Friday, November 19, 2004

UH seeks donations
for flood cleanup

Regents also approve
eliminating eight
administrative posts

The University of Hawaii Foundation is soliciting donations to help pay for the cleanup and losses from the Oct. 30 flood in Manoa, officials said yesterday.

University of Hawaii The UH alumni association has also mounted an e-mail campaign encouraging former students to contribute.

University officials at the Board of Regents meeting yesterday did not have a damage estimate, but interim UH President David McClain said, "It's a big deal."

McClain is scheduled to give the regents an update on the cleanup this morning.

At their meeting yesterday, the regents approved McClain's request to eliminate two vice president positions and their support staff as part of a reorganization plan.

Among the eight positions being eliminated is the vice president for external affairs and university relations, which has been vacant since Paul Costello resigned. Costello, who was hired by ousted President Evan Dobelle, earned $210,000 a year. Also eliminated was the vice president for international education, which has been vacant following the retirement of Joyce Tsunoda.

The regents said no employees will lose their jobs, because some of the eliminated positions were vacant, and the existing workers are transferring to different jobs at UH.

The university expects to save $876,000 a year by eliminating the positions.

But it is the extensive cleanup at UH that continues to demand attention.

MS Catastrophe, a Texas-based disaster recovery company, continues to clean Hamilton Library, the biomedical and agricultural sciences buildings and Sherman Laboratory. Its contract with UH could reach $5 million, but insurance is expected to cover most of the cost.

Because of the Election Day holiday, students lost just two days of classes when UH officials closed the school Nov. 1-3. However, classes for some students are still being affected.

Some classrooms remain closed in the medical building and two or three agriculture buildings, and Hamilton Library. Classes are being held in other rooms, McClain said.

Damage to Hamilton Library was restricted to the bottom floor where government documents, including about 230,000 maps and historical photographs, were stored.

But the entire building remains closed because water damaged an electrical transformer on the bottom floor, cutting off electricity to the upper floors. Also, mold and mildew could spread as cleanup workers tear into walls to prepare them for reconstruction, McClain said.

The Biomedical Building suffered similar damage.

People can contribute to either the Manoa Flood Damage Fund or Library Enrichment and Flood Relief Fund online at www.uhf.hawaii.edu.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

UH Foundation

University of Hawaii



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