Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not Much News. So Far So Good.

I haven't posted recently because most of the work being done now is in the hands of Facilities Management.  They have just finished up the process for selecting a construction company to remove the HVAC and sprinkler systems in Ivy Stacks.  The contract was awarded to Martin Horn, Inc. (http://www.martinhorn.com), a Charlottesville general contractor that has done a lot of business with the University over the years.  They will also work with Spacesaver in the installation of the new HVAC, sprinkler, and shelving systems as well as a new water pumping station required for the fire suppression system.  I have been working on ordering cardboard trays and an inventory management system and we will soon be doing some pre-accession work on our books and journals by placing bar codes on each item and starting to sort by size.

Doug, Taryn and I took a field trip to Blacksburg, VA to check out the operations at Virginia Tech Library's remote shelving site.  Thanks to Charla Lancaster, Christopher Peters, and the whole crew at Va. Tech's facility.  They have been shelving by size for over 15 years. They do some amazing work there and all of us were appreciative of the opportunity to learn from their experience.   It will be of major benefit to us very soon as we begin to process our materials one item at a time.  All one million of them.  Taryn is a VT alum so they were especially considerate to us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Well, OK then, the shelves are gone.

I admit after visiting Ivy Stacks last week I was skeptical the shelving would be completely removed by Thanksgiving.  But seeing is believing and the job has been completed.  Taryn took some photos of the shelve-less building yesterday morning (11/22/2010) and Renee has posted them in the photo section of this site.  What amazes me most is how much HVAC remains.  But removing the vents and the sprinkler system is for another crew to be hired by Facilities Management after a review of bids submitted by several companies.  For today kudos goes to the Hilldrup Company for a job well done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Top Ten Answers I Give to Others

I seem to repeat myself a lot because I talk with a lot of different groups and individuals about this project.  Here are the top ten answers I give to the many questions I am asked:

#1)  I don't know.
#2)  Yes.
#3)  No.
#4) That's the plan.
#5)  I have no plan for that.
#6)  Can I get back to you that?
#7)  Sorry about that.  I probably should have asked first.
#8)  So far, so good.
#9)  That's right, the company that makes the trays doesn't sell the plastic handles. 
#10)  That's a Google thing, not an Ivy Stacks thing. (UVa Library is a participant in the Google Book Project and our two projects are sometimes confused). 

There are no secrets with this enterprise.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Shelves Are Coming Down

Progress has been steady since the last post.  Once all the boxes were removed the Hilldrup Company began the task of removing the current shelving.  There is a lot of it.  Renee has posted some new photos of the operation so check them out.  The shelves are being taken to a recycling center of Hilldrup's choosing.

The original timeline called for this part of the project to be completed by the end of November, but the guys at the site say they should finish up by the end of this week, on November 19, 2010.  This means we are ahead of schedule and everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without worrying about missing a deadline.  One more thing I can be grateful for, among many others.

I must admit I was a little nostalgic as I walked the aisles of Ivy Stacks.  The thoughtful design and construction of the shelving and the fire suppression and air exchange systems was quite evident.  Where just a few weeks ago hundreds of thousands of items were safely housed there is now only empty space.  In its former configuration Ivy Stacks served the Library and University well.  And it will continue to do so in a 21st Century sort of way.  But I took a moment and had a good thought for the facility as it once stood, and it had a good stand.  Now onward and forward!

Next on the to-do list is to put in the new fire suppression system, HVAC and lighting.  This is definitely in the court of Facilities Management and I am told they have some good companies bidding on the project.  That will take us into the New Year when the foundation for the new shelving system can be put in place and construction can begin at a quick pace.  We will have some photos of the empty building as soon as all the shelving is removed.  Renee is also working on new videos to post.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ivy Is Empty! And Orange is Full.

