HVAC construction to continue through winter

A worker cuts asphalt as HVAC work continues outside of the A Building. 

The college’s heating-cooling is not as far along as college officials thought.

Sue Wetzel, vice president of Administration, said the geothermal heating and cooling system is 68.5 percent complete. They thought they were 75 percent complete, but after another review, they found they were not quite as far along.

The completion date is scheduled for July 31. Wetzel said although they have a lot to do, the workers seem confident they can finish on schedule.

Jack Burns, director of Campus Planning & Facilities, will be back to work on Monday, Jan. 30. He has been on medical leave since Nov. 28.

Burns and Wetzel have been working together to bring each building in the project to completion.

“None are complete. They are all in process, but some are further along than others,” Wetzel said.

The C Building and the East and West Tech Buildings have the pipelines laid and ready to connect to the system. They are currently pressurizing the lines in the A Building to prepare them for the final hook up.

Pressurizing the lines is a long and tedious process. If lines come loose, they have to pump out all the water, reattach the pipeline, then fill the line back up and begin pressurizing again.

Last week, students may have noticed standing water in the parking lot behind the A Building. Wetzel said the water was from a line that disconnected.

“Those are to be expected as they work through the testing phases,” Wetzel said.

The college’s maintenance crew is not yet controlling the system, but they are getting experience by working closely with the contractors and engineers.

“They are really becoming a very valuable part of the team that is finishing the project,” she said. “They are just so good at what they do that they are really becoming some of the best troubleshooters for the contractors.”

Wetzel said the maintenance crew is monitoring the system and helping solve issues.

The L Building is the last phase of the project. They will begin the majority of the work when classes end this semester.

“They’re working behind the scenes,” Wetzel said. “Stuff is happening, but it’s pretty controlled because of the classes that are going on in there.”

The building will be offline during the summer with the exception of a few labs.

All the buildings in the plan except the L Building will be operating on the new cooling system during Spring semester.

Although the project will be complete by July 31, the new heating system will not be used in all the original buildings, A, C, E, W, and L until 2018 Winter semester.