The University of Texas Tower will undergo renovations

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by Quita Culpepper-KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on June 22, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 22 at 5:54 PM

 One of the most iconic buildings on the University of Texas campus is undergoing some changes.

The massive air conditioning unit that cools the upper floors of the building is 45-years-old. UT says it's high time to replace it. 

The UT Tower was built in the 1930s, and renovations on the building start next month.  That means an end for now to a popular tour.

"Our last tour will be going up on Saturday and we are already fully booked," said Hoa Nguyen, Tower Tour coordinator.  "But we do look forward to when we are back in the spring."

Starting in July, part of the north side of the tower wall and dozens of lights will be removed -- that side of the tower will remain dark throughout the renovations.   Equipment will then be hoisted from the 10th floor to the top of the tower.  A new air conditioning unit will be built inside and the old unit taken out. The clock on the tower's north side will also stop.

"We're in a situation right now where our people that are in the building especially on the hot side of the building can't get the temperature down below 85 degrees," said Bill Throop, UT's Director of Project Management and Construction Services.  "The problem of course with changing a unit out on this floor is it's 28 stories up in the air; it's located behind a stone wall."

The other sides of the tower will not change, and the carillon will continue to play. The old air conditioning system won't be disconnected until the new system is up and running so those on the upper floors will stay relatively cool while the work is being done.

The renovation project costs just over two million dollars.  

 

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