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A Weighty Investment

  • http-blogs-fandm-edu-wp-content-blogs-dir-29-files-2012-04-boiler-jpg
  • A work crew eases one of the College's new boilers into the Carolyn and Robert Wohlsen '50 Center for the Sustainable Environment.

     
  • http-blogs-fandm-edu-wp-content-blogs-dir-29-files-2012-04-boiler2-jpg
  • A worker prepares one of three 26.5-ton boilers for installation at the Wohlsen Center.

Franklin & Marshall added three new tools to its sustainability efforts over the summer.

In early August contractors delivered and installed three energy-efficient boilers to the Carolyn W. and Robert S. Wohlsen ’50 Center for the Sustainable Environment, the former Central Services Building.

The cost to purchase and install the units was $1.3 million, says Perry Scheid, assistant director of operations with Facilities & Operations. The new units are clean burning, which means they emit minimal particle pollution when consuming gas and oil. They weigh in at a whopping 26.5 tons apiece, the equivalent of five or six full-grown elephants.

The upgrade also allowed the College to retire its “summer burners,” secondary burners used only to heat water from late spring through mid-September. The new units, which are expected to be up and running by Sept. 28, will operate year-round, Scheid says.

The Wohlsen Center is the new home of the College’s sustainability and environmental efforts. It will have a seminar room and public meeting space and will host the student-run Fair Trade Cafe, Environmental Action Alliance club and other programs.

The building dates to 1924. It was designed by Charles Z. Klauder and erected by Lancaster builder Herman Wohlsen, founder of Wohlsen Construction Company and Robert Wohlsen’s great-grandfather. Robert Wohlsen, a longtime supporter of the College, retired as head of the construction company in 2002.