Heating system is under construction


Abdul-Salam Zakaria

A laid pipe in the hole of the construction site.

Anh Bui

Augustana’s Viking Plaza, also known as the Lower Quad, has been under construction for the past few weeks. Specifically, construction has been focused on two main spots on campus: minor construction on the west side of the plaza, close to the Olin Center, and a larger construction project  on the opposite side next to Steve and Jane Bahls Campus Leadership Center, formerly known as Founders’ Hall. 

Robert Lanzerotti, director of facilities services, provided detailed information about the construction.

“The streamlines come from the Denkmann vault, which comes from the powerhouse,” Lanzerotti said.  “We create the steam from the big boilers in the power house, and it pushes all the way up here in the ground. There is a steam leak in the smaller section right here. We have already finished fixing the pipe and now working on insulating it.”

Unlike the smaller site, the bigger site has a leaked condensate line instead of a steam line, which proves to be more difficult to handle, hence takes more time to finish. Lanzerotti explained briefly about the function of the condensate line.

“On that site we have a similar situation, but it wasn’t the steam line that leaked. It was a condensate line,” Lanzerotti said. 

As of now, the construction of both sites is supposed to affect the library and Andreen Hall, since the lines that are being fixed are connected to both buildings. However, according to Lanzerotti, the library has a secondary heating system as backup, hence, students can still enjoy their study time without being bothered by the cold.  On the other hand, Andreen Hall is not equipped with the same system.

“What’s nice about the library is we have secondary heat,” Lanzerotti said. “We have our own little boiler there so we were able to continue heating, but Andreen doesn’t have the same system.”

The construction operates on a time and material contract, which means that the contractor and client agree on the goal of the project and specify the finished product. 

“The bad part about any type of underground utility is that it is hard to precisely predict where the problems come from,” Lanzerotti said. “For instance, you can see the steam coming out of the manhole, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the leak is right under the manhole.”

Lanzerotti hopes to wrap things up by the end of next week. 

“The weather has been nice lately, so we’re lucky that the problem is around this time, because we don’t have to use the heating system as much.” Lanzerotti said. “Once the construction is done, we’ll come back to it at a later date to make sure there won’t be any future breaks.”