City residents and Eastern Illinois University employees, students and guests should use caution and be prepared for some inconvenience during the coming weeks as work continues on the institution's new Renewable Energy Center and related energy saving projects.
Both vehicular and foot traffic will be affected to varying degrees as crews continue installing a new underground steam tunnel on campus.
A tentative timeline has been established:
According to Gary Reed, director of EIU's Facilities Planning and Management, the university is working with city officials, contractors and several utilities companies as they prepare for the installation work.
"Our objective is to minimize disruption as much as possible throughout the entire steam tunnel installation. But this is a major excavation requiring thorough knowledge of existing utilities, including the location of gas, telephone and water lines," Reed said.
"We appreciate everyone's cooperation and patience as we move forward with this phase of the project. Please excuse our dust' as we make these much-needed campus improvements!"
EIU will continue to update both the campus and community about work taking place as part of the $80 million Renewable Energy Center and campus energy improvement program, which combines energy-efficient facility upgrades with a biomass-fueled heating plant. The program will help EIU address deferred maintenance, improve its infrastructure, increase operational reliability and save approximately $140 million in energy and operating costs over the next two decades.
Those who are interested can also follow the project's progress via this website: http://www.eiu.edu/fpm/erec.php. In addition, the university plans to host both campus and community informational meetings to discuss the project's progress and allow interested persons to ask questions. Details as to dates, times and locations will be provided as they become available.