Spring power outage dates set

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Eastern will have its annual power outage during specific times and intervals throughout campus to inspect the electrical equipment and make sure it is working properly.

The electrical outage will take place on these follow dates: Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Booth Library, the Gregg Computer Lab, and Ford, McKinney and Weller Halls; Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McAfee Gym, tower dining service, the west side of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and Lincoln, Stevenson and Douglas Halls; Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lantz Arena, the Field House, the Student Recreation Center and O’Brien Stadium; and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the east side of the Union.

Chris Bartlett, an electrician foreman, said each system is set up around primaries, which are mostly concentrated on the north half of campus. The primaries are large high-voltage circuits that feed electricity to specific locations and sections around the campus.

“You turn one of these primaries off and instead of turning a bedroom off, you might be turning off Booth Library,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said turning one of those primaries off could power down either a single or multiple sections of Eastern’s campus because one, two or more buildings could be under a single primary.

Bartlett, who has been an electrician for 34 years, said spring break is an opportune time to have these power outages because that is when Eastern has the least amount of students on campus. It is also for safety reasons and to make sure everything lasts longer because these primaries stay on throughout most of the year.

“It’s like running a small city,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said the electricians all have at least 15 years of experience and work hand in hand with the plumbers, painters and environmentalists on campus. He said when one group does something they alert another member of those trades.

The electricians on campus do try to keep the campus as energy efficient as possible by making sure they install efficient motors and drives and by optimizing the lighting with LEDs, occupancy lighting and daylight harvesting.

Occupancy lighting is motion sensitive lighting that turns on or off based on human movement. Daylight harvesting lights shut off when hit by bright natural lighting from the sun.

Bartlett, who works as a team with all the men in his field, said they spread out the outages to different dates to try to get as much done as possible. They also do the power outage every three years to save money, and each year it is a new set of primaries.

“I can’t do anything without my guys—it’s a huge team effort,” Bartlett said.


Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].