Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Sept. 25, 2014 Volume 36, No. 5

Resolving Pickard Hall problems could take years and cost more than $10 million

Fact-finding committee forming involving School of Medicine


Faculty Council has formed a fact-finding committee to examine possible employee issues at the School of Medicine.

The goal is to “determine the factors that may have a negative effect on shared governance, research productivity, and/or work environment in the School of Medicine,” according to the official language from Faculty Council.

Cheryl Heesch, professor of pharmacology and physiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine; Satish Nair, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Carlos Wexler, professor of physics, are on the committee. Arthur Jago, a professor of management, is committee chair.

Also at the Sept. 16 council meeting, Gary Ward, vice chancellor for operations and chief operating officer, talked about possible outcomes of Pickard Hall, decommissioned due to radiation contamination.

Trying to save the building could take more than five years and cost $13.3 million, and that still wouldn’t mean the hall is free of radioactivity, Ward said.

Demolishing it after remediation and disposing of radioactive and nonradioactive materials separately could take more than six years and cost $10.2 million, he said. Demolishing it and disposing of all materials as if they were radioactive could take nearly five years and cost $10.7 million. In both scenarios, a new building would need to be built at a cost of millions.

Further consulting from outside firms will bring more clarity to hall outcomes, but regardless of findings, resolving the hall’s issues will take years and cost millions.

“We are five or six years to solving the problem, and it will be a minimum of $10 million,” Ward said.  “And that is not having a building.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has requested a resolution plan by March 31, 2015. It will take a year for the commission to approve the plan.

The next Faculty Council meeting is Oct. 9.