AP NEWS

USCA receives initial state budget funding for Penland HVAC system

March 1, 2018 GMT

USC Aiken has received initial budget approval from the state to replace the HVAC system in the Penland Administration Building.

USCA requested $3.5 million to replace the current system, which is more than 40 years old.

“Upgrading the university’s oldest building is an important priority for our campus,” USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan said. “I was overjoyed to see the USC Aiken HVAC system listed in the House Ways and Means proposed budget when it was released last week. I hope that ultimately it will be introduced – and passed – by both the House and Senate.

“Ultimately, it will take the efforts of our entire legislative delegation to keep it in the budget and pass the budget,” Jordan said. “USC Aiken is very grateful for the support of our local legislative delegation. I know each member is dedicated to our students’ success.”

S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, said Jordan and her staff have been “working for four years to secure this much needed financing and their perseverance is likely to pay off.”

“The ancient HVAC system in the Penland Administration building is a health hazard to students and staff, and it is way past its useful life cycle,” said Taylor, who is on the House Ways and Means Committee, which manages the S.C. House version of the state budget. “Now that the $3.5 million has been included in next year’s state budget, it has an excellent chance of winning approval from the House and Senate.”

Replacing the Penland HVAC system would require removing the building’s roof to lower the new system into place, according to a release from USCA. The roof then would have to be replaced.

The project also would require replacing ductwork, which would require replacing ceiling tiles.

By federal mandate, the project would require the university to bring all other systems, including the fire repression system, in the Penland Administration Building up to code.

The building houses university services, including human resources, admissions, the Veterans and Military Student Support Center, records and financial aid. It also houses classrooms and laboratories, faculty offices, computer systems and the Aiken Economic Development Partnership.