Rebuilding the Studios of WVUE-TV

October 29 - November 26, 2005

All photographs were taken by Ralph Hartwell.

A TV station runs on electricity, and this is the start of the new main power system for WVUE-TV. Those big red cylinders are core drills which will be used to drill through the concrete and steel floor so that the new electrical conduits can pass through.

These are the main circuit breakers which will feed the electrical sub-panels throughout the building.

The electricians worked from the original master electrical plans to rewire the entire building.

A stack of new electrical conduit tubing sits ready for installation.

These are the old ceiling tiles from the second floor. They will all be replaced with new, clean tile.

Meanwhile, the FEMA cleanup crews are still hauling away the trash from the neighborhood.

On the roof, the electricians are placing brand new conduit and wires for the air conditioning systems and the cellular building.

Notice that the satellite antennas are pointed in strange directions - Katrina's winds at work!

Meanwhile, Xavier University's parking lot has become a temporary trailer park for workers.

The first of several stacks of brand new ceiling tiles awaiting installation on the second floor.

Here comes some more ceiling tiles!

Meanwhile, the electricians have been busy boring holes through the floor under the new electrical cabinets.

In the garage, all the walls have been pressure washed, sprayed with disinfectant, and then painted to prevent any remaining nasties from entering the workspace.

This is the main circuit breaker for the entire TV station. It's waiting for power from Entergy.

Holes have been cut through the outside wall of the building to pass the new conduits to take power from Entergy.

Meanwhile, the upstairs spaces have been sealed off for decontamination

The arrival of some plywood signals the start of construction of the temporary work areas in the garage and main studio.

Power for the roof systems will pass through the vertical conduits, seen here partially installed. Entergy power will feed into the building through the horizontal conduits. Only two of the 5 conduits needed are installed at this point.

The meter on the old electrical panel is stuck at 1000 amps by the flood water. Note the water still inside the meter, and the gooey oil on the outside of the meter. Imagine the inside of the building like this and you have some idea of the mess that greeted the cleanup crews when they started work in the building.

These are the old power busses from the transformer room to the old main power panel. Each red buss is made from five sections of solid copper bar. Each bar measures six inches wide by three-eights of an inch thick. The total power capacity of the busses is one megawatt, which could supply about one hundred houses.

The electricians at work installing the outside electrical conduits.

More of the same.

Salt corrosion is visible on the Entergy main transformer terminals.

There is still dirt and oil on the Entergy transformers, but they will be cleaned up. These were under water, but they made it through the flood OK.

These are the main line switches. There are two separate power feeds available to the station. They are selected by closing the left three or the right three set of knife switches - very carefully - as they switch about 15,000 volts!

An Entergy technician checking things out.

The first signs of rebuilding is the new door frame in what will become the temporary engineering office.

And yet more ceiling tiles arrive at the studio.

A happy driver - he's still got a job after the storm and flood.

The neighborhood around the station is still a deserted landscape.

More of the neighborhood.

Roof damage.

Tens of thousands of dollars worth of very large electrical wire is being used to rewire the building. Some of these wires are almost 2 inches in diameter.

The conduits for the Entergy feeds are almost complete.

Taking a short break, an electrician sits on the bridge between the building and the transformer vault.

Back in the studio, the Pit has been cleaned out and will be covered over in preparation for the temporary newsroom and studio.

A cleaned out studio, ready for construction.

The electricians are getting the last of the conduit in place in preparation for Entergy to restore power to the building.

More holes through the wall. Through these will pass the wires that power the air conditioners for the building.

Back in the studio, the computer flooring stands ready to be installed over the open Pit space.

The construction crew at work installing the computer flooring.

The electricians have pulled some of the air conditioner power wires into the breaker cabinet.

Here come the conduits for the Entergy feeds.

The Entergy feed wires are visible in this junction box.

And here the wires pass through the wall into the electrical cabinets.

These wires go from the electrical cabinets up to the air conditioner system.

Over the roof we go!

