Repairs were completed at the University of South Dakota I.D. Weeks Library after weeks of increased temperatures in the west side of the library because of a failure in the library’s air handling unit
The problem was initially caused when the shaft connecting the blower to the motor was sheared.
On March 22, the shaft was replaced, but when the motor was restarted, it seized up and needed to be replaced.
However, the motor cannot be fixed until a crane arrives from Sioux City because of the fact the motor is located in a mechanical room between the roof and third floor.
The total expense of the broken motor and the issues revolving it comes in under $10,000.
“We have a motor, but we need a crane,” Vice President of Administration and Technology Roberta Ambur said. “We have had problems with weather and getting the crane out of Sioux City.”
Ambur said once the crane arrives, the repair should be finished rather quickly.
Garth Giles, the director of Operations and Maintenance, said the university asked to use the crane two times.
“We tried for a crane (from the construction on the Muenster University Center construction), and they said no, and the crane isn’t in the correct spot for it, anyway,” Giles said.
Giles said rumors about items in the archives being impacted by the breakage of the Air Handling Unit are false, due to the breakage only affecting the west side of the building, although high temperatures could be felt throughout the building.
“I have not been affected at all by the HVAC issues,” Joseph De La Rosa, a graduate student working in the archives, said.
Items in the archives will not have to be removed with hazmat suits, and students will not be blocked off from sections of the library while repairs are in progress.
“Hazmat suits would be for if we had a spill, and we haven’t had a spill,” Giles said. “Students won’t even know we are up there.”
Giles said the library first began receiving complaints about the lack of air circulation March 15, and fans were soon brought into the library to help with the problem.
“There are many theories about what caused the shaft head to shear,” Giles said. “This is very unusual.”
“The major concern is to get air conditioning down to the customers,” he said.