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Vol. LXIII, No. 6
March 18, 2011

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Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at www. (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.

Feedback: Concerning construction in “old” Bldg. 10: It’s been bad enough that they closed several of the west end North corridor hallways, making it difficult to get around, but now they are going to close most of them for “reconstruction” work. That, combined with the already closed South corridors, is going to make it very hard for some us to get around (like those of us who can’t easily do stairs). I’ve also noticed that they seem to be in the process of blocking access to the stairs near the main elevators (C corridor). Isn’t this a fire and safety hazard? I’m concerned that the people who work in these parts of Bldg. 10 were not taken into consideration when construction plans were put in place.

Response from the Office of Research Services and Office of Research Facilities: The corridor closures and construction partitions are necessary to ensure the safety of employees, patients and visitors while a major renovation project is under way in the F wing.

Access to the central solarium stairwell, occupied office areas, solarium conference rooms used by NCI, NIDDK and NIAID, along with the bathrooms, will be maintained to the greatest extent possible during construction. There is no intent to close off active areas of the solarium during construction.

The new doors and partitions being built in the main elevator lobbies are necessary to provide dust and pressurization control for areas under construction in the F wing. They will not be closed during normal daytime working hours.

In addition to closures on floors 2 through 5, the 9th floor North corridor will also be closed to through traffic. The closure is necessary to proceed with the complete demolition of these areas followed by the installation of new laboratories and utilities to service 10 institutes. Visitors will be directed to use the 1st floor to travel between the main elevator lobby and the D corridor, but corridors on floors 6 through 8 and 10 through 13 will remain open as well.

The Division of the Fire Marshal, ORS, reviewed and approved the plan for the entire F wing project in accordance with NIH Policy Manual 1370 (Fire Protection and Life Safety Building Permit Process). Emergency egress routes have been altered and appropriate signage will be provided. In addition, access to stairwell 7 in Bldg. 10 will be maintained. All emergency egress routes were carefully reviewed to ensure that Life Safety Code compliance is maintained throughout the duration of this project.

Feedback: What is going on with the old Bldg. 31B parking lot? We were told it was to be a meadow-like area but it’s starting to look like a dump. The ground is torn up with tire tracks, there is an old, rusty dumpster sitting out there and sheets of plywood on the ground. When can we expect that area to be returned to a more natural setting?

Response from ORS and ORF: The area in question is currently being used as a “laydown” area for a project involving the installation of an automatic sprinkler system for the Bldg. 31 complex. This laydown area was previously approved by the ORF-ORS site selection review committee. Once the contractor completes the installation work, it is required to remove its equipment and restore the area to its previous state.

Feedback: When there is a big event on campus, why doesn’t the shuttle service offer additional shuttles for pick-up/drop-off times on these days for people who are off campus? For example, going to the CFC event, the shuttle was so packed it seemed unsafe.

Response from ORS: The Division of Amenities and Transportation Services has, in the past, provided extra shuttle service to events when the sponsors have requested it. This extra shuttle service has normally been provided at no cost or a reduced cost to the sponsor of the event.

Some recent examples include: Earth Day/Take Your Child to Work Day, Take a Hike Day, “Big Think” Meeting, OD Honor Awards Ceremony and several retreats and all-hands meetings and conferences for various ICs.

In the future, with the tight budget situation, it is uncertain whether we will be able to provide additional no-cost or reduced-cost shuttles. However, event coordinators can continue to hire additional shuttles or even coach buses for events that require bringing large numbers of employees and/or visitors to the NIH campus.

For shuttle buses, you can contact Louise Davis at (301) 496-9621. For coach buses, you can contact the NIH Motor Pool at (301) 496-3426.

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