Regents Approve $4.3 Million Contract To Replace Heating Loop

SOCORRO, N.M. December 22, 2009 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents issued a $4.34 million construction contract to replace the university’s hot water loop.

The Board held a special meeting Friday, Dec. 18, to issue the contract before the end of the year. TLC Plumbing and Heating of Albuquerque submitted the low bid of $4,338,000.

Other bidders were AUI Inc. ($4.57 million), Ashcraft Mechanical ($4.73 million), RMCI ($4.74 million) and K.R. Swerdfeger ($5.4 million).

The winning bidder will have one year to complete the project. The hot water loop is the university’s underground utility that provides heat to all buildings on campus. The aging system has suffered numerous failures in recent years. The 2010 project will replace the entire system in phases to minimize campus disruptions.

University president Dr. Daniel H. Lopez said he called the special meeting before the end of the year because a hot water loop failure could present health and safety issues for Tech’s students and employees due to heat loss during cold winter months.

When completed, the hot water loop will tie into the new geothermal project currently under way at the base of ‘M’ Mountain. Geothermally heated water will be pumped from the mountain to a heat exchanger at the west side of campus. The heating loop will connect at the new facility.

The Board of Regents also approved a budget adjustment request to assign state-mandated reductions to specific line items. The state required the adjustments prior to the beginning of the 2010 legislative session.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech