Building Update and Claims Process
Dear Howard University Community,
The following campus update contains important information related to the buildings on campus that were most adversely affected by the winter weather crisis. As a result of the weather-related damage to various campus buildings, Annex I, Annex II, Numa Adams and Douglass Hall remain offline. These buildings have experienced significant damage. Dehumidification and mold abatement has commenced and is ongoing. Several areas within these buildings are still experiencing steam leaks resulting in extreme temperatures and atmospheric bio-hazards. The presence of extreme temperatures and atmospheric bio-hazards has rendered these buildings unsafe for occupancy. For your safety, Howard University faculty, staff, and students are strictly prohibited from entering these buildings.
Unlimited Restoration Incorporated (URI) has been contracted to perform remediation, restoration and decontamination activities in Annex I, Annex II, and Douglass Hall. URI is boxing and labeling personal and Howard University property in all affected buildings. The contents are being placed in a controlled condition or “clean” room under positive air pressure and HEPA air filtration. The boxed contents fall into the following categories:
- special artifacts
- university property
- personal property
- books & documents
All property is being tagged according to the office location or room from which it was retrieved. The property is being relocated to a warehouse for drying and cleaning. Faculty and staff will be able to visit the secured warehouse to retrieve possessions when the cleaning process has been completed.
In the case of special collections and artifacts, URI is prepared to respond to immediate needs. They have taken steps to secure and protect special collections and archives that were identified by Dean Gina Brown, Dean Bernard Mair and Dean Hugh Mighty, the deans who lead divisions that are housed in the buildings mentioned herein.
In the case of Douglass Hall, the Cobb Collection, Phi Beta Kappa Archives, ROTC materials and other archaeological specimens and research materials were all identified as requiring special handling, with special preservation and storage requirements. All faculty researchers who are charged with the governance of special collections are being engaged by the facilities team through academic deans. If for any reason you have not been contacted to provide counsel on special handling of collections, please make yourself known to the dean of your respective school.
No electronic devices are being discarded. Every attempt will be made to retrieve hard drives from computers and laptops that cannot be repaired. We are also aware that many faculty, students, and staff have incurred personal property losses related to the steam-damage and flooding in several buildings. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer will share more information regarding the claims process once it is established.
We will continue to meet in small groups to discuss repair plans and we will stay true to our commitment to engage the campus community in an inclusive manner. Thank you for your leadership, patience, and understanding as we navigate our circumstances and overcome the challenges.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., MBA
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer