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Air handling units need replacement, numerous offices to be displaced in SVC

Royal Aire will replace multiple air handling units to improve ventilation in the basement and first, second and fifth floors. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

Four air handling units located in the Student Services building (SVC) will be replaced starting late February, causing multiple offices located in the building to be temporarily displaced.

Replacements come after the units, which provide ventilation to portions of the basement and the first, second and fifth floors, had been used beyond their expected lifespan, according to Associate Director of Communications Aaron Nichols.

Being executed by Royal Aire, the project is estimated to be completed by this summer, Nichols said. 

The reason the replacement is taking place now is because it must be completed by this summer due to the requirements of receiving the federal funding for the work, according to Nichols.

“Between the funding stipulations, the fact that many organizations across the country are trying to accomplish similar projects and supply chain challenges, the manufacturing and delivery lead times are largely driving the project schedule,” he said.

“This is complicated by the physical locations and layouts of the large, existing equipment and ductwork that must be removed in pieces and parts before the new equipment can be installed. The total duration of the removal and reinstallation of systems is greater than the length of the summer break.”

A budget of $1.55 million has been permitted for the replacement. It is being funded from monies received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Some offices in the basement, such as The Controller’s Accounting Office and Resource Management and Development (RMD) (Business Transactions), are both working remotely, and some RMD employees are temporarily moving to the John and Grace Allen building.

Feed-A-Bull is moving across the hall from its original location in SVC 002 to SVC 0040 so it stays close to its existing location, and The Oracle offices are repositioning temporarily to a space in the Marshall Student Center.

Beyond the basement, Nichols said offices located on the first floor will either work remotely or shift locations if employees are required to come in person to do work.

“The Admissions Office is returning to remote operations with selected personnel working from spaces in the Registrar’s office area,” he said. “The functions of the Admissions Office that require public interaction, face-to-face, are relocating temporarily to the second floor lobby areas of the Central Human Resources offices, upstairs from where their lobby is now.”

The second floor, including offices such as Career Services, Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention and Undergraduate Student Support Services will also be moving locations or will shift a majority of their work remotely. 

On the fifth floor, RMD (HR & Payroll) will shift to a space in the Behavioral Sciences building and Information Technology will be working remotely.

With the staff’s experience during the pandemic, Nichols said the accelerated pace of the project is not going to sacrifice the quality of the replacement.

“All personnel we have been working with have been extremely understanding and cooperative during this complex planning process,” he said. 

“This is another example of how the experiences over the last 20 months have enabled USF to operate remotely and deliver excellent services in circumstances that require flexibility and adaptability.”