Boilers are a must for areas that experience unforgiving winters and at Northern Illinois University, the state recently funded boiler repairs costing upwards of $6.6M.
According to Representative Jeff Keicher, the boiler repairs are a necessary investment in improving the facilities at the university. He was appointed to take Bob Pritchard’s place after the latter’s resignation to become part of the Board of Trustees at Northern Illinois University. He says that he lauds the organization’s move to include the project in the budget for 2019, and adds that they are working together to provide quality higher education at the university.
Growing Concern for Safety and Effectivity
Boilers are a necessity, but they could potentially pose harm if not properly maintained. For example, leaks could occur in the pipes, disrupting the operation of the system, which results in classrooms and other facilities to become too cold. Additionally, boilers, by nature, make use of hot water to produce steam that would heat up different areas in the university. Although this has been a long practice, not only in universities, but also in other establishments including homes, it does not erase the fact that hot air in confined spaces like pipes could experience immense pressure. Therefore, pipes and valves must be in good working conditions to ensure the safety of everyone in the vicinity.
Better Boilers for NIU
State Senator Dave Syverson explains that the university’s boiler system is outdated, and is a serious safety threat to people in the vicinity. In addition, it also poses operational concerns due to its old age, making it inefficient and harder to maintain. He says that these repairs are a top priority for the state and the university.
The plan is to install two new boilers with better efficiency compared to existing ones. The $6.6M will help the university start the planning stage of the project.
Aside from new boilers, the university would also have new critical steam isolation valves and expansion joints. The press release has explained that e university’s distribution network for steams in the boilers has been failing and is already beyond repair. This could cause disruption in the whole heating system not only for academic operations, but also for residential and dining. Hence, replacements are already a requirement as well.