Construction focuses on infrastructure needs

By Kathryn Kelman/ ne news editor

Construction crews outside NBSS work to replace the building’s electrical system as part of campuswide upgrades taking place on NE Campus.

NE Campus is undergoing some major construction. 

Built in the late ’60s, the campus will turn 50 in 2018, and after at least three years of periodic system failures, the campus was overdue for some major updates.

“We are currently focused on important infrastructure projects,” vice chancellor Nina Petty said.

According to NE president Allen Goben, construction beyond the renovation of some buildings, rooms and sections hasn’t really happened in a substantive way.

Since he became campus president three years ago, Goben has experienced some major systems failing around campus.

“We’ve had times when we’ve actually shut down the entire campus because of water lines breaking or electrical systems going out,” he said. “We’ve had to shut down individual buildings because of the same issues.”

So this spring, both the water main loop and campus electrical systems are being updated.

NE president Allen Goben advises students not to walk through the construction sites. Pathways around campus will continue to be shut down as construction progresses.
Photos by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

The water main loop is responsible for bringing water from the city to the buildings on campus. It runs underground, around the campus and feeds into each building.

“That’s where you see this really big construction where they’re tearing through roads and across sidewalks,” Goben said. “Because they have to tie it into the buildings, eventually you’re going to see it coming more into campus.”

According to NE facilities manager John Tilley, upgrading the water main primarily consists of swapping out the old pipes with new ones, which will help with efficiency and hopefully reduce the number of breaks.

But old age may not be the only reason for pipes breaking in the past.

“The weather we have in Texas can cause the ground to shift, and it can lead to breaks too,” Tilley said.

In addition to swapping out old water main pipes for new ones, construction crews are also updating the campus’ large industrial electrical systems.

“There are different areas around campus where large areas are dug up, and you see fences around it. That’s electrical stuff that they’re doing,” Goben said.

According to he and Tilley, electrical updates will definitely help.

“I know there will be substantial energy savings as well as cost with the upgrades,” Tilley said.

In addition to the infrastructure upgrades, the renovations of buildings, rooms and signs around campus will continue.

Construction projects around NE include upgrades to the campus’ water main loop, responsible for bringing water from the city to all the buildings on campus.

“As time, planning and budget are available, we’ll keep renovating different spaces,” Goben said.

According to Petty, visioning sessions on each campus will launch in March, though funding is what drives TCC’s ability to do projects.

They’ll begin working with each president and campus leadership to establish priorities.