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Cox Fire Updates

September 14

As the dust settles on the first full week of classes on the Agricultural Campus, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your efforts to make this a seamless transition for our students.

I understand it’s taken a lot of extra effort to get back up and running. Your patience and determination has not gone unnoticed. We are working to secure additional human resources as well as additional office space to support the extra work required of our faculty and staff members.

There will be on-site Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) support and counselling on our campus next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. A counselor will be located in Cox 211 and in the former International House. Please connect with your Department Chair regarding this additional resource.

As well, we have extended the deadline for all Personal loss claims until October 31. Claims can be submitted to Tennille Crossman at Tennille.crossman@dal.ca . Personal loss comprises those items for which you have not been reimbursed by the University.  

Once we’ve finished with the priority items in New Cox with respect to teaching and research, we’ll ensure we come back around to put the finishing touches on paint, cabinets etc. Thank you for your patience in this regard.

Faculty administrator Queena Crocker-Smith is collecting information on items that are not working after having been cleaned. Please ensure this information is submitted to queena.smith@dal.ca as soon as possible so we can rectify the situation.  

Lost and Found items remain in Cox room 107.  

For your continued safety, we remind faculty, staff and students to please not walk or drive beyond the construction fence at Cox Institute. Please adhere to the signs in place for your safety.

Again, I understand this is a busy time under normal circumstances and the impact of the fire has only added to otherwise full plates. We appreciate your ongoing efforts and we will continue to do our best to provide the necessary supports and resources required to keep us moving forward.

September 7, 2018

We did it! What a stellar O-Week!

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity to prepare ourselves and our campus for our new and returning students. And as the first week of classes draws to a close today, I commend each and every one of you for a job well done. 

New Cox was returned in time for classes—and I know many of you worked around the clock and over the long weekend to ensure classes and labs were operational. 

I know we had a few delays with our AV capability earlier this week but I can assure you that all teaching spaces are now fully operational with more permanent solutions to be implemented later this month. Again, thank you for your patience in this regard. 

Priority items sent for cleaning from Old cox have been returned and those awaiting items will be contacted with further instructions. Cleaning continues on remaining items removed from Old Cox and are on target to be completed by September 14.

Just a reminder that all Lost and Found items in Cox room 107 need to be picked up by September 20th so as not to delay construction of the Bio-secure lab.  We also have a process for any broken or missing items discovered in the unpacking process.

As most of you know, installation of the New Cox elevator is still underway and we expect completion around the end of the month. 

I recently had the opportunity to view the completed Mall campus location and was very impressed. We are so fortunate to have access to this space and to have it ready in such a short period before our students’ arrival this fall. The space is not only functional but beautiful and fully modular. We will have the ability to incorporate these systems into Old Cox when the time comes.

I invite you to visit and have a look around as your schedule permits. 

As I reflect on the past summer, although challenging, we have so many things to look forward to.  Our fresh-faced students are back with us eager to learn.  Our beautiful Student Learning Commons is opened providing a place for us all to connect in the heart of our campus, our Landscape Architecture studio is complete providing a brand new space for our students and the fantastic new Mall Campus location – connecting us with our local community.  We will also be able to reimagine how the space in Old Cox can work for us moving forward over the next year

Many opportunities await and I look forward to working with you all as we continue to meet the ever changing needs of our students.

Wishing you all a wonderful first semester.

August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018
3:00 p.m.

It's been a challenging few months.  It has been so disheartening to realize the extent of the damage to the interior of Cox Institute and the effect this has had on our faculty and campus as a whole. 

But at the same time, the tenacity and determination of our campus is what has driven our momentum over the summer and will continue to drive us moving forward.  Without a doubt, it is our people that will see us through to the other side in 2019 and I couldn’t be more proud.

A tremendous team effort this summer has ensured our campus is ready for our students next week: 

  • The majority of classes and labs have remained on campus; Utilizing space in this beautiful new Learning Commons, Athletic Centre classroom and the Alumni Theatre;
  • Staff and faculty have all the essential supplies and resources they need to start the school term;
  • The new Mall campus location will be used for additional teaching, research, graduate student space and office space and will be serviced by a free shuttle bus;
  • We’ve added a greenhouse in the Demonstration Garden area for fall planting required for teaching. There is a wonderful display of crops prepared for classes by Mike Main and his summer staff.  Everyone is invited to take a look and instructors are invited to consider how they might make use of this area in their fall classes.
  • A full-service Bookstore has been established in Jenkins Hall

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.  Of course there is still much to be done.

