BC planned power outage

illustration of campus courtyard

As BC celebrates its 50th anniversary, most of the original infrastructure of the college is aging as well. Electrical systems in particular have been causing small power outages over the past few years. The BC maintenance team has recently made a proactive step towards replacing old parts before any big problems happen.

Between August 12, 6 p.m. and Sunday, August 14, the power to the A, C, D and E buildings will be completely shut off while electrical work is done. The second stage of the maintenance will leave C building and the north side of the D building without power until August 21. “We try to program the works so that there will be minimal students and staff,” William Tribble of campus operations explained. The idea is that the work takes place after finals week.”

After a campus-wide inspection in 2013, much of the infrastructure was identified as aging. “Rather than leaving it, maintaining it, letting it get older and older and then eventually failing, the idea is to be proactive.” Specifically, the parts getting replaced will be three large air switches which serve the majority of the existing campus. Students, staff and faculty will see signs of work near the staircase by the library, under which is located the electrical vault.

Funding for the current project comes partially from state allocated resources that were awarded due to the age of the electrical systems. Consultation and plan design was done by Hargis Inc., while the main contractor is CTS Northwest Inc. Puget Sound Energy will also be a partner on campus assisting with shutting the power off.

Tribble expressed that this is the first step in what will be a continued effort to replace the rest of the electrical infrastructure. While more state funds are not a guarantee, campus operations is hopeful they will be approved for more. Either way, existing maintenance funds will ensure that problems are fixed before they get to the point of seriously impacting campus life and work.