Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Natatorium...

MWCC ushered in the new year with a new look. The enormous Manitowac 2250 crane has moved on to the nearby North Central Correctional Institute to begin anew on two similar Vestas wind turbines, leaving behind an unobstructed view of the college’s new Green Street landscape, which now pairs the modern look of the two sleek, towering turbines with the behemoth campus buildings designed in the “brutalist” architectural style trendy in the mid-20th century.

While electrical work continues to bring the turbines online, other on-campus energy initiatives are underway. Following on the heels of a series of Energy Control Measures (ECMs) in 2009 - which included the installation of solar hot water, a lighting retrofit, new lighting controls and heating and air conditioning upgrades throughout the main campus, and the installation of an automatic pool cover and new pool filter in the Fitness & Wellness Center - the college will implement a new energy saving measure this spring.

Unless you work in facilities management, one may never ponder such things, but the air in the fitness center's natatorium - that is the indoor swimming pool area - will receive a new heat recovery system. This measure will replace the existing heating and ventilating unit with a pool dehumidification unit. The main purpose of the project is to generate significant cost savings - to the tune of $47,320 per year - however additional benefits will come from it,  explained Bill Swift, Director of Maintenance and Mechanical Systems.

“Not only will we be saving energy, but we’ll be improving the air quality as well by reducing the humidity.”

Bids are currently being accepted and will be opened on Jan. 27. Once a company is selected, work will begin during the spring semester, with anticipated completion in May. The 3,375 square-foot pool will remain open throughout the process, and the project, which will pay for itself in energy savings within a year and half, is yet another way the college will reduce its carbon footprint while simultaneously saving money.