17th Street construction project to cut power at Washburn

Reggie Leydens, [email protected], is a sophomore mass media major.

If you ever played Sardines in elementary school, you know the feeling of trying to navigate through complete darkness. Don’t get caught in the dark this weekend on campus.

Electrical power to much of the Washburn campus will be turned off this weekend, starting mid-day Saturday, June 29th. This is a large construction project, and the maximum off-line time has been estimated at 30 hours.

Be sure to plan ahead, as you can expect the power to go out in the following locations: Bradley Thompson Center, Law School, Kuehne & West Halls, KTWU, Benton Hall, Henderson Learning Resources Center, Mabee Library, Memorial Union, Morgan Hall, Bennett Computer Center, Stoffer Science Hall, Petro Allied Health Center, Whiting Field House, Carnegie Hall, all four facilities buildings and the softball complex.

For your safety, Washburn administration asks that you do not plan to use any of the buildings listed during the power outage.

In an email, Ed Wiss, assistant director of facilities services, emphasized the importance of our safety. He asks us to please avoid visits to affected buildings on campus and let Westar Energy do their job, adding, “Washburn will be providing extra security this weekend to help keep persons safe.”

Students, faculty and visitors to the campus are encouraged to plan ahead and take a couple of specific precautions:

– Turn off all computers, printers and electronic devices

– Empty any personal refrigerators

Fortunately, the Washburn arts department isn’t letting the construction project get in the way of their weekend plans. As they say in show business, “The show must go on.” By only turning off one transformer at a time, power to Garvey Fine Arts Center will remain on-line. Quake!, a play by Melanie Marnich, will still be performed on Saturday and Sunday at the originally scheduled times of 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, at the Andrew J. and Georgia Neese Gray Theatre.

If that doesn’t satisfy your thirst for the arts, The Mulvane Art Museum will also be featuring new exhibits this weekend. The Face and the Mask, Who Does Not Wear a Mask and Tools in Motion: Works from the Hechinger Collection will be on display Saturday, June 29th and Sunday, June 30th from 1 – 4 p.m. Exhibits are also scheduled for the following week, and admission is always free.

The project has caused some bus stops to be temporarily relocated. According to www.topekametro.org, five temporary bus stop signs have been placed at the following locations around the Washburn campus:

– 18th Street and Washburn Avenue

– Durrow Drive and Washburn Avenue

– 19th Street and Jewell Avenue

– 19th Street and MacVicar Avenue

– 17th Street and MacVicar Avenue

Detours for the Red Routes #6 West 17th Street and #9 West 29th Street can be found under the “Detour” section on their aforementioned homepage.

It appears as though the logistics of the 17th Street project were well thought out. There will be no interruption of IT services to buildings that do not lose power. Also, Washburn Institute of Technology and the Advanced Systems Training facility will not be affected. Falley Field runs off of the 21st Street power service, so it won’t be affected. While television broadcast on WUCT Channel 10 will be down, KTWU will operate on generator and broadcast on channel 11 will not be interrupted. Additionally, working with Westar Energy, Washburn University was careful to select the weekend with the lowest number of scheduled events.

Upon completion of the project, a new electrical service will run underneath 17th Street, supplying power to the campus.