Boiler House Renovations

Boiler House Renovations

Location: Centralia, Ill.

Client: Capital Development Board for Murray Development Center

The Capital Development Board hired Burns & McDonnell to design Boiler House Renovations at the Murray Development Center, Centralia, Ill. The center is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week facility operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services for developmentally disabled individuals. The center currently houses 350 residents in seven separate living cottages. Because of the nature of the Murray mission, any interruptions in critical utilities such as heating and cooling systems could severely impact the campus occupants. Project scheduling and execution was vitally important to the well being of the staff and residents.

The project was undertaken to upgrade and improve the operation of a 41-year-old coal fired, stoker fed boiler plant. The three 500-horsepower high temperature water boilers heat water to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is pumped and circulated around the campus for heating and cooling purposes. The coal and ash handling systems, high and medium temperature water pumps, stokers and stoker drives, and hot water circulating system components had deteriorated to the point where they were either no longer functioning or required extensive maintenance support to sustain the operation. Since the hot water circulating system served as both hot water for heating and supplying water for steam absorption chillers, the problems with faulty equipment existed year-round.

Design began October 27, 2001, and was completed December 11, 2002 (there was a four-month delay in design due to state funding problems). Construction started May 15, 2003, and was completed February 4, 2004. The new system components - high temperature water pumps circulating vertical in-line medium temperature water pumps and motors, variable speed stoker drivers, bottom and fly ash piping, and new motor controllers - have greatly improved system reliability and safety and assured comfortable heating and cooling for the residents of this vital campus setting.
Consultants for the Capital Development Board are responsible for design and construction services. As such, Burns & McDonnell was responsible for designing the renovations at the Boiler House and seven living cottages mechanical rooms as well as providing construction management and inspection.

Burns & McDonnell played a key role in laying out a feasible renovation plan, developing project documents for construction, and implementing a construction phasing plan to assure Murray Development Center uninterrupted heating and cooling during the entire construction period.

The equipment was installed in 1963 and had not been replaced since that time, it was aged, and antiquated by today’s standards, and failing in many instances.  As an integral part of the Department of Human Services (DHS), the mission of Murray is to assist Illinois disabled residents to achieve self-sufficiency, independence and education to the maximum extend possible.  This mission is crucial to the living comfort of the 350 full-time residents.

During the course of the thirteen-month design, in numerous meetings with planning, review, and approval agencies, Burns & McDonnell served as the technical advisor and expert to ensure facilities met operational, health and safety, fire protection, environmental, and State of Illinois criteria.
The sensitive mission of Murray Development Center (full time living and assistance for developmentally disabled individuals) required Burns & McDonnell to play an unusually careful communications role between the owner (Department of Human Services), Capital Development Board (owner's engineer), and the construction contractor’s to ensure work was scheduled and executed properly while still maintaining the vital services Murray Development Center requires.

This meant careful management of boiler downtime, timely delivery and installation of new equipment, and increased cooperation among three different contractors working in the same facility at the same time.

Through frequent progress meetings, good communications between owner, engineer and contractor, and cooperation of these three parties, the project proceeded to completion without impacts on residents of the center.

  • Design services
  • Construction inspection
  • Construction management