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As a part of efforts to upgrade all NIH centrally managed conference centers, the Office of Research Services (ORS), Events Management Branch (EMB) will begin renovations to the Building 31 6th Floor Conference Center in late 2017. The upgrades to the 50-year-old conference center will include: improved floor plan efficiency and fire egress; upgraded HVAC, electrical and lighting systems; increased flexibility of meeting spaces, with additional capacity in conference rooms 6 and 10; increased capacity of the women's restroom; improved reliability of technology and remote collaboration; and, additional asbestos abatement.
 
The ORS plans to close the Center from November 24, 2017 to December 31, 2018. All meetings currently scheduled during this period will need to be re-located. To minimize the impact of the closure, beginning on February 21, the EMB will contact meeting coordinators to discuss moving affected meetings to satisfactory alternative meeting spaces, according to booking priority. All NIH IC Council meetings will be re-booked first.
 
The alternative meeting spaces include:
 
Building 45 - Natcher Conference Center:
This summer, Conference Rooms A/B will be combined to provide a large room for Council meetings. This will be accomplished by demolishing the wall that separates the two spaces and replacing it with a movable partition creating a space as large as conference room E (capacity of 150.)  Breakout rooms are available in other Natcher conference rooms.
 
Building 35 - John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center:
Existing facilities are already utilized for Advisory Committee and Council meetings. Breakout rooms are available but must be coordinated with NINDS (EMB will assist with this).
 
Building 60 - The Mary Woodard Lasker Center for Health Research and Education:
New AV and video production equipment were recently installed in the Chapel, Lecture Hall and classrooms. New draperies have also been installed and new furniture and carpeting is expected later this year. This is a beautiful venue with retreat-like qualities. Breakout rooms are available.
 
Building 1 - Wilson Hall:
Due to fire egress issues, the capacity of this room has been reduced by the NIH Fire Marshal's office from 150 to 49 attendees. However, during this upcoming closure, the Fire Marshal has granted our request to allow Advisory Committee and Council meetings to utilize this room with a larger number of attendees with advance notice. No breakout rooms are available.
 
In the event construction is delayed, EMB will also keep the current reservations for the 31 Conference Center in the system in addition to reserving the alternative space.
 
The Events Management Team will do its best to move all meetings to an acceptable location. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility in this process, but we believe you will like the end product.
 

If you need additional information, or have concerns regarding this situation, please feel free to contact Mr. Ken Ryland, Branch Chief, NIH Events Management Services at Ken.Ryland@nih.gov

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