Daily 49er

Heating and cooling upgrades will soon keep Cal State Long Beach comfortable

The heating and cooling upgrades are one of many campus sustainability projects.

A map of the construction being done around Brotman Hall.

A map of the construction being done around Brotman Hall.

A map of the construction being done around Brotman Hall.

Daniela Alvarez, Staff Writer

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Behind the dirt, loud drilling and obstructed routes from construction fences near Brotman Hall and the University Student Union, there are plans to continue making Cal State Long Beach a more sustainable campus.

The construction project is called the Hot Water Piping Infrastructure project, which began in April of last year and will end this November.

The project involves replacing 20-year-old pipes to have a new, clean system for heating and air conditioning, according to Monica Amalfitano, the manager of design services in physical planning and facilities management.

This new project includes a 15-mile system of piping throughout campus for heating and cooling.

As part of the California State University 2015-16 Capital Outlay Program, the project is outlined as upgrades of an “existing infrastructure system, extending the useful life by 30 years for potable fire water, reclaimed water, sewer, storm drain, natural gas, chilled and heated hot water, electrical, and telecommunications.”

“We’ve worked closely with the USU to make sure there are no interruptions for anyone on campus, and that includes night work construction on the project,” Amalfitano said.

The project is a part of sustainable programs CSULB has put into place to create strategic energy and environmentally friendly plans. As the projects come to life, the Physical Planning and Facilities Management and Engineering offices continue to plan and design to efficiently maintain the campus, according to Amalfitano.

In February of this year, the Governor’s General Fund Deferred Maintenance Proposal, a $500 million state budget proposal with $25 million for CSUs, allotted a certain amount of money for maintenance depending on the needs of each campus. According to CSULB’s Director of News and Digital Media Michael Uhlenkamp, “the state is just barely releasing those funds.” The budget for the Hot Water Piping Infrastructure project is just over $5 million, according to the Capital Outlay Program.

“In the last two budgets, [California] has allocated money for system upgrades,” Uhlenkamp said. “[CSULB] has a list of priorities to provide and obviously infrastructure upgrades are a must. We never want to be in a state of emergency.”

According to the California State University Fresno newspaper The Collegian, in 2013 the Fresno State campus experienced an electrical shutdown that forced the cancellation of several classes and building closures due to old infrastructure and restrictions to upgrade those systems.

There have been no major shutdowns at CSULB, but the “ground has broken in the past because of the age of the water pipes,” according to Amalfitano.

Uhlenkamp said that CSULB should never have to feel the sense of urgency Fresno experienced.

As construction throughout campus continues, such as the upcoming parking areas with solar power systems and turf conversion for water conservation, students, faculty and staff can be reminded that CSULB has plans for a sustainable and green future.

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