Construction Update: Work Crews Arrive Feb. 15

SOCORRO, N.M. January 28, 2010 -- New Mexico Tech officials met with contractors Tuesday to discuss construction details and scheduling for the upcoming replacement of the hot water loop.

The primary contractor will set up its construction yard in the parking lot north of the library over the weekend of Friday 13 and 14, with minor groundwork beginning shortly thereafter. That parking area will be closed to the public for the duration of the project, expected to last up to a year.

Bridgers Paxton Consulting Engineers will provide project oversight to the main contractor, TLC Plumbing and Heating. Bixby Electric will serve as the project’s electrical contractor.

TLC crews will commence full-blown construction with 9- to 12-foot wide trenches during the first week of March. Work crews will dig trenches 300 to 400 feet long at a time, extending north across campus. After each section is completed, the pipe will be tested, then covered. The first trench is expected to extend from the heat plant behind Fitch Hall across campus toward Weir Hall. The contractors will make every effort to complete the first portion – Area 1 – before commencement in May.

The main conduit will circle around campus, first west toward MSEC, then south toward Workman and Fidel. A spoke will extend from the mining statues toward Macey Center and the PRRC. The contractor expects to link individual buildings to the main line via secondary lines as the main line is installed.

Construction crews will typically work four 10-hour days: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; however, crews may work nights and weekends during crucial times of the project.

The work will be conducted in phases to minimize disruptions in utility services.

Area 1 includes Fitch Hall, Driscoll Hall, Wells Hall, Brown Hall, Tech Gym and Cramer Hall, scheduled from February to June.

Area 2 includes Skeen Library, Weir Hall, MSEC, Speare Hall and ISD, scheduled from April to July.

Area 3 includes Jones Annex, Fidel Center and Workman, scheduled from June to September.

Area 4 includes the Gold Building and the PRRC, scheduled from August to October.

Area 5 includes Macey Center and Jones Hall, scheduled for October.

Area 6 includes West Hall, Presidents Hall and the SAC, scheduled for October to November.

The schedules listed here are subject to change. Each building on campus will be without heat and without electricity for short periods during the change-over. New Mexico Tech will provide several days of advance notice prior to each planned utility outage.  Facilities Management and the Public Information Office will coordinate regular updates and announcements about the project, traffic disruptions and power outages. Notices will be e-mailed to the campus community, posted on the Tech website and posted on building entryways.

The hot water loop provides both heat and hot water to all campus buildings. The system is outdated and has suffered many breakdowns in recent years. In 2009, the state legislature approved funding to replace the entire system.
TLC Plumbing and Heating of Albuquerque was awarded the contract in mid-December 2009 with a bid of $4.3 million.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech