Steam heating systems have been in use since the 1790’s and are still common today, including at Wittenberg.
Odds are you have walked over buried steam pipes on campus many times, possibly even every day you have classes.
If you have recently visited the art exhibit in Koch, the telescope in Weaver Observatory, theGeography library in Carnegie, or the administration in Recitation Hall, you might have noticed the abundant use of portable heaters and jackets used to counter the loss of the steam heat system.
In addition to the heaters and coats in Recitation Hall, the Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices have closed their inner door to help brave the frigid temperatures which dipped into the mid 60’s. By closing their door a welcome sign was revealed which kept the customers flowing. They did keep their regular hours while battling the end of the summer, pre-winter cold.
Wittenberg PD notified the campus community of road closures and changes by email which included a map showing the temporary changes. Changes included using North Plum Street behind Koch Hall to access Recitation and Carnegie parking lots. When leaving by car you had to use West Ward Street, heading south, then east to North Wittenberg Avenue.
There were “only a couple of hiccups” resulted but “it went well,” and there were “no accidents,” Chief Hutchins stated.
The problem was first discovered, “around noon on Tuesday, October 16th when we were opening the west campus steam loop for the heating season,” Jim Becse of Wittenberg’s Physical Plant said.
“Once we confirmed it was a pipe leak and not just an issue with fittings or gaskets, we opened up a section of the drive to inspect the piping.” Becse said when asked when the repairs began. “This work started on Wednesday, October 17th. Once we could see the pipe, we realized we needed to replace about 150 feet of steam piping between Recitation Hall and Koch Hall.”
According to Jim Becse of Wittenberg’s Physical Plant and Chief Hutchins of Wittenberg’s PD, all buildings South of the Kuss Science Center which include: Weaver Observatory, Koch Hall, Witt PD, Recitation Hall and Carnegie Hall lost their heat due to a steam pipe break on a twenty-year-old section of buried pipe on Tuesday, October 16.
The steam pipe in this area was last repaired around 1998. The repairs should be completed before publication—estimated to be done November 5. As usual, delays for the project are possible. The construction workers made make shift tents and continued working through the rain to return heat to the frigid buildings.