Campus Construction Update

Turner Hall (Demonstration School)

This $8.2 million expansion and complete renovation is about to begin! The renamed Turner Hall will provide room for growth of the Speech Language Pathology program, Speech and Hearing Clinic, and a large tiered classroom/auditorium that will be available not only to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, but also for other university programming. The temporary construction fence is going up this week, which means we will lose about 20 parking spaces in the Martin/Eckford parking lot for the duration of this project. The large construction site is needed for the construction trailer, laydown of construction materials, and also for the footprint of the expansion of the building. Construction is expected to be complete in July 2019. This project is funded from state general obligation bonds.

Hogarth Dining Center Repairs

This $700,000 project provides repairs to the Hogarth infrastructure system. During part of this project, Sodexo will be using paper and plastic products since the dish machine will be inoperable. The parking lot behind Hogarth will be closed off for a couple of weeks except for the Sodexo catering van and deliveries. Repairs should be complete in April, 2018. This project is funded from the Mississippi Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management.

Fant Library - ITS
The renovation and expansion of Fant Library is complete, except for certain technology installations. The university is working with an Audio-Visual Consultant and with the State of Mississippi Information Technology Services to procure technology for the tiered classroom and the individual study rooms, as funded by state general obligation bonds. Remaining technology will be provided as funding becomes available.

Physical Plant

This $1,059,550 project provides a $4,477 square foot single story addition to the existing Physical Plant Building and a 2,500 square foot warehouse adjacent to the existing storage buildings. The estimated completion date of this project is April 27,2018. This project is funded from state general obligation bonds.

Softball Field

This $716,399 project for improvements to the softball field provides an artificial turf playing field, fencing, windscreens, bullpens, scoreboard, deck, backstop netting and pads, field lighting and updates to the pressbox, concession area and restroom facilities. The project will be substantially complete in time for the Feb. 11 2018 opening game. This project is funded from university auxiliary funds and the Mississippi University for Women Foundation. The windscreens and deck came from athletics fundraising through sponsors and donations.

Residence Hall Mechanical Repairs

All residence hall mechanical and fire alarm systems have been inspected and evaluated by professionals and carbon monoxide detectors have been placed in the mechanical rooms and on each floor. Obstructions that may restrict airflow around boilers have been removed, and air intake ducts have been extended as necessary. Repairs have been made where deemed necessary. The mechanical engineer is preparing a report with recommendations for future modifications. Estimated costs to date of $35,000 are funded from university plant funds.

Pioneers Plaza

The Plaza is located on the west side of Welty Hall. Construction period was from 3/01/2017 - 11/15/2017. The Plaza consist of a landscaped concrete patio, benches and 12 markers. The markers are to recognize Pioneers of the W. The first Pioneers to be recognized are the six students who in 1966 desegregated MSCW: Diane Hardy Thompson, Laverne Greene Leech, Barbara Turner, Jacqueline E. Edwards, Mary L. Flowers and Eula M. Houser. This project cost $62,200 and was funded from university funds. The dedication of Pioneers Plaza will be Friday, February 23 at 10:30 a.m.

Speed Limit Change

At the beginning of the year, the campus community will be greeted by new speed bumps and 10 MPH speed limit signs.

The speed bumps and signs will be installed during the winter break and will be located at Welty Drive, Ginkgo Place, MSCW Drive and Serenade Drive.

The traffic-calming measures are being put into place in an effort to make our campus safer for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

UPDATE 7: Statement to campus regarding Kincannon Hall incident

UPDATE 12/5 4:45 p.m.: Dr. Borsig has designated Jim Jones to lead the review of last week’s incident in Kincannon Hall.  Please share with him any information you think would be helpful, as well as cooperate with any requests for information.  Jim Jones, MUW Project Director, has more than 30 years of engineering and facility operations experience.  He will lead the incident review and will be making recommendations for improvements to facilities and processes.  Jim Jones may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This review will include facilities and processes, procedures, and training. You will see in the following paragraphs the university has already made changes to ensure a timely and proper response in the future.

Facilities

The university has installed carbon monoxide detectors in all residence halls that did not have them previously.  Written procedures have been posted for all battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors.  In the event that a carbon monoxide detector alarms, you are to pull the fire alarm, immediately exit the building, and call 911.

The university has retained the services of an independent mechanical engineering firm to review these facilities and to make recommendations regarding permanent protective measures. The university will receive recommendations regarding the installation of appropriate permanent protective measures and will install the necessary equipment.

Procedures and Timeline

The university has also commenced a review of the university’s police and housing departments related to their training and emergency response action plans as they relate directly to the incident.  We have determined that an initial report of a gas smell was reported late Monday night, November 27, and was not properly handled.  The next report was made early Tuesday morning, November 28, and resulted in university police evacuating the building and notifying Columbus Fire and Rescue who detected carbon monoxide in the building. 

Safety remains the university’s top priority.  While immediate improvements have been made to Kincannon Hall’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system designed to eliminate the ability of carbon monoxide to enter the building, our maintenance technicians and engineers continue to assess our systems campus-wide for improvements.   The review will also improve our awareness and response to emergency situations.

