The two large steam boilers that provide heat to the eight main buildings on the Barton Community College campus are now 50 years old, Vice President of Administration Mark Dean told college trustees. On Tuesday, the board approved his recommendation to replace one boiler with three small, high-efficiency boilers.
The boilers and equipment will cost $172,720, while installation and demolition of the existing Boiler No. 1 will cost $156,650.
The new boilers are expected to save 30 percent on the cost of gas necessary for campus heating, Dean told the board. The three boilers would be the primary heating source for the campus, and Boiler No. 2 would serve as a backup for the time being. Eventually, two additional boilers will be needed to replace it.
The Lochinvar-brand boilers are rated with an efficiency of 95 percent. They will be purchased directly from the manufacturer’s distributor, Associated Equipment Sales (AES). The majority of the installation will be done by Peterson Mechanical in Great Bend. Peterson was one of two firms that submitted prices during an engineering study, and Peterson’s submittal was lower, Dean said.
The boilers on campus were installed in 1967. Their typical life expectancy is about 25 years, Dean said. They are about 70-80 percent efficient depending on the load. Boiler No. 1 developed a leak in the exterior steam jacket late last winter. A contractor welded the leaking areas, but additional leaks developed. These were also welded shut, but the boiler is leaking again.
Only one large boiler is necessary to heat the campus, Dean reported, but added, “We cannot go into the heating season with only one heating source. If the single boiler was to fail, the entire campus would be without heat.”
With a combination of smaller boilers, it will be possible to heat the campus on cool days without using the full capacity.
“During a recent engineering study, a number of contractors bid on a hybrid modification of our boiler plant. The costs for modifying our plant were much higher than expected, resulting in an inadequate payback to fully modify the entire heating plant,” Dean reported.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the following personnel appointments, all at the Barton County campus: Barbara Beckstrom, student records specialist; Brenda Jo Brack, collection and process coordinator; Reva Preeo and Angie Reed, instructional specialists for Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility; Sara Oberle, vocal music instructor, contract; Taylor Littleton, assistant volleyball coach/residence hall manager; Tyler Gunelson, assistant softball coach; and Fiona Esfeld, customer support specialist. There was also a position change for Laura Stutzman, who was awarded a contract as business manager. She replaces Linda Haberman, who will retire on Monday.
• Updated the “Emergency Succession Plan.” In the event of an unplanned absence of the president, trustees may appoint an acting president. Typically, it would be the vice president of administration (currently Mark Dean). The first back-up appointee could be the vice president of instruction (currently Elaine Simmons).