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Inspections of renovated buildings to be conducted this summer

by Karen A. Grava - June 18, 2007

The University shared its plan to expedite the inspection this summer of buildings where renovations have occurred under UConn 2000 during a meeting of the Construction Management Oversight Committee on June 15.

“The goal of the inspection program is to assure that student residential facilities – including dormitories and apartments – classroom buildings, and other buildings in which students congregate are safe, as determined by the Office of the State Building Inspector, by Sept. 1,” said Barry Feldman, vice president and chief operating officer.

He said the inspections will be done under the direction of the State Building Inspector, and conducted by UConn and state inspectors; representatives of a private architectural firm experienced in code inspections; and, if necessary, part-time licensed inspectors hired by the University.

Feldman also reported that to date, 56 recently constructed non-threshold buildings or buildings with additions or major renovations – including newly constructed apartment and residence halls – have been inspected for fire and building safety, have necessary corrective work either completed or underway, and have been determined to be safe.

Ten more facilities in this category will be field inspected by Sept. 1, and final inspection reports will be completed by the end of the calendar year.

The list includes 77 buildings that are part of nine dormitory complexes that received alterations, sprinkler systems, and other fire safety improvements under the UConn 2000 program, and one complex (Northwood Apartments) that was renovated with non-UConn 2000 funds.

These complexes were inspected by the State Fire Marshall between 2001 and 2004, and nine of the 10 were determined to be in compliance with the 1999 Connecticut Fire Safety Code.

The 10th, the graduate dormitory complex, was in compliance, except for the diameter of a handrail.

“This group of buildings will be further inspected by Sept. 1 to confirm that basic safety requirements are satisfied,” Feldman said.

“Any immediate corrective action will be completed. Building code inspections of the alterations will begin after Sept. 1.”

The list also includes buildings that were subject to alterations or repairs that were mostly minor and occurred in 79 buildings, of which 47 are classroom buildings.

The classroom buildings and other buildings where students congregate will be inspected before Sept. 1, under the same protocol used for the dormitory complexes.

The inspections are being undertaken pursuant to UConn 2000 oversight legislation passed last year.

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