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New back-up generator will provide power in case of emergency

Friday, March 22nd, 2013
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March 22, 2012

For Immediate release

For more information, contact William Stillwell at 774-4578

 

New back-up generator will provide power in case of emergency

 

WILLISTON, N.D. - With last year’s late April/early May storm still fresh in the minds of those who lived through the days-, even weeks-long power outages for some in the area, no one was more aware of the implications of what could have happened had such a storm hit in January - when temps tend to drop in sub-zero range - than Williston State College President Dr. Raymond Nadolny.

 

Knowing that the residence halls on campus house slightly more than 200 people, and that there were many people in the area who were affected by the power outages, Nadolny started diligently pursuing the possibility of purchasing emergency generators for the college, making it possible for the college to become an emergency shelter for the community in the event of another weather disaster.

 

This was really important to me,” Nadolny said. “With this winter being as mild as it has been, it really gave us the breathing room to get the funding and then make sure we were able to put in place the plan of installing this generator.”

 

He said that what people do not realize is that when the buildings on the current campus were built, it was built by the community. While most of the colleges and universities in North Dakota were built by the state, which made sure that they had a backup power source.

 

“When a community is struggling to find resources to put up a building, that doesn’t always get done,” he said. “We are just one of two colleges in the North Dakota Higher Education system that do not have a backup generator.”

 

He said that the need for the generator hit home for him last April. “I was receiving emails from angry parents who were concerned about their children,” he stated. “We were very fortunate with that storm that we had mild temperatures. It was cold, but not dangerously cold.”

 

Feeling the responsibility to move forward and be more aggressive in case such an event happened again, Nadolny set to work to rectify the situation.

 

He approached the State Board of Higher Education to request approval to install a 500 KW generator which will have the capacity to heat both the smaller old gym and The Well. The request then went to the ND State Legislature which met in special session in November 2011, to request funding approval.

 

The board and the legislature agreed with his assessment of the situation and approved the project.

 

Cost of the generators is no small change.  According to information from William Stillwell, Director of Facilities at WSC,   the generator and transfer switches, installation, feeders, concrete, and engineering fees will total $387,500. Contracted to do the work is Vareberg Engineering, LTD, out of Fargo. Plans at this time call for the generator to be installed in June.

 

“I’m so grateful that this winter has been mild. It really gave us the space to get this in place,” he emphasized. “By next winter, we will have this backup generator in place. If we have another storm like that one, or an extended power outage for any other reason, not only college students, but the community will be prepared to cope with it.”