Repairing Giltner Hall
Aug. 5, 2015
With 538 buildings on Michigan State University’s campus, some over 100 years old, MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities is always on standby for emergency utility and facility situations. Though routine reoccurring maintenance is performed to keep campus buildings running smoothly and efficiently, IPF is ready for the unexpected.
Early afternoon on July 22, there was a water main break outside of Giltner Hall. The utility is the primary domestic water that serves the 102-year-old building. IPF distribution, plumbing and refrigeration crews navigated the building piping and ordered an emergency Miss Dig — Michigan’s state wide notification system that provides alerts on underground facility excavation.
“When IPF teams are dispatched to emergency events, we immediately revisit our knowledge of the building and utility affected,” said skilled trades supervisor John Reilly. “There are over 500 campus buildings and 71 miles of underground water distribution pipe that our teams have to stay familiar with.”
Giltner Hall houses scientific laboratories and classrooms, so IPF crews immediately communicated with building officials out of concern for research equipment served by the domestic water.
“It still amazes me to witness the collaboration between the trades over the radio when we have an emergency such as this,” Reilly added. “Some staff are better versed on what to expect in a particular area of campus based on their experience, so they show up to assist.”
IPF crews located an additional water feed, assuring adequate water to the building while the repair was underway. With backhoes and dump trucks, IPF unearthed the aged utility by early evening. Working into the night, IPF crews were able to repair the water main and fill the excavation hole within six hours, providing access to the building by the next morning.