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Vol. LIX, No. 20
October 5, 2007

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Have a burning question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at (click on the Feedback icon) and we'll try to provide answers.

Feedback: As you probably know, there's some kind of long-term facelift or building repair project taking place outside Bldg. 31A. We've received no information about what the work is supposed to achieve, despite the presence of workmen hanging outside our windows and drilling on the building for more than a month (with no end in sight). The noise has been quite distracting. We'd like to know what is really going on and when the work will be completed

Renard Walker of the Office of Research Facilities, building manager of 31, responds: "They are recaulking the pre-cast concrete for this building only. I do not know if any other buildings are having this type of work done." The work is expected to end in late October or early November, he added.

Walker informs building tenants via email when projects such as this take place and says he offered advance warning on the caulking project. If you would like to be added to his Bldg. 31 list, contact him at

Feedback: What do people need to do these days when they need to bring their children on campus? What security rules must we follow?

Brad Moss of the Office of Research Services offers the following: For children of employees- All children under the age of 16 accompanied by an NIH employee or contractor holding a valid NIH ID are allowed to enter the main campus through any employee or visitor entrance where a guard is present. The accompanied child or children will not undergo physical screening and will not have to enter via a visitor's entrance. For details visit

For children of visitors-Any visitor 16 years of age and older is required to provide identification in order to receive a visitor ID. Children 15 years of age and younger are not required to provide photo identification in order to obtain a visitor ID. For more information, visit

Feedback: What's the deal with smoking outside Bldg. 31A? "Smoke-Free" signs are posted and some even specify no smoking within 25 feet. Even so, I regularly encounter smokers in front of signs, in front of nearby pillars without signs and, once, a smoker standing within inches of the secure door into the A-wing (near the ATM). I feel for smokers, who have a serious addiction and few places where they can feed it. At the same time I don't want to breathe second-hand smoke. I often now take a longer, smoke-free route through the building. Are efforts under way to ease the pain on both sides of the issue? Can NIH provide a specially ventilated, comfortable smoking lounge, along with smoking cessation opportunities and enforce the no-smoking rule (law)?

Response from the Office of Research Services: A new proposal revising the NIH Smoking Policy is under development. The key elements of the proposal will establish, on campus, an enhanced smoking cessation support program and further restrict where smoking is allowed by establishing designated smoking areas. The proposal that is being developed to revise the current NIH Smoking Policy is being done at the direction of the NIH steering committee. If you or one of your colleagues is in need of smoking cessation resources, visit

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