Chairperson McCuskey: And this is going to be the entire exterior?
Dr. Runner: This is the exterior of both the major towers.
Chairperson McCuskey: Motion made, seconded and vote recorded as all members present voting aye.
Resolution 2010.02/05: Authorization to Increase Project Budget/Watterson Towers Emergency Generator
We have rethought this project and will recommend to you that we provide emergency power to a larger power of Watterson Towers and also provide complete emergency generation to the Watterson Dining Center in the event that we had a catastrophic occurrence across campus and needed to use the Watterson Dining Center to provide food service for all the residents on campus. At the July 2009 Board meeting, you authorized the replacement of the Watterson emergency generator at an estimated cost of $750.000.
During the design of the project, it was determined that Watterson would need a larger fire pump for the sprinkler system that will be installed. It was also decided that the generator should be powerful enough to serve the entirety of the Watterson Towers dining Center and be able to air condition the elevator equipment room.
Therefore, we ask the Board to authorize the University to increase the project budget for the Watterson Emergency Generator Project to an amount not to exceed $1.98 million. I ask your approval for this increase.
Chairperson McCuskey: Is there a motion for approval? Trustee Maitland so moved and was seconded by Trustee Kinser. Discussion?
Trustee Bergman: First of all I note and this is on the second page, page 34, the paragraph right above resource requirements – it says to propose to increase the planned emergency service from 600 kv to 1500 kv – should that be killawats? That is normally how a generator is sized.
Dr. Runner: You are correct – that is a typo.
Trustee Bergman: Are these dual fuel or single fuel generators? Or generator?
Dr. Runner: This will be a single fuel. We use primarily diesel on this campus.
Dr. Runner: Yes. We asked the engineers to pay particular attention to whether there is some merit in having multiple generators based on your comments when this project came before you in July of last year, and they have evaluated that and are considering as the primary source a single generator for several reasons. One is the size of the generator would need to be larger if it was multiple generators so the initial cost of those generators would go up. Also the installation cost and the space that would be consumed would increase. The second aspect would be the on-going operating and maintenance cost on additional generators – each generator has to be tested I believe monthly and they test it under load so that involves a substantial amount of manpower to put each of these under load and test them for a series of hours, so the operating and maintenance cost to keep them ready to work if necessary in an emergency situation would go up. So for those primary reasons the engineers are recommending to us a single large 1600 kw generator as opposed to two smaller ones. They only come in set sizes so we would have to have a 1,000 kw and then a larger one to be the second one.
Trustee Bergman: I can’t disagree with what you said the engineers said. I do disagree with the theory of one generator. Let’s assume that there is a catastrophe and the power goes out in Watterson, and the generator for whatever reason and even though it has been tested doesn’t come on – where are we then?
Dr. Runner: We have two portable generators on campus. Chuck Scott’s facility management people have those and are able to wire those in. Also, if it was expected to be a long enough duration of power outage, we would then probably contract with a third party to bring in a large generator. It also would depend on whether it is a situation where the dining services would need to be in full operation or not. As you can appreciate from the change in size of the budget and the size of the generator, a major component of this is to make sure that we have reliable electrical support for dining. So if the power went out in a time frame where the dining center was not in operation that may affect the responsiveness.
Trustee Bergman: You say there are a couple of portable generators – how many kilowatts are they?
Mr. Scott: They are 80 kw.
Trustee Bergman: Then they are essentially worthless in this situation. You are talking about 1500 kw of demand vs. two 80 kw generators.
Mr. Scott: They would be sufficient enough to handle at least a few circuits – they would not be able to provide service to the entire facility.
Dr. Runner: The principle purpose of an emergency generator is to provide orderly evacuation of the building while the power is out if there is a fire or some other catastrophe. The size of the generators we are talking about here is so that major parts of the building can continue to operate.
Trustee Bergman: I understand. Basically the normal thing that I have seen is if you have potential 1500 kw of demand, you would put in either two or three 800 kw generators or 400 or 500 kw generators because if one goes down you have sufficient capacity in the rest. Frankly, I don’t think much of this deal – what you said is correct – it is going to cost more if we buy three or four of them – the maintenance cost is going to be more, but as you said these generators, even if they are not used very often, periodically they have to be taken down and serviced. Now presumably that is going to be in the summer but they develop mechanical problems, as a guy that owns a lot of generators generally in this size group, things happen when you don’t expect them to happen. Frankly, I think we should do what I consider to be the industry norm what hospitals and other places do. When you are talking about a four story classroom building – I understand one generator because if it doesn’t work the kids walk out of the building anyway – but when you are talking about 27 stories you need elevators and other things or if you want to maintain services there for a while because it is living quarters. You can’t throw 2,000 kids on the street and come back in three days when we fix the problem. Anyway I think it should be more like three 800 kw, 400 or 500kw so if one generator fails, the remaining generators will handle the load. That is my feeling and Mr. Chairman when it comes to a vote, I request a roll call vote.