Packing continues in New Cox in preparation for classes on Tuesday.  While progress is being made, a large part of the task still remains.  Anyone willing to lend a hand would be greatly appreciated.  Please contact Margaret Savard to ascertain where help is most needed.  

New Cox has been made available to all those who require additional time to unpack their teaching, research and office spaces, Friday, August 31 and into the weekend if necessary.  

It is important to note that faculty and staff have until Monday, September 3 at 12:00 noon to unpack any required items.  At this time, hallways will be cleared and any unpacked items will be moved into storage.  All corridors MUST be cleared to meet health and safety requirements.

Any Lost and Found items will be made available for pick-up in Cox 107 today, Friday, August 31.

Work continues through the weekend to have the Mall campus location ready for Tuesday and a free bus service to and from the mall campus location will be accessed from the Langille Athletic Centre. The bus schedule is available online at dal.ca/agbus   The schedule is also available within the Dal Safe App.

A reminder that Personal loss claims need to be in to Tennille Crossman by end of September.  She can be reached at Tennille.crossman@dal.ca

Fencing will be removed from the building to allow access to New Cox beginning next week which will also free up some additional parking spaces.

We have accomplished so much over the summer months and I cannot thank you all enough for your support and cooperation.  

Let’s have a great year!  Aggies Once…

August 17, 2018

As summer begins to wind down, work continues at a steady pace in Cox Institute.  

Old Cox

Nearly all hard drive recoveries (46 of 47) from Old Cox have been returned to our IT Department and are in the process of being reimaged to new computers.  Old Cox picture inventory retrieval is continuing to progress.  Documents from Old Cox that did not require extended cleaning by FirstOnSite should be returned by September 15, while others with greater contamination will be cleaned offsite and are expected to be returned by October 1.  

While the restoration and retrieval process continues, university representatives met this week with teams from Ellis Don Construction and Eastpoint Design as part of the next stage of reconstruction of Old Cox. You’ll see their trucks and personnel on site in the weeks ahead.

New Cox

Work continues toward a return to New Cox by September 4th.  Faculty and staff members have begun to organize and prepare their spaces for classes in September.  Level 200 flooring and painting is now complete and all electronics have been returned.

Work continues in New Cox concerning accessibility.  We remain committed to ensuring we have a suitable and accessible working and learning environment this fall and are investigating alternative arrangements for those who require access to an elevator or lift service during this time.

Please contact Keltie Jones as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations may be made.  Keltie.Jones@Dal.Ca  Phone: +1 902 893 6019

Space Allocation

The Truro Mall location is on schedule and will be ready for the intake of students on September 4th.  A free bus service between the mall and campus has been secured.  Faculty, staff and students will be able to access this service at the Langille Athletic Centre. A detailed schedule will be forthcoming.  

Personal Loss

If you have personal items that were not recoverable, you may submit a claim requesting reimbursement and/or replacement. Please identify those personal items which you are certain were in your office or lab space in Cox Institute at the time of the fire and contact Tennille Crossman (tennille.crossman@dal.ca) by September 30, 2018. You will be contacted when approval has been received.

Again, a reminder to submit any questions you may have to agnews@dal.ca and we will source answers as quickly as possible. As well, please visit dal.ca/agriculture to review the FAQs that are updated on a weekly basis and to review past campus updates you may have missed.

August 10, 2018

A new academic year is quickly approaching and work continues to ensure that our campus, work and classroom spaces will be ready for our new and returning students.

A message was recently distributed to all students regarding timetable adjustments and those with questions were asked to connect with their advisors.  Please be aware that you may receive some inquiries.

We are also focusing on ensuring transportation will be available for those required to travel to the Truro Mall location and labs will be adjusted to accommodate this additional travel time.

Old Cox

Picture inventory retrieval has begun and is progressing well.