Meanwhile, back in the Entergy transformer vault, the electricians are working on the main feed wires. Notice the size of those wires!

The carpenters are starting construction of the new temporary control room just outside the studio,. This was the old Purple Room.

It looks like the studio Pit has been covered up very nicely.

The carpenters at work building the news room offices.

Main power wiring in the primary circuit breaker cabinet.

Connections to the main power circuit breaker.

The main power panels. Power comes in from Entergy through the left panel and the main circuit breaker. The closed panel contains the automatic transfer switch that transfers from Entergy to the emergency generator. The right hand pair of cabinets are the Main Distribution Breakers which feed the various sub panels throughout the building.

The main circuit breaker connected and ready to accept power from Entergy.

The inside of the Automatic Transfer Switch.

The new telephone system and the Cox cable equipment will be installed here.

CentralCasting is covered in plastic during the cleanup.

In fact, everything in Engineering is plastic wrapped.

This is the old Video room.

Purified air is being pumped through these plastic tubes into the engineering spaces.

A portable air cleaner. Lots of these were placed all over the building. They ran 24 hours a day, cleaning the air throughout the entire floor.

New Video is also plastic wrapped during the cleaning process.

Everything is under plastic sheeting.

The old Control room is being cleaned up.

Sheetrock has been installed on the walls of the news room offices.

The carpenters assembling a wall section for installation in one of the edit rooms.

More flood mess - this is the inside of the fork lift after the water corroded everything.

Inside these cases are three new studio cameras, waiting for our first newscast back in our own studio.

The "Flight Packs" have arrived! In these boxes is an entire control room that will get us back on the air from our temporary studios.

Edit rooms 1, 2, 3, and 4 under construction.

Edit rooms 6, 7, and 8.

Sitting on a stack of electrical wire trays, "'Da Boss" takes a well-earned break.

Looking down into the newsroom from the catwalk. The edit rooms are in the background, and the offices are in the foreground.

Sheetrock being installed.

The edit rooms as seem from the studio catwalk.

The completed Entergy power feed conduit system.

The completed conduit bridge between the building and the transformer vault.

Working on the temporary light wiring.

Chairs ready to be set up so you can sit down.

Boxes full of file cabinets which will be used to build temporary work desks for the news room.

Installing the new studio lighting fixtures.

Getting the set and the lights ready for the first broadcast.

Meanwhile, the carpenters are assembling the desks and file cabinets.

And Richard and Ralph are pulling wires for the technical equipment.

Testing the new set lighting.

The electricians are pulling some of the new wires for the new wiring upstairs.

File cabinets, which will be used as bases for the temporary desks.

A wire bridge arches overhead to allow clearance for tall items coming in through the door from the garage.

It takes lots of wires to make it all work. These run from the edit rooms and the new video room upstairs.

Temporary wires from downstairs ready for connection.

All the temporary wires are run outside the cable tray and wiring ducts so they may be removed easily when reconstruction is complete.

The temporary wires run overhead across the racks and up to a cable duct.

Off they go to the catwalk.

Another view of the temporary wires.

This is the muffler for the new emergency generator for the studio. It's a little bit bigger than your standard muffler!

Inside this box is a nice, big generator which can power the entire station in an emergency.

An Entergy technician installing the Money Meter.

The three black "donuts" are the current transformers which measure how much power the station uses.

Hey! This looks like a Newsroom! Hooray! We're back in operation at last!

A few minutes downtime for everyone before our First Newscast.

This is it! Standby!! 5... 4... 3... 2... "You're On!"

The set looks good!

Notice the new light are fluorescent lamps - lots less heat and glare.

Avis Landry documents the newscast for us.

Avis at work.

Meanwhile, back in the Control Room, the first newscast goes on as though everyone had done this a thousand times before.

Just like the Old Days - manning the cameras for the newscast.

Camera Operators at work.

The temporary Weather Center - plain, but functional.

Our electrical contractor, Dennis, enjoys the results of his crews hard work.

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