A Letter From the Associate Vice President for Facilities

The Charger Bulletin

To UNH Students, Faculty & Staff,

I write to apologize for the inconvenience created by the recent loss of power in both Kaplan and Bethel Halls.  The loss of power was the result of a failed service from the Utility Company (United Illuminating) not too much different than a loss of power from a lightning strike or other natural force.

Unfortunately, this event caused damage of such significance that major pieces of electrical equipment needed to be replaced.  As you can certainly appreciate, working with high voltage equipment is very dangerous and requires very careful planning to implement safely.  Ordinarily, the Utility Company would simply leave the service off, which provides the greatest degree of safety to their tradesmen and expedites the repair. This, however, also leaves the end user (UNH) without power for as long as it takes to complete the repairs.

In an event such as this one, it would likely have taken several days during which we would have had no power.  Recognizing this would be unacceptable, the University leased at their expense large generators to power both Bethel and Kaplan Halls.  These were installed within several hours of the initial Utility failure, and, with the exception of the noise of the operating generators, all services to Bethel and Kaplan were restored to normal.

While overall, the installation of the generators drastically reduce the amount of time both Bethel and Kaplan were without power, it also extended the overall repair duration and introduced complications as well. In order for the final repairs to be made, the generator power needed to be shut down at times for short durations to insure safe transfer of power over to the repaired utility service.  Facilities worked closely with the Provost Office as well as the Office of Student Affairs to schedule outage times in order to minimize the impact to the building occupants.  Unfortunately, there was no time that was optimal for all, and in no case could we compromise the safety of personnel working on this equipment.

While this event was unfortunate, we have now completed the necessary repairs including several upgrades which we hope will prevent such an event from recurring.  During the outage, we also proactively upgrade portions of the Bethel and Kaplan service in need of replacement.  While we are ultimately reliant upon our utility company to provide reliable power, these upgrades were done to insure our equipment is equally reliable.  Over the next several months, in an effort to further improve our reliability, we will continue to systematically evaluate all our electric services throughout the campus and perform the repairs and maintenance to insure this equipment is in good working condition.

Again, I offer my sincerest apology for the inconvenience and thank you for your feedback and understanding.


Louis C. Annino Jr. PE

Associate Vice President for Facilities

University of New Haven