Hard drive recoveries from Old Cox are in process.  New external drives (47) will be ready to ship on Monday, August 13.

Newtron Group has been given a priority list of computers to be cleaned including rooms 16, 200, 208 and 209.  All others will be replaced.

Chemical removal from Old Cox is almost complete and will be returned to the second level of New Cox beginning next week.

New Cox

Painting on the second floor is nearly complete and contents will begin to arrive on site next week. Painting has begun on the first level with flooring being installed on August 13th.

Dalhousie and FirstonSite will be working together to assist faculty and staff in preparing office and lab space on Level 200 beginning next week.   Level 100 will begin the following week.  A more detailed communication on this will be forthcoming.   

Work also continues on an elevator in New Cox.

Please don't forget to submit any questions you may have to agnews@dal.ca and we will source answers as quickly as possible. As well, please visit dal.ca/agriculture to review the FAQs that are updated on a weekly basis and to review past campus updates you may have missed.   

While I know this continues to be a trying time, I am certain that we can continue to provide the kind of educational experience I know our students are expecting and have come to count on.  This is in large part due to the perseverance and determination of each and every one of you.  

August 3, 2018

Thank you to the entire recovery team for their substantial efforts this week. Our momentum is possible because of the dedication and cooperation of our faculty members, researchers, students and staff. Together, we’ll continue this great momentum into the new academic year. Please don't forget to submit any questions you may have to agnews@dal.ca and we will source answers as quickly as possible. As well, please visit dal.ca/agriculture to review the FAQs that are updated on a weekly basis and to review past campus updates you may have missed.  

New Cox: We’ve been working on a plan for re-entry into new Cox that will provide a schedule for office and lab set up in the weeks ahead, so that faculty and staff will have opportunity to set up their work spaces ahead of the fall term. Thanks for your ongoing patience as we finalize these details. Also, a new floor plan for New Cox work spaces has been circulated. Please direct any related questions to Queena.

MacRae Library: Graduate students asked for longer library hours, and thanks to the library staff who have made it possible, we are happy to report we are able to accommodate this request, with new later hours for everyone. New hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30 – 9PM, and Fridays 8:30 – 6PM.

Office & Research Space: Thanks to the entire team who met this week to review photos of their offices and research spaces. The next step is to determine which items can safely be recovered and returned to you. We appreciate your ongoing patience as we work through this.

Timetable Schedule: Thank you to the Enrolment Services Centre for successfully relocating all fall classes without needing to modify the schedule. A reminder that can now be found at DalOnline.

Every day, I am inspired by the dedication of our campus community, your continued hard work, and your willingness to support your fellow aggie.

July 27, 2018

We continue to work through this difficult situation together and we're making progress. It remains a priority for us all to continue to address and respond to the concerns of our faculty members, staff and students. With this in mind, I encourage you to continue submitting any questions you have to agnews@dal.ca and we will source answers as quickly as possible. As well, please visit dal.ca/agriculture to review the FAQs that are updated on a weekly basis and to review past campus updates you may have missed. 

New Cox

The cleaning continues on schedule at New Cox, and the digital specialist is progressing well with the cleaning of electronic equipment.

Timetable Schedule

Our Enrollment Services team have successfully relocated all classes without modifying the timetable schedule. This is a very positive step forward, and the timetable schedule will be available on DalOnline by late next week.

Equipment

Thank you very much to those who have contributed to the review and prioritization of equipment. To date, approximately 100 hard drives have been shipped and are currently undergoing data retrieval. The list of equipment that can potentially be restored will be prioritized and given to the digital specialist next week. As well, equipment continues to be removed and taken to the warehouse for review and cleaning. For the items that cannot be cleaned, the Procurement Office is working with the Dean’s Office to order new priority equipment.

Old Cox

Also, extensive photo cataloguing of the spaces on a room-by-room basis in Old Cox has been ongoing. Beginning tomorrow and into next week, Queena Crooker-Smith will be meeting with each researcher and faculty member who occupied space in Old Cox to review the photos and identify the items that need to be retrieved. If you’ve not yet received a meeting notice to review your items, please contact your department administrator directly and as soon as possible to arrange a time.

