KC tackles plumbing, bat issues on campus

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With about a month left in the academic year, Kilgore College trustees heard an update about facilities across campus.

Kilgore College Construction, Safety and Maintenance Manager Jeff Williams, who joined the college in the fall, reported on current and future projects at various facilities, noting any problems that need to, have been or are being dealt with on campus.

Damaged handrails at the Quad dorms were the first area addressed by Williams during the April 10 meeting. He expected the handrails that are part of the wheelchair ramp would be “completed here shortly.”

Also in one of the Quads, he said, a shower was reported to be draining slowly.

“That’s not such a big deal, except when we try to fix that drain,” Williams continued. “What we’re coming up against is that we’re finding rust and we’re starting to find mud… Once we get down into the ground, it just consistently grows, and essentially we’re going to have to excavate all the drainage and all the drainage lines and have to replace all of them.”

A drainage issue in the Rangerette Gym could turn into a similar situation, he noted. The belief is that the gym’s problem is due to a drooping line.

“The only way to remediate the problem is to dig the line up, so right now since we know where the problem is, we call in a plumbing company, we can tell them what we need and they’ll fix the problem at hand,” Williams explained.

The college is also addressing a bat situation at the Applied Technology Center.

Williams explained in an email the bats were discovered after an instructor informed administrators March 8 she thought she could hear bats in the ceiling of room 208 in the building.

The bats are in the roof of the ATC 208, coming through a small crevice at the flashing of the roof – used to direct water – at an expansion joint, he confirmed.

“We’re working on some natural alternative methods for right now… We’re working on that,” he told the board. He did not elaborate to the board on those methods, but said in an email the plan is for the bats to migrate naturally. Lighting equipment will work to create a natural escape for the bats from their current location.

“If not then an exterminator will remove and relocate the bats,” he said, noting the quote for an exterminator is $7,300.

Once the bats are removed, he said, any point of entry will be sealed.

Also at the ATC building, an old evaporative cooler will be removed with a new one installed. The expected completion date, Williams said, is April 22.

Although it has been fixed, Williams told the board the college would be receiving a $1,200 water bill for the month of February for Texas Shakespeare’s Festival Center due to a water leak. The charge will be about $1,100 more than the college’s average water bill of $100 for the meter, he said.

“The city notified me in February that we’re going to have an abnormally high water usage amount,” he said. Williams and his staff could not find the leak, but a leak locating company was able to identify the source. “It was an added line to feed the back portion of the building, which was added on years later. That line is actually out in the parking lot about 20 feet from the building. That’s why it was hard to find.”

With repair fees, though, the cost was about $6,300, Williams said.

“But we found it,” he continued. “We eliminated the leak, we isolated where the lines are.” The leak and subsequent fix also allowed Williams to add the new water lines to the original prints of the building for more accurate information in the future.

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