Since mid-April, we’ve had issues with the steam pressure valves in Urness Tower, which affects the hot water system in Urness, Mortensen Hall, Christensen Center, Old Main, and Anderson Residence Hall. We had hoped to delay scheduling the repair of this issue until after the end of the semester, but determined we need to be proactive because if the pressure valves fail to function, we would need to do an immediate shutdown of all heat and hot water on campus, with potentially a multi-day outage while we scheduled contractors for an emergency repair.
In order to repair the valves, our steam provider will need to shut off the steam system that provides heat and hot water to all buildings on campus except Hagfors Center, Luther Hall, and Oren Gateway Center. The buildings should maintain residual heat during the shut down, but students, staff, and faculty may want to plan to wear additional layers that day.
Below is a rough schedule of the repair timeline:
- At 6 a.m. Monday, we will shut off the steam to the campus.
- Our contractor will install isolation valves in key locations on campus in order to restore steam to the portion of campus not affected by the valves in Urness. This will take approximately six hours.
- Once the isolation valves are installed, steam will be restored to all buildings except Urness, Mortenson, Christensen, Old Main, and Anderson Residence Hall.
- Our contractor will then replace the pressure valves in Urness, which they anticipate will take roughly another six hours or so. Once the valves are replaced, steam will be restored to the remaining campus buildings.
Facilities Management has coordinated with several departments, including Residence Life, Dining, Athletics, and University Events, to plan ahead as much as possible for this needed repair. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s efforts to accommodate this maintenance work.
With temperatures reaching the 80s the past few days, many campus buildings have been uncomfortably warm this week. Unfortunately, when sudden hot weather arrives in spring, there isn’t an immediate way to switch from heating to cooling on campus. This transition is a multi-day process involving HVAC systems in buildings from very different eras, from Old Main to Hagfors.
We are currently targeting the week of April 24 to switch to cooling, pending temperatures at that time. The forecast for this weekend and next week involve significantly cooler and more seasonable temperatures. Thanks for your patience and understanding in the meantime.
Spring is officially here: Augsburg’s dome is coming down next week. Contractors from Yeadon will be on campus Monday through Wednesday, April 18–19, 2023, to remove the dome and ready Edor Nelson Field for spring and summer use. Working with Augsburg Facilities and Athletic Facilities staff, crews will remove lighting and other fixtures on Monday, take the dome down on Tuesday, and re-install bleachers, wind screens, field pads, and goal posts on Wednesday. On-street parking on streets bordering the dome (Butler and 23rd) will be unavailable Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19.
Now that temperatures largely are remaining above freezing, Augsburg’s groundskeeping team has begun a variety of spring maintenance work on campus. Due to staff vacancies on the maintenance team, Augsburg did not have dedicated grounds staff during January and February. We were pleased to welcome Justin Wells as our new groundskeeper earlier this month and look forward to an assistant groundskeeper joining Augsburg in early April. Following are some of the near-term priorities for their work:
First, this winter’s repeated thaw and refreeze cycle has left roadways in the region with a significant number of potholes. Augsburg’s facilities team used the City of Minneapolis website to report many of the large potholes on city streets in and around campus. A number of those have already been repaired, and Augsburg’s groundskeepers have started repair on potholes located on Augsburg-managed streets.* Facilities will continue to report potholes as needed this spring, but please note that anyone can use the link above for reporting potholes in need of repair on Minneapolis city streets.
In addition to the street work, the grounds crew is planning turf repair in areas where snow removal equipment dug up the turf near sidewalks across campus. The combination of significant snowfalls and soft (unfrozen) ground this year increased the areas where turf maintenance is needed this spring.
Finally, as the snow continues to melt, the Augsburg grounds team will continue to treat walkways in order to reduce ice forming from refreezing melted snow and will work throughout campus to remove litter that melting snowdrifts leave behind.
*Which streets on campus are City of Minneapolis streets and which are Augsburg streets? Most streets throughout campus are owned, maintained, and monitored by the City of Minneapolis. All streets with meters, Minneapolis parking signs, or signs indicating the even or odd side of the street are City of Minneapolis streets. Augsburg streets include those marked for Augsburg commuter parking, including 8th Street South between 20th and 21st avenues and 21st Avenue S from the roundabout in front of Hagfors Center to the freeway wall.
Water will be temporarily shut off in Old Main on Thursday, March 16, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in order to allow the city to replace a water meter. Restrooms will not be available in Old Main during this time. Thanks for your patience!
Next week, technicians will replace Urness Hall’s existing fuse boxes with circuit breakers—an upgrade that will modernize the current system and streamline electrical service going forward. From December 19–21, power will be shut off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on three floors per day to complete these upgrades. The upgrades are scheduled for floors 1-3 on Monday, 4-6 on Tuesday, and 7-9 on Wednesday. Residence Life will communicate to any students on campus about the daily schedule.
On Sunday evening, December 18, the power will be shut off in Anderson Music Hall in order to complete a repair in the HVAC system. The shutoff will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is expected to last 3–4 hours. Exterior building access will not be available during this time.
On Monday, December 12, 2022, steam and hot water will be briefly shut off for the majority of campus in order to repair a steam line in Si Melby Hall. The shutoff will begin at 8:00 a.m. Service will be restored when the repair is completed, no later than 10:00 a.m. Hagfors Center, Luther Hall, and Oren Gateway Center will not be affected.
Leaves are falling, birds are flying south, and it’s dark by 5:15 p.m. But the surest sign of winter arrives this week: Augsburg’s dome is going up.
Last week, athletic facilities staff undertook the multi-day process to convert Edor Nelson Field for winter use, taking down field pads, wind screens, goal posts, and the front section of the bleachers to be stored off-site until spring.
On Monday, the dome will arrive in five pieces on flatbed trucks. Street parking on Butler will not be available through Monday as cranes offload the dome sections. Working with Augsburg facilities maintenance staff, installation crews from the manufacturer Yeadon will roll out each section on the field, secure the connections between them, and attach the dome doors.
After three days of prep and assembly, inflation only takes about three hours. Working around snow delays, the dome should be inflated later this week and open for use by Augsburg athletic teams, local leagues, and community members the week of November 21.
The time has come to retrieve any remaining items that were left behind in Memorial Hall or Science Hall offices when Hagfors Center opened.
While the majority of moves were completed at the time, a few offices still contain books, equipment, and other objects belonging to their former occupants. Facilities will begin cleaning out and repurposing all spaces in these areas:
- Third floor of Memorial Hall
- Top two floors of Science Hall
If you want to retrieve anything that got left behind in the move to Hagfors, please do so by November 4, 2022. Contact DPS if you need help accessing an old office space.