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Division of Facilities News

We Can Move Mountains…as a Team

 By Tim Brunner, Associate Director – Power Plant & Utilities

This past year has been full of challenges. A personal goal was to try to align our teams of Building Maintenance, Construction, Energy & Controls Management, and the Utilities & Power Plant to accomplish projects in house by working together, and to save money. We’ve had some great opportunities to do that, with more coming up on the calendar.

Our first project involved the cooperation of Troy Bronaugh’s team (Building Maintenance Zone 5), Matt Smith (from Energy & Controls), James “Skip” Davis and Charlie Kranz from our Construction Team, and our Power Plant Team led by Chris Falley and Roger Hageman. Together, we researched, planned, ordered, removed the old, and replaced three rooftop units.  We also had to re-pipe and install new controls on 50 fan coil units and 5 air-handling units.

There were several parts to this process including scheduling the units to arrive on a Saturday, unhook and remove the old units, install the new units, and have them hooked up and started in a week.

Our Facilities Crew rigged and lifted the old unit up off the roof at Lafene and sent it to recycing.


A new unit is lifted and placed down on the roof curb of Lafene.


We worked our plan as a team and the factory was able to have all three units running by the following Friday.  I want to send out a “Thank-You” to Shecky Davis and Jim Parker at Lafene for being understanding and good to work with through this process.  Thanks to Troy, Chris, and Roger for doing a great job scheduling your normal maintenance duties and still making time to get this job done. You and your crews made it a success.

A new AHU #4 at Lafene is set in place and ready to hook up to the electrical.


Our next opportunity came at the end of July when an older chiller at Ahearn failed. We were able to re-purpose a chiller from Anderson Hall that was removed during the campus chilled water project. By utilizing the Anderson chiller, the down time to Kinesiology and the locker rooms was limited to a couple of weeks. Installing this unit allowed us to connect additional equipment and boost efficiency while removing two other old, inefficient chillers from service. We are now replacing the chiller at Lafene with one removed from Call Hall during the chilled water project in 2016.

The re-purposed Anderson Hall chiller is in place and in service at Ahearn.


This work is not easy to schedule around everyday duties, but is very doable. With motivation, good planning, and teamwork we can accomplish great things.  It may take a little extra time for us to complete a project, but by using all of our resources, our Division of Facilities Team can move mountains when we work together.

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