Maintaining what we have – HVAC project gets underway at Wagner

Maintenance work is not always exciting, but it is important, especially when it comes to old buildings. Recent maintenance work at Wagner Community Center highlights this, with the replacement of the building’s lobby and preschool room heating, ventilation and cooling system, which began August 16. Work on the project is expected to last approximately two weeks.

The current system was installed in 1961 and is well past its useful life. It was identified as needing replacement in 2018, but due to financial uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was deferred to 2021. The project falls within the District’s strategic goals of maintaining and updating existing facilities.

Replacing large equipment in older buildings often also involves some additional complications. In this case, the upgrades required the Park District to reinforce the roofing to support the new equipment, remove hot water plumbing that was the previous source of heat, run new electric and gas and perform asbestos abatement on insulation that wrapped the hot water pipes.

After all the work is completed; however, visitors can look forward to a more comfortable experience this fall. The new system will comply with updated CDC guidelines for ventilation in public buildings and will provide a more consistent temperature for guests, staff and preschool program participants.