Planned power outage for Lake, Olson

William Schertz

Construction workers will shut off power to Lake and Olson residence halls for several hours Saturday, Thomas Euclide, director of architecture and engineering, said.

The planned power outage is part of ongoing plans to build a new chilled water facility directly behind Bowman Hall, which will provide air conditioning for Bowman Hall, Satterfield Hall, the Business Administration Building and eventually the Art Building. The power outage is necessary because Lake and Olson are on the same power supply as Bowman.

“We have to shut down power so we can safely remove some components from the old chiller,” Euclide said.

The power outage will cut most of the students’ power between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Some things, including the emergency lighting system, hot water circulating pumps and the fire alarm panel will still run with the help of an emergency power generator, Area Coordinator Jill Church said in an e-mail.

Euclide said he recommends that students shut down sensitive appliances like computers ahead of time, and also that they keep their refrigerator doors closed to prevent food and drinks from spoiling.

Several residents in the halls said they wished the outage could be postponed until spring break, but Church said given the circumstances it was the best they could do.

“Ideally we would have liked to hold off until spring break, but postponing the outage until then would significantly impact the construction on this part of campus,” Church said.

Euclide also said that spring break would have been ideal, but would throw off their schedule by several weeks.

“We’re on such a tight schedule that delaying anything would set back the entire project,” he said. “There would be difficulty getting new equipment put in until the power is off.”

Currently, the existing chiller is being demolished while foundation work on the addition that will house the new chiller continues.

Construction on the $2.65 million project started around Christmas and is scheduled to be finished by late summer, with working air conditioning in Bowman by late July, Euclide said.

The project will greatly reduce the amount of power used on campus, saving the university a lot of money, Euclide said.

“Ultimately it’s going to pay for itself in light of the placing of individual chillers on campus,” he said.

Euclide said the long term goal for the project is to eventually interconnect Bowman’s chilled water plant with the chilled water plant that supplies the science buildings, creating a network from the Liquid Crystal Building to the Business Administration Building.

Contact buildings and grounds reporter William Schertz at [email protected].