Work will begin in July on a plan to reconfigure utilities and improve the efficiency of campus infrastructure that will serve future development on the west end of campus.
The first phase of the utility project, starting in late July or early August, involves reconfiguring power lines to the west side of campus from an existing north campus substation and removal of an electrical substation from the River Cluster area. Much of the work will occur within the existing underground utility tunnel system and will not be visible to passersby.
Every effort will be made to minimize disruption associated with the work, says Frank Roberts, associate vice president of Facilities Operations and Management. He says pedestrians may be redirected during the project and that there are no plans to close Main Street to traffic, although traffic may at times be reduced to one lane.
One portion of the project, along a foot path between Baker-Berry Library and Haldeman and along Main Street between Webster Avenue and Tuck Mall Drive, will require work in an open trench. The work along Main Street will be coordinated with scheduled underground power-line work by Liberty Utilities, the company that provides electric service in Hanover.
The College work is part of a larger plan to incorporate sustainability goals into its operations, says Roberts. Future projects include replacing steam heat with hot water service and extending chilled-water pipelines from the north end of campus to the west end to provide air conditioning for buildings to be constructed at Thayer School of Engineering and the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society.
The utility work this summer will lay the groundwork for a more sustainable energy system on campus, says Roberts.
“It allows us to start the creation of what some people call a smart-grid, or a micro-grid, but long term, we would like to be able to connect a large-scale solar project to the campus electrical system. This will help facilitate that future potential connection,” Roberts says.
William Platt can be reached at email@example.com.