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Update on steam line: repairs complete


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 13, 2010 – The cracked steam line discovered Friday has been repaired.

"Facilities Services made repairs on the high pressure steam line crack in less than six hours on Wednesday," said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administrative services. "The impact on office operations was minimized…likely by the advance planning and efforts on your part in the offices affected. Heat, high pressure steam, and hot water began returning to normal conditions at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday."

If there are any lingering issues relative to these services please contact the Facilities Services Customer Service Line at 231- 4300. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout.

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January 12, 2010--As noted in Virginia Tech News earlier today, the repair to the high pressure steam line will affect building heat in many campus facilities. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how cold the buildings might become during the shutdown.

It may vary from building to building. Those supplied solely with high pressure steam (see list here: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/documents/steam-report.pdf) will be the most severely affected. Only those buildings identified as Category 1 will lose heat. However, Category 2 buildings will lose high pressure steam and some will lose hot water.

Department heads must make decisions based on local building or individual office conditions and/or the criticality of the work. Should department heads determine it is necessary to close offices, this will be considered an authorized closing for the affected offices. Employees affected by the authorized closing, should record “AC” on their leave reports for the amount of time they were affected by the closing. This time frame may vary depending on the unique needs of the office or conditions.

Operational questions related to the repair of the steam line may be directed to Facilities Customer Services at 231-4300, For example, if you have laboratories in which crucial work is dependent on heat, hot water, or high pressure steam.

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January 10 2010--After a thorough inspection on Saturday of the cracked steam line near McBryde Hall, it has been determined that the line will need be repaired immediately. As a result, repairs to the steam line have been scheduled for Wednesday, January 13.

In order to repair the line, steam in the affected line will be shut off. As a result, many campus building will have reduced or no heat and hot water for part of the day Wednesday. Building managers in all affected buildings have been contacted and will be meeting with Facilities Sevices personnel on Monday and Tuesday to coordinate building occupant needs while repairs are being made.

If building conditions become too cold to work, supervisors ay direct employees to work at home. The Office of Human resources should be contacted for further information.

For a complete list of buildings affected, please see the campus memo sent to all building managers. Note: the meetings referenced in this memo are for building managers only.

Operational questions related to the repair of the steam line may be directed to Facilities Services at 231-5530.

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January 8, 2010--Earlier today, Virginia Tech discovered a leak in a main steam line in the vicinity of the intersection of Old Turner and Stanger streets (near McBryde Hall).

Because of the potential risks associated with a high-pressure steam leak, several precautionary steps will be taken effective immediately. They include:

  • The entrance to McBryde Hall facing the Old Turner and Stanger streets will be closed to pedestrian traffic. All other entrances to McBryde will be open normal operating hours.
  • Stanger Street between Old Turner Street and the Torgersen Hall Lot (located between Torgersen Hall and the Performing Arts Building) will be closed to traffic until further notice; Old Turner Street from Stanger Street to Burruss Hall will also be closed to traffic until further notice.
  • Safety tape and other barricades will encircle steam line vents located in this area. This is a precautionary step taken to protect pedestrians in the unlikely event of a sudden steam release due to the cracked line.


Further evaluation on the extent of the leak and what will need to be done to repair it will continue over the weekend. It is possible that to repair the leak, a significant number of campus buildings would be without steam / heat for several hours. Please continue to monitor Virginia Tech News for updates and additional information.

Over the weekend, questions may be directed to the Virginia Tech Police Department dispatcher at 540-231-6411.