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Local

State releases more than $6.6M for boiler repairs at NIU

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s archaic boiler system finally has the green light to go away and make room for modern equipment.

According to a news release from the office of Gov. Bruce Rauner, more than $6.6 million in capital funding has been released as part of the budget approved in late May.

“I am pleased to see this much-needed investment in infrastructure improvements at NIU move forward,” Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, said in the release. He was appointed to Bob Pritchard’s seat when Pritchard resigned in order to join NIU’s Board of Trustees. “I applaud my new colleagues in the General Assembly for including this funding in the FY19 state budget and look forward to working together to strengthen our commitment to higher education at NIU and across the state.”

The funding will help start the process of designing plans to install two high-efficiency boilers on campus, according to the release.

“The existing boiler system is outdated and poses serious safety and operational concerns,” State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said in the release, “making these repairs a top priority.”

The release said funding also will be put toward critical steam isolation valve and expansion joint replacements at NIU, and that mechanical expansion joints in the steam tunnel distribution network are failing and beyond repair, with potential to cause a significant disruption to the heating system supporting academic, residential and dining operations.

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