By: RACHAEL PITTMAN
Student reader Katy Bail asked The Preface whether the university was adding on to the Education and Arts Building and Northside Hall when she noticed construction crews on campus in October. Preface staff writer Rachael Pittman found the answer:
The Schurz Library and Northside Hall are receiving a cool update.
The school is not adding anything onto the Education and Arts building right now. The digging by the building is for a new chiller for the Franklin D. Schurz Library. A chiller functions like a giant air conditioner.
The chiller for the library went out more than a year ago, said director of facilities management Mike Prater, and was unable to be fixed.
Bill O’Donnell, vice chancellor of fiscal affairs recognized that this was a “big problem” because of the irregular temperatures, he said. The solution to the broken chiller was to add a new one and connect some underground pipes to the many chillers in Northside Hall. They have to dig the holes near Education and Arts building and Northside Hall for the pipes, and then connect the pipes together, he said.
This is a process called boring, O’Donnell said. If any of these chillers stops working, there will be a back-up chiller because of the tunnel that connects Northside Hall to the library. Because Northside Hall and Schurz Library are connected by the underground tunnel the new library chiller will help balance out the temperatures in both buildings, said Andrew Krouse, assistant director of facilities management.
The main benefit is that the buildings will both have regulated temperatures and less cooling failures in the future, Krouse said in an email.
Construction is digging up these areas and then repairing the landscape during the first week of November, Krouse wrote.
Until this project is completed, they will be using a rental chiller that sits west of the library on a trailer.
Edwin Dejka is a project superintendent for F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen General Contractors. He was supervising the project on Monday afternoon.
Bancroft Electric employees have been put in charge of “digging that hole,” Dejka said.
The holes are specifically for the underground pipes. This is phase one of the project, and it was on target for completion by Oct 30.
Many renovations on Northside hall are also underway, but the new chiller is not included in the budget for the renovations.
“This project costs in the neighborhood of a half million dollars,” not including the chilling unit, Prater said, but the funding was separate from the recent grants for the Northside Hall renovations.