Olney Central College’s Operations and Maintenance Department has been busy undertaking several campus-wide improvement projects this summer, including two that will increase energy efficiency in Wattleworth Hall.
O&M Team Leader Clay Atkins said OCC received 1,000 free LED lights through an Ameren Illinois sponsored program. Existing fluorescent tube lights in all hallways have been replaced with the new bulbs.
“The LED lights will cut energy consumption, make the hallways a little brighter and last longer. They are also easier to dispose of,” Atkins said. “We started with the hallways because those lights are on from 6 in the morning until 10 at night. We still have some LED lights to install in the classrooms as the semester progresses.”
Work also is underway in the Student Union to apply new tinting to the windows facing the patio area. It’s a labor-intensive job as the existing material must be scraped off the surface. Atkins believes the original tinting was installed shortly after Wattleworth Hall’s opening in 1974.
To date, 18 windows have been finished with another 32 slated for completion later this fall. Eventually, all 90 windows in the Union will be treated.
“The new tinting is very efficient,” Atkins said. “It will keep 94 percent of UV rays out and should help a lot on cooling in the Union.”
Another facility being updated is the former Auto Body Building, which is now used by Instructor Logan Marshall for the Industrial Maintenance Technology and HVAC programs.
“We removed the walls from the two offices and classroom to expand the space available to Logan,” Atkins said.
The building’s exterior also received a fresh coat of paint while the current Collision Repair building was power-washed last month.
Improvements also are continuing to the Cozy Corner Playground. A sidewalk connecting the play area to Wattleworth Hall was completed in 2019. Last month a new shelter was constructed to provide shade for the children.
In preparation for the start of the semester, OCC parking lots were repainted. New cement also was poured near the Wattleworth Hall loading dock.
Atkins said projects slated for later this fall include installation of a new HVAC system for the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center.