University News

Investing in the Future of Western Illinois University: Chilled Water Loop Update

October 31, 2022

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MACOMB, IL - - At the beginning of October, during a formal groundbreaking held at Western Illinois University for the state-funded Center for Performing Arts (CPA) building, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced his plans to invest in the University's future with $24 million going toward several deferred maintenance projects, including an updated chilled water loop for the WIU Macomb campus.

Work began Oct. 3 on an almost $12 million project to install a chilled water loop, with oversight from the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB), for nearly all of the academic buildings south of Murray Street.

"The chilled water loop update will not only provide cooling for our new Center for the Performing Arts building, but it will increase the efficiency and reliability of cooling the buildings on the south side of campus, as well as add redundancy to the cooling capacity," said WIU Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Troy Rhoads. "Part of this initial project will include establishing a chilled water plant in the Heating Plant Annex, and eventually, we will connect to the north side campus."

The contractor will be digging and/or directional-boring to install piping and interconnect the buildings, resulting in a project that will be invasive to the campus south of Murray Street. Accessibility routes will be maintained throughout the entirety of the project, and work is predicted to be completed by Fall 2023.

This project is the second in a series of deferred maintenance projects WIU plans to complete. The chilled water loop follows the replacement of portions of the water piping systems in Browne, Stipes and Morgan halls.

"We appreciate the continued support from the governor and the CDB and their investment in WIU and our infrastructure," said Rhoads.

More deferred maintenance projects will be coming down the pike–all part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

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