Oak Park village board approves geothermal HVAC system project

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Following a preliminary agreement approved in March, the village board finalized the steps at its meeting Monday to bring a geothermal HVAC system to village hall's council chambers.

The initial $82,000 approved in March for a geothermal well field was just part of the overall project. A contract with DeKalb Mechanical to install the entire geothermal system was approved Monday in an amount not to exceed $288,000.

The original amount budgeted for the project was $215,000 for a system that would include a highly visible box-like structure in the plaza beneath the council chambers. It was decided however, that such a visible structure might not fit with the architectural integrity of the building. The board recommended to staff that it look at pushing that structure largely below grade and into an existing mechanical room.

The structure will be an 18-by-10-foot unit that will stick about a foot above ground. Because of the age of the current system, which is around 40 years old and original to the building, it was recommended by staff to move forward with the project.

John Wielebnicki, Oak Park's public works director, said leaking pipes underneath the plaza have already shifted some brick work, but the new system will address those issues. Existing air quality in the council chambers and water infiltration issues were other reasons named as to why the project shouldn't be delayed.

The village was eligible for grant funding because of the building's historical designation, which will cover roughly $72,300 of the costs.

The project is expected to be completed in August when the board takes its recess. The work is expected to take around four to five weeks.

Contact:
Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

6 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Shhhhh  

Posted: May 17th, 2012 8:59 PM

Thats more than they spent to to help solidify $46 Million for OP

Jack from Oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2012 8:42 PM

I, too, would like the detail on the cost savings. I would hope someone has done the calculations, and not just the vendor.

Ghost writer  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 1:17 PM

@Ghost:greener would be a corn or pellet stove, not a wood burning stove,but you are on the right track. Can anyone tell us just how many hours per day, week, month year this room is in service or occupied? If it is just a few hours per month than this is another giant waste of money so that the board can have a press release about how green they are. Here is my press release: I am broke and I can't afford to pay my property taxes, I burn furniture to stay warm in the cold and eating cat food

Ghost of Zuppke from Oak Park   

Posted: May 16th, 2012 10:53 AM

What?? $ 200K for an HVAC JUST for the Council Chambers? If we are to be truly "green", why not simply open the big circular windows, add some box fans, and maybe a wood burning fireplace for the winter? Much greener, cheaper,and better symbolism (which is more important in OP than substance anyway). Why, in my day, our HS footballers used cramped, hot locker rooms w/no AC, & we won anyway. Toughen up, trustees! The colder the chambers the shorter the meetings, the less of our $$ you spend!

??  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 10:14 AM

What is the savings with geothermal? And how long will it take to achieve it?

Of course they did  

Posted: May 16th, 2012 6:43 AM

,it is the more expensive, will take longer time to install and in the end be uglier on the outside. welcome to oak park, where the trustees can't be trusted with the taxpayers money.

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