We have reached a major milestone of the project this week--Ivy Stacks has been emptied of all the boxes and other materials and the current shelving is ready to be removed.  We have 'decanted' Ivy!  Some of the unique and fragile materials were placed in the closed stacks in Alderman Library.  Alderman is also holding Ivy boxes needed for the Google Book Project.  Other items identified by our preservation experts as particularly sensitive to environmental conditions, such as LPs and microforms, were transferred to the Records Center of the Library of Virginia, a state of the art records management facility located outside of Richmond, VA.  The bulk of the 600,00+ books and bound journals housed in over 36,000 boxes were moved to a secure, temperature controlled warehouse in Orange, VA. 

There are new photos posted so check them out.  The photographs at the Orange facility don't really do the scene justice.  There is a sea of stretched wrapped boxes covering about 18,000 square feet of space and it is impressive.  Next up on the agenda is tearing down the current shelving and contracting for the new infrastructure within Ivy Stacks.  We'll be posting video of the demolition when it gets underway within the next week or so.  As an FYI, all the old shelving will be sold or recycled by the contractor, Hilldrup Moving and Storage.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Visit to Orange, VA

The bulk of our boxes from Ivy are being placed in temporary storage at a facility in Orange, VA.  We started sending them out there last week beginning September 20, 2010.  The boxes are placed 36 to a pallet then secured in stretch wrap.  30 pallets fit into a tractor trailer (you can't place a pallet of books on top of another pallet--the weight is too much on the lower boxes) and we have sent 14 loads as of this morning.  So, we have a lot of boxes in Orange.

I was very pleased with the situation at the warehouse.  It has been raining in Central Virginia for the past couple of days but I saw not one hint of water on the floor much less leaking from the ceiling. The owners of the building have invested in significant upgrades to the HVAC and security of the area housing our materials and they looked well cared for and well organized.  The owner and workers at the facility understand the nature of their charge--over 600,000 items that are important to the research and teaching at the University of Virginia--and they take it seriously.  They are committed to the safety and wellness of our books, bound journals, documents, and other valued materials.

We should have all the boxes out of Ivy in mid to late October.  We'll post some pictures soon.  So far, so good!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We're off

We have moved the Papers of the Low Moor Iron Company and all the bound volumes of the Charlottesville Daily Progress to the Ivy Annex in Alderman Library, and the first truck load of materials has left the building, heading to the Records Center.


Welcome to the web site for information, news, photos and more regarding the Ivy Stacks Retrofit project.  My name is Paul Rittelmeyer and I will be your humble reporter during the time the University of Virginia Libraries off site shelving facility is completely renovated.  Along with my colleague Renee Reighart we will be updating this site with news and images of the facility as it transforms from a simple and serviceable warehouse  into a state of the art 21st century library shelving facility.

A few words about the project:

This is a project of the entire University of Virginia and involves not only Library staff from all the libraries but also folks from Facilities Management (including architects, engineers, and all manner of really smart and experienced construction managers), the departments of Procurement, Real Estate, and Legal Council as well as representatives from the Provost's Office and myriad other University experts that are being consulted as needed.   The project manager is Taryn Harrison from Facilities Management.  Lori Ponton in Procurement Services is managing the multiple contracts that have been, and will be, awarded over the life of the project.

A few words about this site:

The design and hard work of beginning a new web site is being done by the very capable and awesome Renee Reighart.  She works in Alderman Library in the Department of Interlibrary Services.  Renee will be doing most of the work in the Photos and Videos pages.  We have started with showing what Ivy Stacks looks like before the project began.  We will be posting images during all phases of the project.  (I can’t wait to see how they install railroad lines into the concrete floor and then pour 10,000 square feet of concrete to make them flush to the floor.  We will definitely be documenting that part.)   While we have tried to offer information in different formats and styles, feel free to contact Renee with any suggestions or comments regarding the site. 

As the Director of Interlibrary Services, and therefore the manager of Ivy Stacks and a part of this project’s management team, I will be adding content to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, the News page and updating the Timeline as needed.  For a lot of background on Ivy Stacks including its history and some details of this project go to the FAQ page.  The Timeline page will have the actual timeline as graphically displayed using some pretty neat software that UVa’s Facilities Management folks use in all their construction projects.  And the News page will feature updates on how the project is going.  As momentum develops I will update this page frequently.