Ahwahnee Hotel Kitchen FRP Board Installation

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The purpose of this project is to install Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) on the interior vertical walls of the kitchen of The Ahwahnee, located in Yosemite National Park. FRP will provide a cleanable wall surface that is industry standard in commercial kitchens.

Originally built in 1927, The Ahwahnee is a National Historic Landmark, and as such, all maintenance work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The kitchen of The Ahwahnee has historic significance as it contributes to the overall building's significance and requires attention to detail to prevent damage to the walls that are original features. The FRP installation is designed to be fully reversible if deemed necessary in the future. Additionally, the FRP has the potential to protect the historic plaster walls from damage caused by grease, dirt, water and steam.

This project would install approximately 425 linear feet of FRP that would reach eight feet in height. The FRP will be smooth surface and basic white in color. Standard PVC trim molding will be installed to seal corners, edges, and divisions. FRP panels will be attached with standard adhesive, and moisture sealed on the top and bottom edges with sealant. In addition to a standard adhesive applied to the panel backing, individual panels may need additional anchor by pre-drilling small holes in the wall and inserting plastic "tack" fasteners. This will be done to a minimal extent and only where deemed necessary to achieve a secure FRP attachment. Any wall repairs will be done prior to attaching the FRP board.

There are some walls in the kitchen that have an irregular finish that is historic and character defining. To protect these walls and install FRP properly, a thin sheet of plywood (3/16" or ¼") will be attached to these walls and sealed around the perimeter. FRP will be installed over the plywood to provide a cleanable, smooth surface. FRP will not be installed in areas designated for cooking.

FRP currently exists in the pot washing room. The existing walls in the kitchen are a mixture of painted plaster lath, concrete, drywall, and plywood and are difficult to maintain in a clean condition. All wall bumpers, shelves, fire extinguishers, and other items that may be attached to the walls will be removed and reinstalled after the FRP is installed. No interior windows will be blocked with the FRP installation.

The existing walls of The Ahwahnee kitchen are difficult to keep clean and moisture free. The installation of FRP on many of the interior walls will bring the kitchen to current standards for cleanable surfaces in commercial kitchens, and protect the historic walls from potential damage. Smooth and easily cleanable surfaces in commercial kitchens are a code requirement under Food and Drug Administration US Food Code (see Chapter 6 in Project Review Package).

Special Considerations:
The FRP shall be installed in a manner such that the installation is fully reversible as The Ahwahnee is a National Historic Landmark.

Operational Concerns:
The installation of FRP will occur during the hotel closure period when much of the kitchen equipment will be replaced and relocated. This is the optimal time to install FRP as the installation will not complicate regular kitchen operation, and areas may be more accessible for FRP installation.