Office of the Provost and Deans
College of Letters and Science
1312 Murphy Hall


August 29, 2001

TO:      Professor Claudio Pellegrini, Chair, Physics & Astronomy

FROM: John Sandbrook, Assistant Provost

RE:      Start of Physics+Astronomy Construction—The Groundrules

I would appreciate your assistance in distributing this memorandum to all faculty, staff and graduate students in the Department of Physics & Astronomy as the start of the construction project for the new building commences on September 4.   You have received under separate cover a memo to a broad range of campus colleagues providing basic information about the project.  You may wish to distribute that general memo internally within the department also.

The purpose of this memo for the Physics & Astronomy department is to provide a summary of the “ground rules” regarding communication with the general contractor and access to the construction site.  Based on my experience with a number of major campus academic and student life projects in the past 25 years, I have learned the importance of communicating the “ground rules” on an “up front” basis with the subset of the campus community most interested in a particular project.

1.     Bill Robinson is the representative of the Department of Physics+Astronomy to the UCLA Office of Capital Programs, while I will continue my coordinative role on behalf of the Office of the Provost and Office of the Dean-Physical Sciences.  Any and all communications – oral or written – between members of the faculty/staff and the Office of Capital Programs must go through Bill.  Bill will be a regular participant in the project meetings and will serve as the interface with the contractor when the schedule calls for work that can indirectly or directly impact programs and activities in Knudsen Hall.

2.     While Ron Enholm continues as the Project Manager for the Office of Capital Programs, Don Flaskerud will be the UCLA construction manager interfacing with the general contractor, Soltek-Pacific.  We are fortunate that S-P was the low bidder since this firm has recent and current experience with UCLA through other projects (the J.D. Morgan Athletic Center Expansion and the current Southwest Staging Building in Parking Lot 32).  However, communications from the department must still be processed through Bill Robinson, who, in turn, can coordinate with Don and Ron or, as necessary, yours truly.

3.     It is important to understand that, effective with the start of the construction contract on September 4, 2001 and until its completion in late 2003, the construction site is no longer controlled by UCLA.  Technically, during the construction contract period, The Regents lease the site to the executive architect firm (in this instance, Anshen+Allen) and the general construction contractor (Soltek-Pacific), which, in turn, oversees the construction performance of the contractor.  Thus, access to the site by UCLA personnel – including faculty, students and staff – is at the discretion of the contractor, just as if a section of a campus building were  leased to a private company for its use.   The contractor is not insured to cover any injuries suffered by an unauthorized visitor, and walking around a construction site carries with it a higher risk than a stroll across campus.  Consequently, security of the construction site will be tight and no spontaneous “strolls” can be allowed.

4.     Nonetheless, we recognize that particular members of the faculty have an understandable and appropriate interest in the construction of specific sections of the building that affect her/his research programs, particularly in the underground levels.  At the contractor’s kickoff meeting today, the executive architect, Bill and I specifically outlined for the contractor the importance of all construction specifications being followed exactly in the underground levels since even minor variations can have long-term impacts on research activities.  We also indicated that, in certain instances, a member of the faculty may wish to visit the construction site when rebar is being installed or concrete is being poured in a particular section of the building of interest to her/him.  While the contractor is prepared to be accommodating within reasonable limits, it is absolutely necessary that such desired visits be coordinated through Bill Robinson in advance and, depending upon the arrangements worked out by Bill with Capital Programs and the contractor, may need to be escorted (hard hats are an obvious pre-requisite also).  Again, spontaneous visits can not be accommodated and, while do not mean to be overly rigid or bureaucratic, we have to be firm in maintaining security and control of the construction site.

5.     As we have discussed, the contractor is prepared to accommodate a small, informal departmental celebration on the site in early October, 2001.  This can be coordinated through Bill.  Once you have determined which date is best for the department, we can notify Provost Copenhaver, Dean Chan and other members of the College and campus leadership to see if they would like to attend. 

I know that Bill Robinson will be diligent in representing the Department of Physics & Astronomy and distributing information to the department on a timely basis.   Of course, we will also stand ready on a daily basis to assist Bill in his efforts and I will accept the responsibility of coordination/communication with the rest of the campus community to keep them informed of progress and construction activities.

Please let me know if you have any questions and congratulations on the start of the next chapter in the illustrious history of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Brian Copenhaver

Tony Chan

Lianna Anderson

Don Simpson

Ferd Coroniti

Bill Robinson

Sue Santon

Ron Enholm

Don Flaskerud

Linda Thomas 

Tracie Christensen