Building commission approves windows, repairs at UWSMADISON — The State Building Commission approved $4.99 million Tuesday to repair one-half mile of underground conduit damaged during June flooding at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
By: By Kevin Murphy/For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON — The State Building Commission approved $4.99 million Tuesday to repair one-half mile of underground conduit damaged during June flooding at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The June 19-20 flood damaged a reported 14 of 16 buildings on campus as well as the underground conduits that contain steam lines used to distribute heat to various buildings.
A small creek on campus, which typically is barely visible, filled with runoff from the intense rainstorm and flowed into the conduit system. That routed the floodwater into the basements of several buildings, said UW System Vice President David Miller.
The floodwater permanently damaged the steam lines’ insulation and while the lines continue to operate, their efficiency is greatly reduced because of the lack of insulation.
Several components of the 40- and 50-year-old piping system were nearing the end of their useful life last year. and depending on their condition, will be replaced as part of the repair project.
The entire system will be inspected, reinsulated and tested. Efforts to waterproof the system will be done at conduit boxes that house sensitive equipment and concrete lids will be replaced to lessen chances of floodwater entering the conduit during future floods.
The project was the most expensive of the 11 requests totaling $17.7 million the commission approved for nine campuses statewide.
The commission also approved adding almost $1.3 million for new windows to the now $16.5 million remodeling of Ross and Hawkes residence halls.
New energy efficient windows were included in bid requests to convert the halls back into dormitories as demand for on-campus housing has increased in recent years. However, the new windows were excluded from the project by the housing director when construction bids came in above the $15 million budget, said Miller.
Campus facilities staff contested the decision, arguing that it made no sense to install energy efficient heating and air handling equipment but retain windows installed in 1967, Miller said.
The chancellor’s office got behind the new windows request forwarding it to the UW Regents after learning the additional $1.3 million will have little impact on the project’s debt service or room fees charged to students, Miller said.
The construction timetable was unavailable this week.