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Construction Will Cause Campus Disruptions

SOCORRO, N.M. January 6, 2010 -- Construction of a new hot water loop is expected to cause disruptions of service in several systems on campus during 2010.

TLC Plumbing and Heating of Albuquerque was awarded the contract in mid-December 2009 with a bid of $4.3 million. Beginning in February, the company will begin replacing the existing system that supplies heat and power to all campus buildings.

By late January or early February, the company will cordon off the Skeen Library parking lot for use as a construction staging area. That lot will be unavailable for parking for the duration of the project. The university is considering options for alternative parking areas.

By late February or early March, construction crews will start digging 10- to 12-foot wide trenches across campus to begin installing the new system. The first trench is expected to extend from the heat plant behind Fitch Hall across campus toward Weir Hall.

The main conduit will circle around campus from Weir Hall to MSEC, then to Jones Annex, Workman and Fidel. A spoke will extend from the mining statues to Jones Hall and Macey Center. Each campus building will then be tied to the main line via secondary lines.

The work will be conducted in phases to minimize disruptions in utility services. However, each building on campus will be without heat and without electricity for short periods during the change-over.

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 and posted on the Tech website.

The hot water loop is outdated and has suffered many breakdowns in recent years. In 2009, the state legislature approved funding to replace the entire system.

-- NMT --

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech