Campus improvements planned for winter break

While the university is closed for the holiday break, Facilities Engineering and Planning (FE&P) staff members will be busy with repairs and other maintenance projects across campus.

Below are some of the winter break projects that Doug Tomlinson mentioned at the Dec. 4 Administrators Forum. Tomlinson is assistant vice president for project management and engineering.

* For a trial run of how Rice can use gas turbines to provide its own electricity across campus in the event of a citywide power outage, FE&P will temporarily put all buildings on one electrical circuit. On Dec. 15, this will result in a brief power “blip” sometime between 8 and 10 a.m. in Dell Butcher Hall, the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center and Baker Hall; other buildings that might experience the “blip” are Duncan Hall, McNair Hall and George R. Brown Hall. For the actual exercise of putting all buildings on one circuit on Dec. 26, there will be an eight- to 10-hour power outage in the FE&P Training Building, the North Parking Lot, the north and south intramural field lighting, the Youngkin Center, Reckling Park and the tennis recreation courts and a loss of air conditioning in Tudor Fieldhouse.

* The replacement of electrical switchgear will cause a 12-hour power outage at Rice Memorial Center (RMC) and at George R. Brown Hall on Dec. 27.

* Air handlers will be replaced on the first floor of the Cox Mechanical Engineering Building Dec. 22-Jan. 2 and on the second floor of Herzstein Hall Dec. 13-28.

* Heating and hot water pipes will be replaced on the second floor of the Mechanical Lab Building Dec. 10-22.

* Drain pipes will be installed two feet deep and three feet away from the south side of the Mechanical Lab Building and on both the east and west sides of Lovett Hall Dec. 17-Jan. 4.

* Storm sewer repairs near Huff House will be made along Presidential Road Dec. 17-Jan. 4. Steel plates over the road should enable traffic to continue while the trenching takes place.

* Elevators will be out of service in the new wings of Will Rice and Baker colleges Dec. 14-Jan. 7 so that the elevator controls can be upgraded.

* Except on the fourth floor, Allen Center will be without air conditioning on Dec. 14, 21 and 24 while FE&P crews work on fireproofing the mechanical and electrical rooms.

Other projects that will be completed over the break:

* Curb cuts will be made for accessibility ramps between the RMC and McNair Hall.

* The brick planter around the Greenbriar Building will be repaired.

* Restrooms on the first floor of the east wing of George R. Brown Hall will undergo some repairs.

* Trees near the Rice University Police Department building will be relocated in preparation for construction of the D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center.

To check for updates on these projects, visit Questions can be directed to the Facilities Service Center at 713-348-2485 or


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