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Update on Campus Construction Projects

While there is a great deal of construction activity on campus right now, more is on the way. On Jan. 6, the National Capital Planning Commission approved NIH's most recent update of its 20-year Campus Master Plan (see NIH Record, Nov. 23, 2004, for details), along with the Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVI) facility and the main Gateway Center near the Medical Center Metro station on Rockville Pike.

Construction on the CVI should begin about Mar. 1, according to Karen Rhodes, program manager with the Office of Research Facilities. This 12-month project is overseen by Project Officer Johnny Madlangbayan and will stretch from Wilson Drive north to North Drive. Once completed, the inspection station will include a canopy similar to the one on the Gateway Center, to shield inspectors and drivers from the weather. It will also have inspection lanes, a "toll booth" security station and a rejection lane to take drivers back to Rockville Pike. Vehicles approved for campus entrance will proceed over the creek on a new bridge that is part of the project.

The Gateway Center design is complete and includes three components: an underground multi-level parking garage outside the fence on Rockville Pike with space for 350 visitor vehicles; an inspection station; and the Gateway Center itself. ORF's Mayra Sequeira manages the Gateway project.

Another new project involves installation of a new campus fire alarm system to bring obsolete equipment up to code and increase reliability. Project Officer Ben Buck says that although the project includes installation of new cable between the fire house and all campus buildings, campus operations will be only minimally affected. "Most of the new cabling will be installed in existing tunnels and underground duct banks," he said. Many buildings will also get new fire alarm devices. This project will take about 3 years to complete.

In addition to the new construction, some projects are coming to an end. The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, managed by ORF Project Officer Shah Saleh, is nearly complete and ready for occupancy, although the gardens, a separate project, will not be finished until this spring. Many on campus are also curious about why Wilson Drive between Bldg. 1 and the Pike is chopped up. "That's the Northeast Utility Tunnel Extension to supply utilities to Bldg. 33," explained Rhodes. Kyung Kim is the project officer managing both the utility tunnel and the Bldg. 33 project. The tunnel work should be complete and the roadway returned to a permanent route by April. Project Officer Tony Francis says construction on the new MLP-9 parking garage under construction next to Bldg. 10 has been restarted following a fatality on the site last November, and the garage should be finished sometime this summer.

For answers to questions about campus construction projects, send email to orfresponse@mail.nih.gov.
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