The university will continue to provide updates by email and postings to the university’s webpage. The updates will most likely lag the current actions being taken because those who are working on the corrective actions are also responsible for composing the updates. Every effort will be made to keep the campus informed of all actions taken in a timely manner.

 


UPDATE 11/30 5:00 p.m.:Kincannon Hall has been deemed safe for operation, and students were able to return at 3:45 p.m. today.

Columbus Fire and Rescue and MUW personnel have conducted carbon monoxide monitoring procedures since Tuesday, Nov. 28 and have concluded that there were zero levels of carbon monoxide detected in Kincannon Hall at each reading.

During the initial mechanicals system assessment, all boiler inspection certifications were examined and all are current. In addition, maintenance and mechanical engineers, from both on and off campus, and university staff have worked around the clock to assess equipment and to ensure students’ safety.

Campus efforts have been prioritized with a focus on students first, facilities and then evaluation. We anticipate the evaluation phase to be ongoing and thorough. As part of our initial review, the university has determined that there was a breakdown within the university police department’s emergency response communications. The university continues its assessment into understanding how this incident occurred and how we can improve our communication and response to safety issues.

Carbon monoxide detectors are in every residence hall on campus. Permanent protective measures will be implemented for all residence halls.

 


UPDATE 11/29 5:20 p.m.: Since Tuesday, Nov. 28, a total of 41 students have been evaluated at local hospitals.

Temporary housing is in place for Kincannon Hall residents and will remain in place through this evening. Shuttles are available to students.

Students who have received medical treatment have been provided with information so that they should not have any out-of-pocket medical expenses. If a student has a concern about medical expenses, they should call (662) 329-7127.

Boiler operational testing has been conducted with consultation with mechanical and maintenance specialists. Consultation with our mechanical engineer is ongoing. A follow up onsite mechanical assessment was conducted this afternoon.

Assessments and corrective measures will continue throughout the process.

The university is discussing permanent protective measures and installing temporary protective measures until the permanent ones can be implemented.

Columbus Fire and Rescue and MUW personnel have conducted several carbon monoxide monitoring procedures and concluded that there is no carbon monoxide in the building.

Campus efforts have been prioritized with a focus on students first, facilities and then evaluation.

Students are expected to return to Kincannon Hall tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 30.

 


UPDATE 11/29 11:40 a.m.: The following timeline of events was released at a media briefing Wednesday morning.

Timeline of Events as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28

9 a.m.– McCain engineer contacted
3 p.m.– Air Control Technician arrives on campus; remains on campus until 8 p.m.
3 p.m. – Columbus Fire and Rescue using carbon monoxide and other element detector scanned all five floors of Kincannon Hall; zero levels of detection.
5 p.m.– McCain engineer arrives on campus. Leaves campus at 9 p.m.
4:15 p.m. – All Kincannon Hall residents met with Dean of Students to update and inform students
4:15 -10 p.m. – Kincannon Hall was open for students
6 p.m.– Shuttles began running to temporary housing
9 p.m.– Kincannon Hall walked through and cleared by MUW.
10 p.m.– Kincannon closed to all students. Shuttles stopped. All students who were unaccounted for were called.
10 p.m. – Boiler testing begins. Boilers run until 8 a.m.
Midnight – Columbus Fire and Rescue test Kincannon. Zero levels found.
Midnight – Rooms checked at temporary housing. All 101 students scheduled to stay at hotel are present at hotel.
6:45 a.m.– Shuttle begins running back to campus.
8 a.m. – Boilers turned off and smoke test performed. Repeated carbon monoxide test. Zero levels found.

 


UPDATE 11/29 8:40 a.m.: The total number of students who went to the hospital for evaluation on Tuesday was 39. All students were released.

Testing will continue today to determine the root of the cause of the apparent boiler misfire.

We will continue to share information as we know more.

 


UPDATE 11/28 5:50 p.m.: On Tuesday, Nov. 28, an apparent boiler misfire occurred in Kincannon Hall. All students in Kincannon Hall were evacuated to Stark Recreation Center at approximately 5 a.m.

Initially, 28 students were transported to the local hospital for evaluation. Six more students were taken to the hospital later in the day, bringing the total to 34. All students have been released.

An official from Columbus Fire and Rescue confirmed that carbon monoxide was detected. As of 3 p.m. this afternoon, zero levels of carbon monoxide were detected.

Testing of the boiler system by mechanical and maintenance engineers is underway and will continue through tomorrow [Wednesday, Nov. 29].

Temporary housing arrangements for students have been made as a precautionary measure until the investigation is complete and the building is deemed safe for operation.

 


UPDATE 11/28 1:30 p.m.: All students taken to the hospital have been released.

 


ORIGINAL STATEMENT 11/28 9:41 a.m.: Early Tuesday morning, an apparent boiler misfire occurred in Kincannon Hall. Students in Kincannon Hall were evacuated to Stark Recreation Center at approximately 5 a.m.

Twenty-eight students were transported to the local hospital for evaluation. All of the students taken to the hospital were reported to be responsive and alert.

Local and campus emergency responders arrived at the scene to assist with the incident.

The cause of the apparent boiler misfire is still under investigation.

Any students who feel ill should immediately report to the MUW Health Center to be assessed.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.