Heating plant renovations planned

By Rob Heselbarth

Plans are being made to rehabilitate NIU’s east and west heating plants in order to make them more efficient.

Various pieces of modern equipment will be added to parts of the campus heating system in order to make it operate better.

Mia Jazo, Capital Development Board (CDB) spokeswoman, said the budget for the project will be $1.22 million.

The money will come from the Build Illinois program and from CDB bond funds, Jazo said.

John Gardner, interim director of the Physical Plant, said the heat provided to university buildings is created by boilers in the two main heating plants on campus.

The east heating plant is attached to Altgeld Hall and the west heating plant is located east of Grant Towers.

“In the east plant, we have one 100,000 pounds-per-hour boiler which will be renovated,” Gardner said. “The tubes will be replaced and an economizer will be added to it.

“There are hundreds of tubes which take heat from the burner and convert it to steam. Some of the tubes have become too old and have started to leak, so they will be replaced,” he said.

An economizer preheats the boiler feed water, so the boiler doesn’t have to work as hard to create steam, he said.

In the west heating plant, there is another 100,000 pounds-per-hour boiler which also will be renovated.

“An economizer will be added to the west boiler as well, and the water treatment system will receive improved instrumentation,” Gardner said. “We have to treat the water going into the boiler because if it is not treated it will damage the tubes.”

Jazo said a 95 percent review of the plans has been completed, and the bids are expected to go out in spring 1993.

“The construction should start about one to two months after the contract has been awarded,” Jazo said. “Once the construction starts, it should be completed in seven to eight months.”

She said the engineering firm working on the project is Hennemenn Raufeisen and Associates, Inc.