New AC for County Courthouse

Updated unit will help beat the heat this summer

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Officials expect to be able to flip the switch on the new heating and air system at the county courthouse in about 30 days. “They are working pretty hot and heavy to get our heating and air conditioning system up and running,” said County Judge Woody Wheeless. “They have been inside doing all the electrical work and getting all the equipment in and get it installed.” The current chiller boiler system, which is over 60 years old, is being replaced with a totally independent system with individual thermostats and heating and cooling units in each room. The new system costs $481,457 and will be financed over two years through the manufacturer Trane. “When I got here it was $2.3 million is what they figured it would cost to replace the system,” said County Treasurer Charlie Suiter, a contractor who did the research to find the best system. Suiter said the new heating and cooling system will eliminate having to deal with one part of the courthouse being either too hot or too cold. “Right now all we care about is the courtroom upstairs,” Suiter said. “They need it to be comfortable upstairs because people’s lives are impacted. But right now, if it is hot in one and cold in another, bring a space heater.” The AC unit is an old Carrier system which dates back to 1968. “If a part goes out, it takes four months to make one,” Suiter said. Suiter said the county’s maintenance worker has to show up at 6 a.m. to make sure the system is on, and is also there on Saturday and Sunday. And if there is a water leak in one part of the system, the whole system has to be shut down. “The new one is all individual modules,” Suiter said. “We won’t have to worry about that.” Wheeless said it will be a simple switch over from the old system to the new one. “We will turn the power off on one and turn the power on the other,” Wheeless said. “And the great thing about this system is that if everything came on at one time and you had that peak spike in voltage, it wouldn’t even be half of what it takes the system to fire up today. This is a good, worthwhile project we have taken on.”

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