President Bowman: Is it possible for an emergency generator to allow us to safely evacuate the building?
Dr. Runner: Yes, that is the primary purpose of emergency generators that in the case of evacuation the building can be evacuated in an orderly manner – either by the elevators or lighting in the stairways. This has the added feature that we want to be able to operate the dining center also.
President Bowman: Well the comparison to a hospital is vastly different. You have surgical suites that need to maintain continuous operation. If all we need to do is an emergency situation is get people safely out of the building, if this generator is down it is my understanding that an emergency generation capacity that we have on campus would allow us to do that – that is fine to me.
Trustee Bergman: But then you have 2,000 kids that were in the building that you may not have housing for two or three days depending upon what the problem is.
President Bowman: How long would it take to get an external generator on campus if we had a catastrophe?
Mr. Scott: Depending upon the size of generator required I would think we would have to look at the availability, but I think we could get something within a week to two week time period.
Chairperson McCuskey: We always talk about experience and history, what is the experience of failure in Watterson Towers when it comes to electric?
Dr. Runner: From my 23 years here it has not been an issue. I believe when the building was first new there was a reason, not necessarily electrical, that the students of the building had to find housing elsewhere for more than a day or two, but from my experience here we have not had electrical issues. If you recall part of the project that you approved for Watterson Towers is to address the primary electrical service in the building and previously about five or six year ago we did another electrical primary service project in the building to try to improve and enhance the reliability and to remove any doubt of dependability of the primary electrical service.
Trustee Bergman: There is a difference in the electrical service and the generators.
Dr. Runner: Correct.
Trustee Dobski: President Bowman you mentioned comparison to a hospital, but how does this compare to similar types of campuses or universities similar in size and scope?
Dr. Runner: Most universities across the country – the size of emergency generator in high-rise residence hall buildings or complexes like we have – it is for life-safety, fire evacuation, lights, elevators, ventilation to get rid of smoke in stairwells – that is what they are sized for. It is not for on-going emergency operations.
Chairperson McCuskey: I think one of the things Trustee Bergman is worried about is were this catastrophe to happen and there wasn’t the backup generator, obviously we have a problem, but what would be the criticism – we are the only state university that doesn’t have the backup generator or 50% of the universities have them and why didn’t ISU – what is the experience in the industry?
Dr. Runner: It is my understanding and I will defer to Maureen Blair or Chuck Scott that there may be exceptions but I believe at most of them the emergency generators are only for life-safety evacuation, otherwise the size of the generator would be much larger than what we have talked about here.
Mr. Scott: The intent of the university is that in the event that there is a major catastrophe where the facility would be without power for a significant period of time, University housing has in their policies and procedures to evacuate and relocate those students as soon as it gets dark. So an extended power outage should not be of significant consequence to the students.
President Bowman: I have been here long enough to remember when we actually did that. We relocated everyone in Watterson and found housing until the problem was taken care of.
Chairperson McCuskey: Any further discussion? Trustee Maitland will do a roll call vote.
Trustee Bergman – no
Trustee Davis – yes
Trustee Dobski – yes
Trustee Kinser – yes
Trustee Maitland – yes
Trustee McCuskey – yes
Trustee Bagnuolo – yes
Chairperson McCuskey: Motion made, seconded and vote recorded as six ayes and one nay.
I would now entertain a motion to move into Executive Session for the purpose of considering the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees pursuant to 5ILCS, Section 120/2 (c)(1); collective negotiating matters between the University and its employees, 5ILCS, Section 120/2 (c)(2); litigation which has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, as allowed in 5ILCS, Section 120/2 (c)(11); and the purchase or lease of real property as allowed in 5ILCS, Section 120/2 (c)(5). Is there a motion? Trustee Davis so moved and was seconded by Trustee Maitland. Motion made, seconded and vote recorded as all members present voting aye. We will now move into executive session. At the close of executive session we will reconvene in the Founders Suite for public session/discussion of the University budget. No action will be taken during this open education session and we adjourn immediately thereafter. Thank you all for coming today.
Board of Trustees Illinois State University – Minutes Page 02/19/2010