Hawk Talk

SGSC Underground

Posted on December 2, 2019 12:00 AM

I’m Daniel Warren, Director of Facilities for South Georgia State College, and hopefully this post will answer some of the questions that everyone on campus seems to have. First, I’ll share two critical projects that may not have been as obvious as the most recent projects involving the digging up of Sweet Heart Circle. I’ll follow that with a short overview of the most recent projects.

In December 2017 we undertook a project to move two water mains out from under two campus buildings. The first was a water main dating from 1904 that had to be diverted from underneath Thrash Hall.   

Thrash Hall was constructed in 1939 as a Public Works Project and was built right over the 1904 water main. We needed to route this water main around the building to take pressure off of the line caused by the weight of Thrash Hall. I was not sure why this line had never been moved but knew that it had to be before we had a catastrophic issue on our hands. When moving the line, I had two shut off valves added to each end so that we could isolate an area of campus, if we did have a water main break.

The second water main ran under Richey Hall causing the same concerns as the main running under Thrash. We moved the line from underneath the south end of the building and added a shut-off valve to each end. Richey was built in 1964 and the water main was installed in 1928.  

The benefits of these projects are that there are no water mains under any of our buildings. Additionally, we now have ways to isolate the water mains on campus in an emergency. We do not have to shut the water supply off to the entire campus if a water main has a leak.

The recent digging and trenching were part of two major projects. The first project started with plans to install an additional chiller for HVAC (heating, ventilation, air condition) supply to Thrash Hall, Engram Hall, and the Library. Chillers provide water at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is used to cool the air in buildings. Currently, we only have one unit to provide HVAC to these buildings. If the unit was to go down all buildings would suffer.

During planning for the additional chiller, we received notice that Powell Hall had been approved for renovation. The need to upgrade Powell’s inefficient individual A/C units to central heat and air would be very costly. I was able to evaluate the cost of running chilled water to cool Powell from the Engram loop with enough additional supply to provide A/C to Peterson Hall. Nottingham Brooks & Pennington (NBP), a mechanical engineering firm out of Macon, GA, determined that the calculations were correct and developed the scope and cost analysis for this project. We determined that we could tie into the existing water lines behind Thrash Hall and the Library, bore fused pipe under the road, across the center circle and pull it up between Powell and Peterson. 

Once the Board of Regents approved the project, we expect to realize savings of a minimum of $220,000 required to purchase and install a chiller for Powell. We also avoid having to purchase a new $300,000 chiller for Peterson Hall that would be needed in the near future.

The second project also involves bringing Powell and Peterson Halls mechanically into the 21st century. Powell Hall did not have a Fire Sprinkler System.  Domestic water for Powell was fed from Peterson Hall (taps and toilet) water. The pressure needed to supply both buildings' sprinkler systems would require the installation of pumps in order to supply the appropriate pressure for the Fire System. The pumps and valves needed would cost close to $18,000 for Powell Hall.

After consulting with the City of Douglas we determined that the 8-inch water main running along College Drive had sufficient pressure for the Fire System as well as a new Domestic Water supply. I had the city install a new tap and valve on this main water line, contractors McQuaig and Sons ran the new water main across our Sweet Heart Circle, installed vaults (structures that house valves and connections) for our new Fire System and domestic line.

So while you may not see us working behind the scenes or may wonder why we are often digging holes all over campus, you can rest assured that SGSC Facilities is there to make sure everything is working correctly and that everyone who is a part of our campus community is comfortable and safe.

Submitted by John Vanchella on behalf of Daniel Warren.

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