Public hearing set for Southwestern improvement project
An instructional center improvement project has been discussed at Southwestern Community College for more than three years. The project will be completed in two phases, and at the SWCC Board of Directors regular meeting Tuesday, a public hearing for phase one was set for 8 a.m. Oct. 26 in the president’s office.
Phase one includes replacing the existing boiler-plant equipment, and tying in a new sprinkler main, adding all necessary valves and controls. The main will be extended across the lobby and into the mezzanine area in the instructional center for future distribution in phase two.
“This ties into our ACE (accelerated career education) projects,” said Dr. Barb Crittenden, president of SWCC at the meeting. “Our ACE projects have been set aside for the last couple of years because we were waiting until we had enough funds to do this work in the instructional building.”
A water line will have to be boared, and Vice President of Economic Development Tom Lesan said the plan is to have that done before freezing temperatures arrive.
“The plan is to get that done, and the boiler in place,” he said at the meeting. “It really brings us up to a more efficient system, and it gets rid of those two pipes that are under the ground, and have been since 1970.”
If the board of directors approves phase one of the project at the public hearing Oct. 26, work on phase one will begin as soon as possible.
The estimated overall cost for the project, both phase one and two, is said not to be more than $1.4 million.
“Until we go out for bids, we don’t know what this is going to cost,” said Lesan. “These are guesses from the mechanical engineer and the architect. But, we can do the $1.4 million with ACE money.”
Lesan said if everything goes well, he is hoping to start working on phase two of the project in March 2013. Plans are to clear out the 100 bay hallway in March 2013 so most of the work on phase two can be completed before classes start again in August 2013. The 100 bay hallway is the main hallway in the instructional center that has all classrooms numbered in the 100s.
Some of the things planned for phase two include:
• installing a new sprinkler distribution system
• installing new windows in exterior classrooms
• installing new light fixtures in classrooms and the hallway
• installing new interior finishes like paint and carpet
Lesan said this project should help with heating and air conditioning problems being experienced in the instructional center.
“We have put in some new controllers and those sort of things, building for this project, and they have already helped,” he said. “Now we can actually get some outside air flow into those rooms, where before we couldn’t. The little things we have done to date have helped, and this should really take care of that issue.”
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