Trenching Work Has Begun

March 23 Update -- Construction crews have begun digging the main trench for the new hot water loop. The trench begins at Fitch Hall and extends toward Weir Hall. The first segment of work will last 7 to 10 days and will extend to Wells and Brown Hall.

Students and employees can expect constrution noise and disruptions in foot traffic in the southeast quadrant of campus. Around April 1, crews will begin the second segment of Area 1, which will extend from Wells and Brown toward Weir Hall.

March 15 Update -- Due to potential dangers from digging in wet weather, the onset of trenching has been pushed back a day or two.

SOCORRO, N.M. March 10, 2010 – Construction crews will be making plenty of noise next week. TLC Plumbing will begin digging trenches near Fitch Hall at 7 a.m. Monday, March 15. Digging is likely to proceed through Thursday, March 18.

Another crew will also begin cutting into basement walls and floors in Zone 1, including Brown Hall, the Tech gym, the boiler plant behind Fitch Hall and Driscoll Hall. This work is in preparation for linking these buildings to the new loop.

Gates have been erected to cordon off the area of the first section of trench. The main trench will be about 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep in the first section and 4 feet deep in most parts of campus. Once the new pipes are installed, the trench will be extended from Brown Hall to Cramer Hall. Dirt from the new section of trench will be used to backfill the first section. Work will continue on the main trench before the buildings in the first section are connected.

The Tech website will have regular updates on traffic and utility disruptions throughout 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 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 The system is outdated and has suffered many breakdowns in recent years.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