Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Six campus buildings lose heating

Kingsley Arms contractors excavate the hot water line near deFredenburgh, Wilson and Moffitt halls Monday, March 4. The line had ruptured Saturday, March 2. Tower Way was closed off for the repairs.


By Aleksandra Sidorova

Six campus buildings — four of them dorms — spent half a week without heating and more experienced disruptions during repairs.

Hood, deFredenburgh, Moffitt, Sibley, Wilson and Clinton Dining halls lost heat from Saturday, March 2 to Wednesday, March 6. The hot water line that carries heat from the Central Heating Plant to buildings ruptured underground at the intersection of Rugar Street and Sanborn Avenue. 

Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance Todd Moravec notified the campus community of the incident Saturday morning via a mass email and has since sent 12 updates, averaging three a day. The updates also appear on a web page specially created on the SUNY Plattsburgh website Monday, March 4.

Students in the affected residence halls were given the option to move to an unaffected residence hall and provided with blankets. College Auxiliary Services and Chartwells provided snacks and hot beverages. Administration created a special email address for students to contact with questions or concerns, deanofstudents@plattsburgh.edu. 

Facilities, Maintenance and Operations investigated the issue and the state Office of General Services engaged Kingsley Arms, a contracting company based in Schaghticoke, New York.

Moravec reported that the root cause of the rupture was identified the next day, but did not specify what it was. As repairs began, other buildings and residence halls along Rugar Street experienced disruptions in heating as well. Indoor temperatures measured in affected buildings stayed in the 60s.

Samuel D’s and the Child Care Center in Sibley were closed from Monday, March 4 to Wednesday, March 6. Sibley faculty and staff were assigned alternative work locations and faculty who teach at Sibley were advised to make other arrangements. 

Heat was expected to be restored to all buildings by Tuesday evening, but contractors found a pinhole leak in the line. They worked into the night to repair it, further delaying the heat returning. 

After contractors repaired the leak Tuesday night, they started to fill it with the 12,000 gallons of water it needs to function. Heat returned to all buildings by noon and as of the update 4 p.m. Wednesday, all buildings’ heating services are running uninterrupted.

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