Emergency Response Plans

Level 1: Utilities Systems Malfunction (electric, water, HVAC)

Department: Facilities Management / Facilities Maintenance & Operations

Departmental Emergency Contact: James Grigg (Back up: Chris Johnson)

A. Purpose:

In the event of widespread utility failure, the Facilities Management Department and Facilities Maintenance and Operations will determine if alternate means are available for individual buildings or campus-wide facilities and also will work with appropriate in-house and contract parties to bring the affected services back online as soon as possible.

B. Priorities:

Facilities maintains a staff of utilities professionals who are on a 24/7 call back. In the event of an after-working-hours utility failure, the Winthrop University Police Department uses a call-back list to reach the appropriate service technician. In the event of a major failure, notification is provided to the Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations.

Power Failure:

After an initial assessment, crews are dispatched and/or contractors contacted. All system failures are repaired as soon as possible, and work does not stop until the affected utility is back on line.

With power failures, the first determination is scopewhether the failure affects single, multiple, or campus-wide facilities. If the entire campus is out of power, the problem is likely the provider. Emergency call-back numbers for Duke Power and the City of Rock Hill are always available. Main campus is supplied by Duke Power; the Courtyard, Facilities Management complex, and the entire Winthrop Lake and Recreational Complex (also known as the farm) is supplied by the City of Rock Hill.

If the outage is a single or multiple buildings, the problem is likely within the Winthrop distribution system. The campus is fed from two delivery points. DP1 (delivery point 1) is located next to the DiGiorgio Campus Center, and DP2 is located behind Withers on the corner of Charlotte Avenue and Myrtle Drive. In the event of a failure, this configuration enables in-house crews to transfer (switch) the load of a building or buildings to the other unaffected station. In effect, this gives redundant supply to every facility on main campus. Each delivery point is sized to handle the entire campus if needed.

Facilities staff members inform the Winthrop University Police Department well as the Vice President for Finance and Business and the Vice President for Student Affairs as to progress and estimated time for restoration.

HVAC Failure:

Winthrop provides air conditioning and heat via two central plants. The Central Chilled Water Plant is located behind Kinard where Scholars Walk intersects with Memorial Circle. This plant has 3,100 tons of cooling capacity and provides cooling for most of the main campus as well as the larger facilities across Oakland Avenue (Dinkins, Withers and Dacus). All small buildings east of Oakland Avenue have stand-alone systems.

The Central Energy Plant, which is located to the west of the DiGiorgio Campus Center, has five boilers which provide medium pressure steam underground to all the major main campus buildings. There is capacity to produce steam with natural gas, #6 oil, or electricity. It is important to note that neither the steam plant nor the chiller plant will operate when there is a total campus power outage.

Potable Water Failure:

Winthrop owns its own underground water distribution system. The water is supplied by the City of Rock Hill Filter Plant on the corner of Cherry Road and Mt. Gallant Road. In cases where the City of Rock Hill has a problem with its distribution system or there are problems with the campus distribution system, in-house crews are dispatched, do an assessment, and take the proper course of action for restoration. A contractor is always on call for repairs beyond in-house capabilities.

Emergency communications are important during any critical event. Crews keep in touch with the Winthrop University Police Department and supervisors by radio dispatch, cell phones, and e-mail.

Facilities staff members work to restore any affected services to normal operating conditions and do so in in the following order of priority:

  • Residential facilities
  • Academic and classroom facilities 
  • Administrative facilities 
  • Ancillary facilities

The Winthrop University Police Department, CIMT leadership, and the Vice President for Finance and Business will be informed of the status and all changes in status regarding utilities service. Whenever possible and without interference with other activities, the campus should be informed through non-emergency channels of the status of restoration.

C. Expectations for Employees:

All facilities staff members related to utilities are considered essential when responding to widespread utilities failure. These employees are expected to report to campus or be on call during such an incident. 

In the case of widespread electricity loss, portable diesel must be provided to fill the Tillman Data Center generator on an ongoing basis. Facilities Management already provides this service and will be on standby to provide fuel.

D. Communications:

The following contact information is used to contact staff (contact Winthrop Police to establish after-hours contact with the personnel below):

E. Responsibility and Control:

The Vice President for Finance and Business has the authority to make decisions regarding the use of university resources to address issues in this plan. In the absence of the VP, the Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations will supervise operations. In the absence of both the VP and the Director of FM&O, the Director of Construction Services will supervise operations.

In the absence of any supervisory positions identified above, the Assistant Director of FM&O will assume responsibility and manage resources to accomplish the goals of this plan.

All affected personnel will be on call for the duration of an outage covered under this plan.