New Mexico Tech will spend about $1 million on replacing the building’s antiquated and inadequate cooling system. The project will begin mid-September and finish in March or April.
The building has been beset with problems caused by the evaporative cooling system – or swamp coolers – for more than a decade, said director Nowka Leviner. The excessive moisture in the building has caused mold and rot in carpet and walls. During summer months, the wooden stage has expanded and buckled, requiring regular maintenance.
“I’m so excited,” Leviner said. “We’ve needed this for 10 years. The next few months will be a big hassle for everyone accustomed to using Macey Center, but in the long run everyone will be pleased.”
The current system has only three thermostats for the entire building. The new system will have three temperature zones for the upstairs lobby alone and more than a dozen for the building, Leviner said.
The Performing Arts Series concerts and other large events, like the N.M. Science Olympiad, will be staged in Macey Center. However, most other events – First Responders Training classes, the Mineral Symposium and the Festival of the Cranes, for example – will be moved to the Fidel Center ballroom or other campus areas.
New Mexico Tech is advertising the bid package July 24 and 28. A pre-bid conference for interested contractors will be August 11. The bids will be opened August 25, with construction scheduled to begin September 12.
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By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech