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July 19, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

$800,000 steam line replacement boosts efficiency, reduces energy cost

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The steam that passes through underground pipelines to heat Patterson Hall, Rhoads Hall and Art Building I will reach the buildings with greater efficiency following Slippery Rock University's $800,000 steam line replacement.

The 1,000 feet of new infrastructure will reduce leaks and coal and gas consumption at the University's Boiler Plant, cutting utility costs and demonstrating SRU's leadership in sustainable design. The current pipes are 50 years old.

"We know that we were losing steam based on the age of the pipes," said Tod Horner, SRU architectural designer II, construction design and management. "There could have been a lot of heat loss because the old pipes were not insulated by today's standards. The news ones are much better insulted so we'll be using less coal and gas."

The Boiler Plant uses coal-fired heat to turn water into steam, which is then sent through the pipes to the buildings' heating units.

Horner said the construction crews, from SSM Industries Inc. in Pittsburgh and Grossman Construction in Slippery Rock, would lay new piping 20 feet at a time. The work is scheduled to be complete by Aug. 31. Classes begin April 26.

Contractors erected fencing to assure the safety of passersby.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.