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Feedback: The Bldg. 31 lactation room (B2B39) used by NIH nursing mothers has been closed “temporarily” for renovation since late October. Many of the NIH’s nursing mothers work in Bldg. 31 and this closure of the building’s only lactation room in recent months has been a major inconvenience, requiring us to either use less-than-optimal office space or expend more time and energy traveling with our equipment to other campus buildings multiple times a day in these cold months. This is already a challenging time for us nursing mothers, especially for those newly back from maternity leave, and makes continuing breastfeeding while working all the more difficult. The room was supposed to be closed for only a week and there have been no signs that renovations will be completed any time soon. Could you please let us know what the hold-up is on this renovation and when we can expect to have a usable Bldg. 31 lactation room again?
Response from the Office of Research Services: When the lactation room was closed for temporary renovations, it was expected to be for 1 week. However, asbestos was detected, requiring the need for abatement and unexpectedly adding to the length of the closure from what we originally anticipated. We anticipate renovations to be completed in February 2015. The asbestos abatement is under way and once complete and air monitoring determines the room is ready for re-occupancy, the room will again be available for nursing mothers. During the interim, we have taken measures to locate an alternate lactation room within Bldg. 31. Nursing mothers registered in our program received notification of the alternate location.