will not survive many more high winds. It will be advantageous to replace these poles pursuant to a competitive bid process rather than endure the high cost of emergency replacement.
All overhead electrical including poles, transformers and conductors have been replaced
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2.7 Environmental Issues
There are two significant and potentially costly environmental issues facing the campus previously under section 2.3 climate control systems. The Science and Peace buildings are most involved with asbestos because of the large amount of sprayed on material on the ceilings.
The asbestos containing material in both buildings is in good condition. They should be carefully managed under a comprehensive operations and maintenance program to prevent their becoming damaged or disturbed. Removal will become necessary if renovations or in the event of damage.
The acoustic material containing asbestos is still an issue in the Peace and Science
buildings. Renovation of either building will be very limited unless the material is removed.
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2.8 Accessibility / Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in July of 1990 to assure access to all public places and programs for the 43 million Americans with disabilities. Under Title II of the Act, Public entities are required to perform self-evaluations of their policies procedures, and programs to assure that all of their programs are accessible. The self-evaluation must be complete by January 26, 1993. It must be preceded by a transition plan in which all of the barriers to programs on the campus are identified and plans to remove those barriers as necessary are provided. The transition plan must be written by July 26, 1992.
The campus is deficient in several areas, most notably in vertical transportation. The Administration, Science, and Peace Building should be fitted with elevators. The library can be accommodated with a chairlift. The campus restrooms need to be upgraded to ADA standards. Signage is another significant requirement in the ADA guidelines that can be quite expensive. The first order of business for the campus is to initiate the transition plan and self-evaluation process.
Good progress was made over the last 5 years on the Americans with Disabilities Act by
making restrooms in 4 buildings accessible. Also elevators were added to the Peace, Science, Administration and the Student Center buildings. The Administration building was also outfitted with ADA compliant signage.
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