Bowman receives new heating, cooling systems

Caitlin Albright

The first phase of construction in Bowman Hall began as soon as the spring semester ended — two-thirds of the building is receiving a new HVAC system.

Up until now, the heating and cooling systems in the building have comprised of older technology from when Bowman Hall was first built in 1962.

“It was based on what’s called a two-pipe system,” said Michael Bruder, director of the Office of the University Architect. “We could distribute warm water to all the little heating units and cooling units in every classroom or office. It would go out, come back and get reheated, or it would go out cold, come back and get reheated. It couldn’t do both.”

The current upgrades will replace that two-pipe system with a forced-air system, which uses air as the medium to transfer heating or cooling. Instead of using pipes, the building will be reworked with ducts and vents.

Paul Crider, a pipefitter currently working on Bowman Hall, said it isn’t a difficult project for those with experience.

“Some of the guys working on this site make the process look easy,” he said.

Other improvements in the building include ceiling and light fixture upgrades.

“To put in the new duct work and piping the ceilings had to come down, so that will be replaced including new energy efficient lighting,” Bruder said. “We also added a fire-protection sprinkler system to the building, which it didn’t have.”

Bowman Hall is used predominantly by the College of Arts and Sciences. The Senior Director of Advancement for this college, David Grober, still works out of the building.

Faculty in the hall are adjusting around the summer’s construction, Grober said.

“This building probably fell short of our university’s quality standards, but it really shows signs of getting on track now,” he said.

This project as a whole costs about $4 million. The final portion of the building will be renovated next summer.

Caitlin Albright is the construction, safety and transportation reporter, contact her at [email protected].