Plant Expansion Begins
Date: Feb. 20, 2002
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Archive: Campus News
The fences are up on "Short" Vine Street between Martin Luther King Drive and Glendora, signaling the beginning of construction for UC's Central Utility Plant expansion.
The $62 million expansion project is scheduled for completion in March 2004. Once in operation, the plant will save UC an estimated $4.5 million dollars a year in energy costs, thanks to increased efficiency, said Pete Luken, senior project manager in construction management. The plant is also expected to significantly reduce pollutants.
Last week, excavation for the project began, Luken said. During the construction, the sidewalk and on-street parking will close on the west side of Vine Street from the Post Office to the intersection of Short Vine and Martin Luther King. A gravel parking lot used by the College of Nursing was closed earlier this year in preparation for construction.
The new plant will nearly double the size of the current 26,000-square foot facility on Vine Street and replace the aging plant that sits in the middle of West Campus near Nippert Stadium. "The plant will be very attractive," said Luken. Internationally recognized Cambridge Seven of Cambridge, Mass., is the architect.
Luken said that construction of UC's new recreational center and associated MainStreet development necessitate the relocation of the old plant and its four chillers that supply chilled water for air conditioning on campus.
The new plant is expected to generate 47 megawatts of electrical energy, the current peak electric load for both campuses. It will house two combustion turbines, one steam turbine and a diesel generator, which will be used for electric power generation. The combustion turbines generate heat exhaust that will be re-used for heating and power generation. The steam and electric will be used for heating and electric needs on East and West Campus. Existing chillers and boilers on East Campus will be maintained.
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