‘Significant Progress’ in Reopening Remsen Building

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Geisel classrooms and offices on lower floors are back in use after a lab fire.

People walking the halls of Remsen after a fire broke out on Sunday.
Research labs were open and full of activity on the second floor of the Remsen Medical Science Building on Friday. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)

The Geisel School of Medicine has “made significant progress” in reopening parts of the Remsen Medical Science Building after a lab fire on the seventh floor Sunday caused water and smoke damage, according to Geisel Dean Duane Compton.

In an email update to the Geisel community on Friday, Compton said access restrictions have been lifted for Remsen floors 2 and 3 and work continues to reopen other floors.

“Early next week, we hope to have Remsen 4 back online, and, if work continues at the current rate, we are hopeful that we might have Remsen 5 available for occupancy by the end of next week,” Compton said.

The Remsen 2 classrooms and Department of Medical Education offices reopened on Wednesday, along with full access to Remsen 3, including classrooms, offices and the Student Affairs wing.

Fire investigators have completed their inspection of the lab that was damaged, and once final approval is received, Dartmouth’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety will begin cleaning up the affected lab, Compton said.

Private contractors and the Geisel Facilities team are working to remediate water damage from the sprinklers that activated in the vicinity of the lab when the fire broke out. The fire itself, which remains under investigation, was contained to the Remsen lab.

Faculty, staff, and students are asked to continue to avoid restricted areas in Remsen to avoid possible health and safety risks and to not impede recovery and cleaning work. Geisel has also been providing some “accompanied” access on restricted floors for people who need to retrieve material or equipment. Anyone needing such help can email the Geisel Facilities Office for assistance.

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