Jun 25, 2019

Ag building gets needed upgrade

Matt Weir / The Collegian

Upgrades to the Agricultural Science building’s air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems started earlier this month and will displace some offices and classrooms until fall 2010.

The west wing of the building is affected by the construction as the dean’s office, plant science office and lecture halls 224 and 236 are temporarily moved to an alternate location.

Wendy Moritz, from facilities planning, said the dean’s office and plant science department office have moved to the downstairs section of the University Center.

The construction affects 33 offices, two computer labs and 12 classrooms, Moritz said.

The moving of the offices and classrooms will be done in two phases. The first was conducted earlier this month and the next is scheduled at the end of the semester, Moritz said.

The job of upgrades and asbestos abatement will be conducted by a private construction company.

“[I’m] hoping it won’t interfere with fall classes,” Moritz said.

“We are being asked to move right after finals,” Art Parham, faculty chair of the Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education Department, said.

The building was constructed in 1953 and was one of four original buildings on campus, along with McLane Hall, Thomas Administration and the Agricultural Mechanics building.

“The problem with the system was it is an old, antiquated three-pipe system,” Parham said.

A three-pipe system only allows heating or cooling at one time in a building and the design obsolete.

“There are rooms where you freeze all winter and burn up all summer,” Parham said.

Funding for the construction will come from the minor capital repair budget, Parham said.

Some of the air conditioning and heating units have been repaired and replaced over the years, and around 1968 the system was retrofitted for an effective cooling system.

The north, south and east wings are still active until summer, Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, said.

Along with the upgrades on the air conditioning, heating and ventilation, asbestos removal is planned for the building, Boyer said. The asbestos abatement will be conducted on the ceiling tile, floor tile and insulation around the pipes.

The University has known for a number of years the air conditioning and heating was in need of replacements, Boyer said.

“The main reason for delay was the lack of funds in the maintenance budget,” Boyer said.

Last year, the dean’s office was flooded because pipes that connected to the three-pipe system in the building broke, Boyer said.

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