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Building Commission OKs Superior DMV HVAC project

MADISON — Heating and cooling equipment original to the Department of Transportation's regional office in Superior will be replaced in a $1.4 million project approved Wednesday by the State Building Commission.

The building at 1701 N. Fourth St. was constructed in 1980.

The project replaces boilers operating at 65 percent efficiency with 95 percent efficiency boilers, plus the pumps and compressors that manufacturers no longer support.

Digital controls will eliminate the need for an existing compressor that runs almost constantly.

Chillers that use modern refrigerants will replace existing ones which use refrigerants that are costly and more difficult to obtain, according to the DOT.

The new equipment and controls will correct humidity and temperature regulation issues and reduce energy usage, according to the DOT.

"These enhancements will improve the reliability and efficiency of these systems," according to an unsigned statement the DOT submitted the Building Commission.

The project is funded by DOT fee revenue.

Construction is scheduled to begin in August and be completed by next January.

The 36,000-square-foot building is owned by the DOT, unlike other state facilities which are owned by the Department of Administration, said Greg Gasper, a DOT deputy division administrator. The building has a Department of Motor Vehicles Service Center that provides driver's license road tests, vehicle registration and other services. The DOT has 71 employees at the Superior office.

The DMW service center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Department of Natural Resources also has a service center in the building, in space it rents from the DOT. The public can buy hunting and fishing licenses, recreational vehicle licenses and boat registrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The DOT's Northwest Region includes 20 counties from Douglas to Jackson and has offices in Eau Claire, Spooner and Superior.