by Shawna Carter
SOCORRO, N.M., Oct. 4, 2005 — The New Mexico Tech Facilities Management Department (FMD) has announced that the Phase I preliminary installation of a new hot water system for the entire campus begins on Monday, October 10.
The current hot water system being used on campus is more than 25-years-old and has experienced several breaks over the past summer months, causing concern among New Mexico Tech administrators that the currently employed system will eventually fail — maybe as early as this winter — if it is not soon replaced.
In response, a “short-loop” is to be installed as soon as possible on Campus Drive, behind Driscoll, Fitch, Presidents, and West halls. Once completed, this short-loop will allow the FMD to repair hot water leaks on campus without disrupting hot water and heating to students living in campus residence halls, especially during the upcoming winter months.
Because of this latest campus construction project, Campus Drive will be completely closed during the construction of the short-loop. Students who usually park along Campus Drive are being asked to instead park along the east side of the Tech Athletic Field, along both sides of Leroy Place.
In the meanwhile, a larger project has been proposed which would completely replace the entire hot water system that provides hot water service to all of the campus. The short-loop installation, therefore is Phase I of this larger infrastructure repair project.
FMD’s long range plans call for placing portions of the new hot water system, along with several other utility systems, in a subterranean access tunnel underneath the campus. This tunnel would loop around from outside Cramer Hall south to Fitch Hall. The tunnel layout would then make a right-hand turn, proceeding west and terminating just east of Workman Center.
This proposed access tunnel would allow for repairs and upgrades to any of the utilities contained in the tunnel to be made in a relatively dry environment, cutting down on the time affected campus facilities would spend without that particular utility service.
If funding is acquired, the access tunnel project at New Mexico Tech will begin in mid-February 2006 and end in November 2006. The short-loop project, however, is projected to be finished by no later than November 30, 2005.