- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2002

Gerald R. Twigg patrols the dusty corridors of the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, stepping in and out of nearly empty rooms. He's checking the latches that secure the 18 sets of French doors in the 74-year-old hotel.
It's a small but important detail for the hotel's chief engineer, who is making sure the contractors hired to handle the $14 million renovation of the 143-room hotel are doing their job.
The Hay-Adams Hotel, located at H and 16th streets NW, closed Nov. 5 to undergo a massive overhaul. It is getting a new heating and cooling system that allows guests to individually control the temperature in their rooms, a state-of-the art computer and phone system, new furniture, a new kitchen and an upgraded fire and security system.
The hotel is fast approaching its reopening date of March 19. Mr. Twigg is confident the hotel will be polished and ready for guests by the opening date, despite its current appearance: There is debris on every floor, ladders block passageways and workers covered in dust trek through the hallways.
"Everything is on schedule," said Mr. Twigg. "I have seen a lot of things happen every day. It's come together so quickly."
Mr. Twigg, with his blue hard hat fitted on his head, two-way radio clipped to his belt and his all-important to-do list firmly in his hand, files into the freight elevator with a half-dozen workers, each with their own agenda and exiting on different floors. The hotel is bustling with more than 150 workers daily but Mr. Twigg and two of his engineers are the only hotel employees still working inside while it is closed.
On this day Mr. Twigg goes up to the eighth floor one of two floors off-limits to most of the workers because new carpet has been laid and the rooms await new furniture.
Some of the rooms already are stuffed with unpacked furniture. On each door bright blue tape holds up diagrams of where the partially wrapped furniture should be placed for workers who are scheduled to arrange the rooms later in the week.
Above the eighth floor more than a dozen workers linger on the roof, where they are preparing for a new slab of concrete to be poured this weekend.
The area, to be fenced in, will serve as a place for rooftop functions. It's an expansion of a small area along H Street where guests can get a view of the city.
Despite a laundry list of things to do, Mr. Twigg carefully checks even the slightest detail. He's on the lookout for things that have yet to be done old wiring that hasn't been removed, a handrail in a bathtub not yet put in place.
Mr. Twigg visits almost every floor each level a little less complete than the one above it.
Before the renovation, Mr. Twigg's job was to maintain the building's facilities, dealing with preventive maintenance and day-to-day service of the rooms.
He said the hotel's old infrastructure, like its wiring and heating and cooling system, kept him and his staff busy.
"This hotel needed a renovation," said Mr. Twigg, who's been with the Hay-Adams for 2 years.
The upgrades will make things easier for the other employees and give them a better working environment, he said.
"You have to focus on the people working for the guests, too," Mr. Twigg said. "We want to make sure this is the best hotel in Washington, D.C."



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