WIU is implementing a new more efficient cooling system in a portion of campus


MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Construction began on the new Center for Performing arts, and maintenance projects have also started on the south side of campus.

The campus is cut in half at Murray Street, and the south side encompasses buildings such as Sallee, Browne, Memorial, and others. The new chilled water loop project will connect these buildings with piping that will cool the buildings during the hot months. What we have is a distributed chilled water system right now,” AssistantVice President of Facilities Management Troy Rhoads explained. “Every building has within it installed a chiller.”

“How will they benefit?” Rhoads said. “Energy efficiency and redundancy.” Since every existing chiller will be linked with the chilled water loop, they will all be helping each other cool all the buildings. If any chiller were to break down, the others would be able to carry the cooling load of that building.

The new chiller is being installed in the Heating Plant Annex. The construction is the reason behind the fencing around the building which has cut into the parking lots around the building. “Once March hits,” Deputy Director Ted Renner said. “Then they’re going to look at moving across campus in phases.” Renner said the Seal/Sallee parking lot and the surrounding area will be the first hit with construction. Rhoads said sidewalks could be expected to close as construction continues, but no buildings will go offline during construction.

The new chilled water loop will not connect to the Washington/Lincoln/Grote or the Corbin/Olson complex. As for the current status, the water loop is expected to fully function by the end of summer 2023.

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