Fresno State Power Outage Linked to Aging Equipment

02/27/2009 |

By Doug Hoagland and Jim Steinberg

The Fresno Bee, Calif.

11:48 a.m.: Three separate electrical problems caused the power outage Monday at four Fresno State buildings, including the recently reopened library, university officials say.

The outages were generally related to aging equipment, Robert Boyd, associate vice president for facilities management, said in a statement. “We found defects in two high-voltage cables and a broken high-voltage ‘boot’ connection where two cables come together,” Boyd says.

He says the outage was not directly related to the reopening of the expanded Henry Madden Library last week.

Power was restored early today to the library and the Kremen Education Building, but remains off in the Smittcamp Alumni House and Satellite Student Union. Crews hope to restore power to those two buildings later this week, officials say.

7 a.m.: Fresno State this morning restored power to the Madden Library and the Kremen School of Education. All classes will meet as planned. 

Power remains interrupted in the Satellite Student Union and the Smittcamp Alumni House, officials say, but they expect to restore it by week’s end.

7:50 p.m. Monday: Fresno State officials hope to restore power to the Kremen School of Education Building by 5 a.m. Tuesday, but three other campus buildings affected by the outage will remain closed for the rest of the week, officials say. 

Facilities crews at California State University, Fresno, were trying Monday to identify the source of the problem that cut power to the Kremen Building, the Henry Madden Library, the Smittcamp Alumni House, and the Satellite Student Union.

While crews work, power will be shut off for several hours late Monday to all central=campus buildings, except those that get power directly from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Those buildings include the residence halls, Save Mart Center, Bulldog Diamond, Beiden Field, and Bulldog Stadium, university officials say.

Shirley Melikian Armbruster, spokeswoman for California State University, Fresno, attributed the power failures to the university’s system, and not to PG&E.

The power failure forced Fresno State to cancel classes Monday in four buildings, but classes and other university operations continued elsewhere. While power to the Madden Library remains shut off this week, library services will be offered in University Center Room 123.

Armbruster says the power failure affected 75 classes, including 2,100 students in disciplines in and out of education in the Kremen Building.

University officials advised students, faculty, and staff who work or have classes in the Kremen Building to check their e-mail, online university accounts, or FresnoStateNews.com, or to call (559) 2780-4000 for updates on repairs.

11 a.m. Monday: A power failure on campus forced California State University, Fresno to cancel classes this morning in four buildings, but classes and other university operations continued elsewhere. The power will remain out the rest of the day.

University spokeswoman Shirley Armbruster said power was out in the Kremen School of Education Building, the Henry Madden Library, the Smittcamp Alumni House, and the Satellite Student Union. She attributed all four power failures to the university’s system and not to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. 

The university had expected earlier today to restore power by noon, but later said that power would remain out the rest of the day and night.

Armbruster says the power failure has affected 75 classes, including 2,100 students in disciplines in and out of education in the Kremen Building.

Bob Boyd, university vice president for\ facilities, said technicians\ have not figured out what caused the blackout.

Power failure in the library forced students’ return to days before its completion. Armbruster says the library will take students’ and faculty members’ research requests to retrieve materials from the darkened building.

A daycare center in the Kremen building was closed, and all parents were notified to make other arrangements, ArmbrusterIsays.

The university urged students to keep abreast of developments on its “myfresnostate” computer portal and by university e-mail.

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Copyright (c) 2009, The Fresno Bee, Calif.

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