By Destinie Holiday
Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President David Oliver would like to thank the Facilities staff for all of their hard work during Hurricane Harvey and the recovery efforts.
The responsiveness, dedication and “can do” attitude to get the campus ready for the students return, as well as the continuing efforts to assess, repair and clean impacted areas has been impressive.
Facilities made unbelievable progress across campus from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 when the students officially returned. There was only 50 percent of the buildings available and they had 91 percent of them ready for occupancy. Detailed assessments of buildings continued every day with remediation work going on throughout the campus. A significant number of buildings amazingly transitioned from a yellow status to a green status.
The response of the Campus Services group was outstanding as they assisted in every aspect of the recovery effort. They were able to establish custodial services early on and solid waste disposal began soon afterward, in addition to debris removal. Priorities were housing complexes and student-related support buildings. Mowing was also started back during that time and was in full force quickly.
Restoration contractors were mobilized on key areas while dedicated UH staff dealt with minor remediation and dewatering. The Facilities damage assessment teams walked every classroom on campus to ensure the conditions were safe for classes. Although the initial focus was on student areas and classrooms, work steadily began on offices and laboratories as well. Some significant areas that were impacted are still not fully available yet.
There was considerable movement of faculty and staff in the short term and Facilities also helped support this need.
Build back and restoration of the campus is still ongoing using numerous contractors and in-house personnel and will continue for the next few months.