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SIU board approves first actions to address failing water system on Edwardsville campus


The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today approved the project budget for the first phase of replacing deteriorating  valves and fire hydrants on the Edwardsville campus.

The board, meeting in Carbondale, also approved planning to replace sidewalks and the natural turf at the outdoor recreation complex on the SIUE campus.

Because much of the SIUE exterior water distribution system dates to the campus’ origin, valves used to control the system and fire hydrants have been failing, the campus said.

The replacement of more than 300 valves and hydrants is envisioned over multiple phases of the project. Phase I addresses the highest priority valves at an estimated cost of $600,000 with funding from both utility maintenance and deferred maintenance funds.

The entire replacement cost is estimated at $3.7 million, and additional phase approvals will require further board consideration. Award of contracts will also require further board consideration.

Safety and accessibility are the primary cause for the necessary sidewalk replacement. Plans will estimate the cost for replacing deteriorated pedestrian walks during several fiscal years to match available funding. The most serious problems will be addressed first to keep buildings accessible at all times. Project design work will be funded through deferred maintenance funds. Planning options will review the sources of funds for the replacement work once a cost estimated is established. A quality based selection process selected Juneau Associates Inc., of Edwardsville, to determine both the extent and cost of the work.

Replacing the natural grass at the outdoor recreation complex is needed to extend the playing seasons for club sports teams and intramural use along with providing a surface that is more durable and rain tolerant, the university said. The project cost will be finalized once a comprehensive estimated is determined. A quality based selection process selected Oates Associates Inc., of Collinsville, to determine both the extent and cost of the work. The project is defined as a non-instructional capital improvement financed with local funds. As a result, Illinois Board of Higher Education approval will be required prior to the funding commitment.

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