MCCC’s new geothermal heating and cooling system will be more environmentally friendly and cost less — but for now it’s just getting in the way.
A number of offices around campus, including the Admissions and Registars offices, have been relocated.
Jack Burns, director of Campus Planning and Facilities, is in charge of implementing the new $16.2 million heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
The geothermal system is better for the environment and more cost-efficient. It will save the college a minimum of $200,000 a year, Burns said.
The newest building on campus, the Career Technology Center, installed a geothermal system when it was built in 2013.
A similar geothermal heating and cooling system is being installed in five of the campus’s older buildings. Included in the change are East and West Technology, and the A, L and C buildings, all part of the original campus from the 1960s.
The work was completed before fall classes in the East and West Tech buildings. The C Building was scheduled to have the system installed by the end of August, and the L and A buildings are scheduled to be finished near the end of September.
If the millage on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general election is passed, the remaining buildings – the La-Z-Boy Center, the H Building, and the Maintenance Building – could be added to the geothermal system, Burns said.
“We are first college to go to geothermal heating and cooling,” Burns said, based on the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.
The main reason for the change to a geothermal system is the age of the old system, he said.
The original heating and cooling system had begun to fail, Burns said.
Conversations about how to replace the aging equipment led to the idea of a geothermal system.
One complication that has been observed is the inconsistency of temperatures and lack of air circulation in the C building.