Space

A productive and collaborative planning and design session was held yesterday, including graduate students, researchers, instructors, contractors and others to identify and lay out spaces in the old Sears location of the Truro mall. As you know, Facilities Management has secured this leased space to be used for additional teaching, research, graduate student space and office space for the 2018-19 academic year. The team of designers and members of our campus are working hard toward September 4th as the deadline to have the spaces ready.

In closing - yesterday morning, President Florizone and members of the executive team toured the exterior of Cox Institute and later gathered informally in the library with staff, faculty and researchers who were displaced by the fire. It was yet another reminder of the unwavering support we have from our larger university community and we are all committed to supporting those affected.

More specifically, our senior team is here to help you navigate the coming weeks and months ahead. Please reach out for support as needed:

Research and grad students (including access to research supplies, space, etc): Chris Cutler, chris.cutler@dal.ca

International students: Balakrishnan Prithiviraj, bprithiviraj@dal.ca

Academics (including classroom issues): Emmanuel Yiridoe, Emmanuel.yiridoe@dal.ca

Facilities and non-academic staff issues: Queena Crooker-Smith, queena.smith@dal.ca

Academic staff issues: Keltie Jones, keltie.jones@dal.ca

July 20, 2018

Thanks for your understanding as we continue to navigate this difficult situation together.

It remains a priority for us all to continue to meet the needs of our students.  As such, there is a process in place for the purchase of equipment and supplies for teaching and research purposes as we move into the fall academic season.

Faculty are asked to contact Queena Crocker-Smith with a prioritized list of needs so we are able to secure the most urgent items first.  We are reviewing requests daily and are working with the insurance adjusters, procurement office and Facilities Management to retrieve what is possible or as necessary, authorize the procurement of new equipment and supplies.

Please contact Queena (queena.smith@dal.ca or 902-893-6719) to discuss options.

Update on Old Cox

Faculty members will not have the ability to enter Old Cox as they did with New Cox.  While the building has been deemed structurally sound, Old Cox will need to be completely rebuilt on the inside.  High levels of contamination, humidity, water and debris has heavily damaged this section of the building and most of what was in Old Cox is not recoverable.

All hard drives identified from Old Cox have been removed and sent to Toronto where Newtron Group will be employing their most advanced techniques to retrieve data.

We know faculty members are eager for news of their teaching and research equipment. At the moment, it simply isn’t safe for people to be in the building. All reasonable attempts will be made to retrieve items essential to teaching and research.  It is important to know, however, that these items will be heavily damaged from smoke soot, water and/or fire.

On Monday, July 23rd, insurance adjusters, procurement staff and three department chairs will enter the building to agree on contents. A photographic catalogue of all contents in each room will be developed. These photos will be reviewed with displaced faculty and staff to determine priority items to be retrieved. Once the photo journaling process is complete, we can begin the process of valuing the contents and begin the replacement process.

Moving Forward

This week prioritized key equipment from Old Cox has begun to be removed by Firstonsite and transported to temporary leased space where it will be cleaned.

Facilities Management is moving quickly to secure contractors needed to rebuild Old Cox. The week of July 16th two tenders were issued - one for design services (architect) to determine how the facility will be rebuilt and one for a construction manager who will oversee the reconstruction. The estimated cost to rebuild Cox is expected to be between $12 and $25 million – depending on the extent of the damage.

Both tenders include a timeline that begins as soon as possible or September 30th with an aggressive date for completion by August 1, 2019.  More tenders connected to the reconstruction are expected in the weeks to come.

Space Allocation

The majority of classes and labs this fall will remain on campus.  Facilities Management has secured leased space in the old Sears location of the Truro Mall to be used for additional teaching, research, graduate student space and office space for the 2018-19 academic year.   Transportation will be provided to this off-campus location.

A large hoop greenhouse is currently being constructed on campus over the next week in the Demonstration Garden area to be used for fall planting required for teaching.

While we continue to transition into this recovery and restoration phase of our response to the fire in Cox Institute, we remain committed to communicating weekly and to answer your questions to the best of our ability with regular updates to our FAQ section on our website.

