Repairs completed following power outage

Power was fully restored to campus the evening of Friday, Nov. 3 after blown fuses on an electrical switch panel serving Hemenway Annex and Hemenway Labs were repaired.

The blown fuses caused the power outage on the east side of campus on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 27, where the majority of the academic buildings and some residence halls are located.

Hemenway Annex and Labs remained without power from Oct. 27 to Friday, Nov. 3.

On Monday, Oct. 30, Electrical Engineering and Service Company (EESCO), which had located the problem on Oct. 27, identified the equipment and parts necessary for repair, according to a report from facilities. The parts were shipped overnight to campus, arriving on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

“The repair work, though, required that the power company come to FSU to shut down power to that area of campus before the contractor could safely do the repair,” according to the facilities report. Because Eversource, the University’s power company, was busy servicing other areas in Massachusetts and the rest of New England, its workers could not come until Nov. 3.

Workers from Eversource and EESCO came to campus the afternoon of Nov. 3. Although workers from EESCO were able to fix the problem at the scheduled date and time, the repairs took longer than expected.

The power was shut down at approximately 12:30 p.m. and the repairs were estimated to take four to five hours, said Dan Magzu, director of communications. 

However, according to the facilities report, “On that day, the contractor replaced the parts, but also found additional problems with the switch.”

Alerts were sent via the FSUgo app notifying students of an increased wait time for power restoration. “We anticipate power being restored this evening, sometime around 8 or 9 p.m.,” read the alert sent on Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Power was restored at approximately 8:28 p.m., according to another FSUgo alert.

On Nov. 3, all classes starting at or after 12:30 p.m. were canceled, regardless of location. Approximately 70-80 classes were canceled that day, according to Mark Powers, university registrar and executive director of student record and registration services.

Margaret Carroll, dean of science, technology, engineering and math, said she rescheduled “close to 100 classes from Monday, Oct. 30 to Wednesday, Nov. 1. Sue Dargan, dean of social and behavioral sciences, rescheduled classes the following Thursday and Friday.

“We made every attempt to find rooms for classes to meet,” Carroll said. She said faculty were “lucky”   that holders of alternate spaces, such as SILD and CELTSS, temporarily lent their rooms.

She added, “Faculty were gracious and accommodating as we dealt with the crisis. We learned a good deal from this experience and will be more prepared in the future.”

Although power was scheduled to be cut off only to buildings on the east side of campus, other buildings on campus experienced brief outages, including West, North and Linsley halls and the McCarthy Center.

This was because Eversource had a “widespread outage in the Framingham area,” according to Patricia Whitney, assistant vice president of facilities.

“Although it occurred about the same time as we were doing the repair, it actually was not related to our work at all,” Whitney added. “That is why other buildings on campus lost power for just a few minutes that same night.”

Dale Hamel, executive vice president, said the total charges from EESCO amounted to $16,845, down from the original $25,000 estimate.

“There will be overtime costs for some facilities employees as well, but those haven’t been determined yet,” Hamel said.

Hamel added the University is due for another visit from Eversource and EESCO. “There may also be follow up work on that switch with those costs also to be determined.”

According to the facilities report, “Additional work on the switch will be required at a later date, but not immediately.”

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