Following five years of neglect, one of the oldest colleges in Minnesota has metamorphosed into a summer camp for youth. Like the young lives nurtured there through the years, the school’s heating system is now seeing some TLC. As campus facilities were inspected prior to purchase in April 2014, it was apparent that the old central heating system would require a substantial overhaul.
An aerial photo would have been very revealing. The extensive, underground steam delivery tunnel system leaked like a sieve. So, during the winter months, the grass above the tunnels was moist and green. Steam trickled upward from the soil as if from subterranean geysers.
“We eliminated the steam system, all of the old piping for it, and the boilers as well,” explained Schwartz. “But we decided to continue using the old steam tunnels to carry city water from the plant to each of the buildings to meet domestic water needs. To keep the tunnels warm enough during the winter, we installed unit heaters with fans behind them to blow warm air through the tunnels all winter long.”