Indiana Deaf School gets OK for needed repairs

August 15, 2018 Gregory W. Porter

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) said the State Budget Committee gave its approval for several projects at the Indiana School for the Deaf during the committee’s meeting on the University of Southern Indiana campus in Evansville.

“There were three main projects for the Deaf School, which is located on 42nd Street near the Indiana State Fairgrounds,” explained Porter, who is also a member of the State Budget Committee.

“The projects include window replacements, updating of a HVAC system and renovation of the Steam Plant. These improvements are long overdue and will make the buildings far more energy efficient. The Indiana School for the Deaf is celebrating its 175 year of operation. I am pleased my fellow members on the State Budget Committee agreed to allow the school to proceed with these needed projects.”

One of the approved projects is for window replacements in Building One, Two and Three. The current windows and panels in the buildings are all more than 40 years old and are not energy efficient. Some of the seals are leaking, which allows moisture and outside air into the building. That leakage results in heavier use of HVAC units. The $1,450,000 project will include installation of new low-e double pane insulated windows.

Buildings One and Two were built in 1959 and Three was constructed in 1971. The buildings are currently used for education and Indiana State Department of Health offices. Ball State and Vincennes universities also use space in those buildings.

Another approved project will replace the HVAC units in the Stanfill Career and Technical Education building on the south side of the campus. The building has had no renovations in recent years. The project was originally approved in October of 2017, but the lowest bid exceeded the original estimate.

The HVAC units are more than 40 years old and have been consistently breaking down. The January 2014 winter storm that caused power outages in sub-zero weather also damaged the HVAC units. The cost of this project will be $1,031,930. The north end of the building was constructed in 1966 with the south end added in 1977. The building is used for student education.

The third project will renovate the Steam Plant on campus. The 1911 structure provides hot water and heat for the campus. There have been no recent renovations, even though there have been frequent equipment breakdowns. Most of the boilers are between 35-40 years old. The doors and windows are also in need of replacement, so they will be upgraded, along with installation of a new outdoor brine tank, replacement of a boiler, replacement of booster and feed pumps, and replacement of the deaerating feed tank. These improvements are all part of the $825,860 project.