Our senior team continues to be in place to help answer your questions and concerns and can be directed in the manner below:

Research and grad students (including access to research supplies, space, etc.): Chris Cutler, chris.cutler@dal.ca

International students: Balakrishnan Prithiviraj, BPrithiviraj@Dal.Ca

Academics (including classroom issues): Emmanuel Yiridoe, emmanuel.yiridoe@dal.ca

Facilities and non-academic staff issues: Queena Crooker-Smith, Queena.Smith@Dal.Ca

Academic and staff issues: Keltie Jones, keltie.jones@dal.ca

July 13, 2018

As time passes since the June 20th fire in Cox Institute, our efforts begin to transition from an emergency response to our recovery response as we move forward together to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff.

We are currently in the process of finalizing a lease for alternate teaching, office and lab space.  Our Associate Dean Academic, Emmanuel Yiridoe, is leading a committee to work with Facilities Management to evaluate this space for teaching and lab space capability.

Old Cox

We are currently reconstructing the roof envelope on Old Cox to make it water tight.  Cleaning is underway including clearing hallways of debris.

Next week, prioritized key equipment in Old Cox will begin to be removed and transported to temporary leased space where it will also be cleaned.

New Cox

Electronic equipment from New Cox is currently in the process of being cleaned with many items now ready to be collected.

We understand there are still many questions so we encourage you to please continue to refer to our list of FAQ’s as we will be updating it on a regular basis as part of our commitment to keep you informed. 

Please stay posted for weekly updates on dal.ca/agriculture, through email and our social channels.July 6th, 2018 3:30 p.m

It has been a little over two weeks since the devastating fire in Cox Institute and after our initial response we remain committed to providing an update to our campus community on a weekly basis.

We understand there are many questions which need to be addressed and as such we have compiled a list of some of the questions we are hearing through various meetings and discussions. 

Please continue to refer to this list of FAQ’s as we will be updating it on a regular basis as part of our commitment to keep you informed.  

Please stay posted for weekly updates on dal.ca/agriculture, through email and our social channels.

June 27, 2018

It is our commitment to keep you up-to-date and to share with you, relevant information as it becomes available regarding remediation work in Cox Institute.

New Cox (From Enrolment Services west to the Langille Athletic Centre)

Our top priority remains having New Cox remediated and restored for early fall.   As you can appreciate this process will take time and any compromise we make to satisfy other competing priorities will potentially put this date at risk.

Despite the air clearance for working without respirators, all contents and equipment in New Cox are contaminated with soot and in some cases moisture from a lack of ventilation and high humidity levels.

Some of these end products may be toxic and/or corrosive in nature.  This not only poses a health risk to the user, it also poses an electrical risk due to the conducive nature of carbon particles.

All items are latent with moisture and if powered on, will pose an electrical risk to the user as well as rapid and irreversible electrical damage.

It is recommended by the experts we’ve engaged that all electronic items, including computer equipment, should remain isolated from electrical power sources until they are taken apart and thoroughly inspected. Electrical and mechanical items, especially those with bare metal surfaces, should go through the same decontamination and cleaning process in order to reduce the possibility of corrosion from moisture.

FirstonSite Restoration Services will determine a process to remove all contents for decontamination and repair, or disposal.  During this process faculty, staff and students will have an opportunity to retrieve items once they are decontaminated and documented for insurance purposes.

Old Cox (From Enrolment Services East to Banting Building)

Due to significant damage in this area of Cox Institute, there are a number of high level risks that must be mitigated before any materials can be removed from Old Cox.  This will require detailed engineering controls and decontamination.  It is also a priority to have the roof patched and made safe.

Our Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Consultants are assessing both sections of the building today to determine the condition of all the building systems and infrastructure.

Once these conditions are met, FirstonSite will then be able to begin water and debris removal with full personal protective equipment and respirators. There remains extensive debris and water on the floors.

It is important to note that all room contents that are not in sealed packaging will be heavily damaged from smoke, soot, water and/or fire.

While we know this is disheartening to hear, it is important for our community to understand the extent of the damage to the building and to know we are working to the best of our ability to remediate the situation.

