Emergency repairs to aging buildings and equipment as well as scheduled maintenance saw the campuses swarming with construction crews last week.

Facilities management discovered a break in the water main for Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex on Sept. 27, leaving Sullivan without water until Sept 29. They had to conduct water tests, which turned out fine, before the water could be used at the complex.

That wasn’t the only the emergency repair needed. In Gorham, facilities management discovered a steam pipe outside of Bailey Hall was leaking water while repairing further down on the pipe under the lawn near Bailey Hall. The pipe provides heating to Bailey Hall and has been turned off until they repair it. “That means there’s no heat in Bailey until we fix it,” said Bob King, maintenance supervisor in Gorham.

As a result, the bus stop on the Gorham campus has been moved from outside Bailey Hall to the bus turn around in front of Costello Sports Complex from Oct. 4 to Oct. 9.

“We’re hopeful to have the ground covered in a week,” he said. King said the road will be open after they cover it, and they’ll then pave the road the following week.

Dick Campbell, chief financial officer, said these cost of these renovations and repairs are coming out of the university’s main operating budget.

The central heating plant between Woodbury Campus Center and Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex is being upgraded. Dan Warren, maintenance supervisor, said the boilers are being converted for natural gas and Efficiency Maine has provided $100,000 for the project.

Facilities management has also been doing mechanical work on the 12 steam pits between the central heating plant and the Law Building, and structural work on three of them. “The three pits we’re digging the ground up is for vault replacement or repair,” said Warren, referring to the holes dug around Payson Smith.

Warren said the pipes have been in place since the 1960’s and have never been dug up before.

Warren said they’re outfitting the pipes with expansion joints to account for the expansion when the metal pipes heat up. They’re working on the second steam pit now and will begin on another pit outside the Law Building when they finish. The structural work will be finished by mid to late October, according to Warren, but the mechanical work will be finished earlier.

Efficiency Maine has also helping fund the lighting upgrade in Woodbury Campus Center, according to Warren. He said they help fund energy efficient upgrades.

Construction on the elevator in Payson Smith has been finished, but the elevator contractor still need to test the safety of the lift. Warren said they were doing tests Friday, which the elevator will hopefully pass. “We’re hoping that Tuesday, the elevator will be back on for users of the building,” he said.

In Portland, the old health service trailer is being moved. USM has donated the trailer to the University of Maine for them to use for research purposes.

The modular company moving the trailer could not travel on Friday morning because the wind guests were too strong, according to Warren. “They’ll be coming back Monday, weather permitting to take care of half of it,” said Warren.

He said they’ll take the rest of the trailer on Tuesday, allowing the facilities ground department to restore the ground back to its original condition.

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