Lee College

Lee College Regents toured facilities related to the $11 million revenue bond to see the critical need projects on the bond’s list. One was the natatorium, which is having issues with its Dectron unit as well as chemical and the filter, piping and chemical station. 

Lee College regents took a tour of campus facilities, seeing for themselves some of the items on the critical infrastructure project list for their $11 million revenue bond. 

There are 14 projects on the list, including the natatorium. The main point of contention with the pool is the Dectron unit, which humidifies the air within the building. It is estimated to cost $760,000 while the pool’s filter, piping and chemical station need to be replaced. Those costs are around $380,000. 

Steven Dorman of Sledge Engineering led regents, administrators and faculty on the tour. 

“In the revenue bond, we have two major projects,” Dorman said. “One is the Dectron Unit. It is not working right, and it is making the pool room to be about 80 degrees. It is not supposed to be that. It is not meant to be a sauna.”

Dorman said if the temperatures remain at that level in the natatorium, it could lead to rust on the frames and windows as well as causing the paint to chip. 

However, Sledge is also looking at more cost-effective ways to replace the Dectron unit. 

“This issue is just the age of the unit. It is at the end of its useful life,” he said. 

Dorman also said the cost of removing the old unit to allow a new one to come in is included in the cost. 

Regent Mark Hall said having a pool engineer specialist looking at the whole system was a plus. 

“That system is self-contained,” Hall said. “There is a lot of tonnage of pooling capacity that sits there that is used occasionally or alternates on and off. We have a more chill water capacity, too. So we interested in seeing what the engineers come up with. We could get the work done in a more efficient manner.”

Other items the group looked at were awnings throughout the campus. 

“They are really pipe racks. They carry water, and cover fiber optic, too,” Dorman said. “You see a lot of things like rusting on the bottom, and beams with standing water with some paint peeling off. And some are dented from vehicles hitting them. Some are also pitted from the bottom, and you can put your hand through some.”

Hall said the college receives cool are for all of the buildings and it is an efficient way to cool the buildings. Hall also said the awnings were added to the pipes about 15 years ago. The racks have been in use since that time. 

“The structure that is holding all of the heating and chill water pipes go through the whole campus,” Hall said.

“They just need to be repaired where rusted through and put back into first-class shape.”

In Moler Hall, a closet that contains wires acting as a hub for communications and Internet is having leak issues. The plan is to rerun fiber optic wires to provide more bandwidth and connectivity. 

The group also looked at the college’s server room.

“It is a redundant air conditioning capacity question (for the server room),” Hall said. “In case of a failure of one system, the other can keep going, so there is no loss.”

The group also looked at some of the college’s sidewalks, which has some cracks that need to be filled, so rainwater doesn’t cause further damage underneath. 

The Gray Science Building was also on the tour. Dorman gave a brief update at the subsequent meeting after the tour. 

“The science building is in the budget,” Dorman said. “We talked about the scope when we did the tour. The $3.3 million for mechanical upgrades are basically the things not seen, and lab exhaust upgrades is half a million. It is quite a bit of work for about six months of next year.”

Hall said the science building repairs are a part of the revenue bond. 

“We have already approved the $3.9 million construction contract with a contractor,” he said. “As soon as we got the bond, we moved on that project. The rest we are doing engineering, studying and talking about it and what should be done.” 

Dorman also gave a rundown on critical infrastructure projects in the revenue bond. This included making PBK Architects the official architect of record.

Dorman also said they removed an item approved at the Aug. 30 meeting for an IT dedicated service. This saves about $90,000 from the revenue bond. 

“That is an electrical service, and it came out of last year’s budget,” Hall said. “The project that was included on our list, it actually was done out of regular maintenance funds out of last year’s budget.”

Dorman said they updated the budget for the science building to reflect the actual budget. “It was carrying $4.2 million in the budget, but it is actually $3.9 million, so we lowered it,” Dorman said.

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