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New heating systems under discussion

By Anthony Caporale

Although new heating systems are under discussion, a decision has yet to be made. (Source: SVC Flickr)

As students start to enjoy warm spring days, it is easy to forget what the cold winter nights felt like only one month ago. But staff at Saint Vincent remember the freezing temperatures and plan to make next year’s winter a little warmer.

Recently, some discussion has centered on implementing new heating systems in several SVC facilities, according to Mike Hustava, senior director of marketing and communications.

“An assessment was conducted to identify areas of improvement for various buildings and systems on campus,” Hustava said.

Hustava explained that these assessments are vital to the “planning element in operating a campus,” indicating that the heating assessments will aid SVC in planning to implement the new systems for next year’s winter season.

Hustava also stated that the Press Building, located opposite the Fred Rogers Center, was included in the assessment for a new heating system.

This is not the first time that the Press Building has been considered for redevelopment. In 2018, The Review reported a plan to remove the Press Building and replace it with a new welcome center that would include an art gallery and a coffee shop. It is unclear if that plan is still being followed, and the installment of a new heating system may indicate that the Archabbey (which technically owns the building), decided not to demolish it.

However, the decision to implement these new heating systems has not yet been made.

“There have not been any final determinations made or timelines established for these projects. More information will be available and communicated at a future date,” Hustava said.

Some students have reported seeing water vapor steaming from the ground behind Bonaventure and near the Press Building, seemingly from the current system’s underground steam tunnels. But the steam does not indicate a serious problem with the current underground heating system, Hustava said. Some leaks happen from time to time.

“Steam rising from the ground may be an indication of a leak or could be a result of the heat melting the snow and rain,” he said.

If Saint Vincent believes that a possible leak needs major repair, the problem is “addressed immediately,” Hustava explained. However, if the leak is minor, “repairs are typically done during the summer when the steam pipes are not in operation with the warmer weather.” And any such leaks would not require the construction of a new system.

Whether it is assessing the heating system or fixing underground leaks, Saint Vincent is preparing for another chilly winter in 2022.

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