Our senior team is in place to help answer your questions and concerns and can be directed in the manner below:

Research and grad students (including access to research supplies, space, etc.): Chris Cutler, chris.cutler@dal.ca (after June 28, contact Keltie Jones)

International students: Balakrishnan Prithiviraj, BPrithiviraj@Dal.Ca

Academics (including classroom issues): Emmanuel Yiridoe, emmanuel.yiridoe@dal.ca

Facilities and non-academic staff issues: Queena Crooker-Smith, Queena.Smith@Dal.Ca

Academic and staff issues: Keltie Jones, keltie.jones@dal.ca

June 26, 2018

As we work through our continued response to the fire in Cox Institute we are able to provide the following update to our campus community.

Power has been restored to New Cox and significant remediation work continues with Firstonsite Restoration Services.  We are hopeful to have New Cox re-opened in early fall and will continue to keep you up-to-date as information is available.

Work also continues on reallocation of office space with Facilities Management.  As a reminder Business & Social Sciences has relocated to Humanities House and Enrollment Services is in the lower level of the Dairy Building.

The vacant International House on 179 College Road has been cleaned and we are working on sourcing furniture. Displaced Engineering faculty and staff have been allocated this space, but have not yet relocated to the building. We are still working diligently to identify office space for those in Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences.

As this work continues over the next few weeks, Dal Security will need to know who & where people are landing for emergency purposes as well as to assist others in way-finding.  As moves take place, please update Dal Security by sending an email to security@dal.ca

We are on the road to recovery but it is a process that is going to take significant time, patience and resources.  Again, we appreciate your understanding.

As a reminder, please contact the following people for specific issues or questions:

Research and grad students (including access to research supplies, space, etc.): Chris Cutler, chris.cutler@dal.ca (after June 28, contact Keltie Jones)

International students: Balakrishnan Prithiviraj, BPrithiviraj@Dal.Ca

Academics (including classroom issues): Emmanuel Yiridoe, emmanuel.yiridoe@dal.ca

Facilities and non-academic staff issues: Queena Crooker-Smith, Queena.Smith@Dal.Ca

Internal communication and academic staff issues: Keltie Jones, keltie.jones@dal.ca

June 22, 2018

As a reminder the campus community is invited to attend a gathering in Jenkins Hall at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 22nd to connect with colleagues and hear from Dean Gray and an official from the Bible Hill Fire Brigade with respect to the fire and ongoing work to restore services.

June 21, 2018

Work continues today on the Agricultural Campus to restore essential services to Cox Institute after the significant fire Wednesday evening.

Generator power has been provided to New Cox and the -80 degree freezers were connected at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. The Fire panel has been activated in New Cox and the sprinkler system is charged meaning there is no requirement for a fire watch overnight. 

We anticipate fire officials to be on-site Friday morning and once the building is released, cleaning and remediation work will begin.     

Faculty and staff displaced by the fire will continue to report to MacRae library and/or work from home, depending on arrangements made with supervisors.

We continue to encourage faculty, staff and students to take care and access services available to them. 

Students are encouraged to reach out to the Student Success Centre if needed. A registered nurse will be on-site Friday , June 22nd from 9:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Monday, June 25th between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

An EFAP counsellor will be available tomorrow as well as an increased HR presence in the HR office in Cumming Hall for faculty and staff. 

The campus community is invited to attend a gathering in Jenkins Hall at1:00 p.m. Friday, June 22nd to connect with colleagues and hear from Dean Gray and an official from the Bible Hill Fire Brigade with respect to the fire and ongoing work to restore services. 

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this situation. As one young alumnus aptly said “Aggies are strong, it’s the not walls surrounding that make us who we are, it’s the people that are within.” 

June 21st, 1:20PM

Summer courses that were in Cox Institute have been moved to other locations. You can see the updated timetable by visiting:
https://dalonline.dal.ca/PROD/fysktime.P_DisplaySchedule

June 21st, 7:36AM

As you are aware, there was a fire in Cox Institute last evening and as such the building is closed today, June 21 until further notice. There will be NO ACCESS to the building as the Fire Marshall conducts his investigation.  

We will continue to keep you updated as information is forthcoming.  

Faculty and staff affected by the fire are able to report to work in the MacRae Library or make alternative arrangements with their supervisors.