Power temporarily rerouted after fire at Power Plant

By Crisilee DeBacker

The students of Spring Arbor University (SAU) were thrown into the dark on September 23 after a fire broke out at the nearby physical plant late at night. Both Andrews and Gainey Hall lost power, and the clock tower lost power long enough to be behind by a few hours until it was fixed after a couple days.

Marty Fortress, the head of the physical plant, was able to shed light on what caused the confusion.

“Although the cause of the fire is still being determined by the insurance company, it appears as though the fire began in a transformer,” Fortress said.

Along with the power outages on campus, two generators that were burned during the fire were confirmed to be damaged beyond repair by the insurance company when they assessed the damage on Oct. 10. A few smaller pumps in different buildings also needed repairs due to the surge of power that happened during the fire.

Currently, nothing has been fixed permanently. Cables were rerouted to get power back up to the main campus, but the physical plant is still working through the next steps.

The physical plant is in the process of getting temporary generators to campus until permanent new ones are available. There is currently a 12-16 week waiting period for new generators, due to a shortage caused by the needs of the victims of the hurricanes in Houston and Florida.

In the meantime, workers are keeping things on campus going as smoothly as possible. The rerouted cables and temporary generators will provide power until permanent solutions can be made.