Forbes Garage Construction Prepares Campus for New, More Efficient Cooling Towers

Recent construction in the Forbes Garage is helping to prepare for new University cooling towers that will be erected on the top deck of the garage by this fall.

The new cooling towers will provide the additional capacity needed to cool Duquesne’s growing campus, be more efficient and less noisy—and more aesthetically pleasing.  The system will replace the 17-year-old cooling towers, located across from the Union, that the expanding campus has outgrown. That area, which was considered to be the edge of campus when the towers were originally installed, now sits at the center of campus since the addition of Fisher Hall, the Power Center and buildings on Fifth Avenue.

The work in progress in the Forbes Garage includes adding steel reinforcement to the existing garage structure. Because the garage was originally intended to hold the weight of automobiles, this additional reinforcement is necessary to support the new cooling towers, which together weigh approximately 600,000 pounds.

At least 10 feet of clearance will be provided between the parking deck and the bottom of the cooling tower structure, allowing for vehicle transit and parking. The cooling towers’ actual height, when standing on the structure, will span to the top-level deck height of Locust Garage, creating a clean look.

The erection phase of the cooling towers will begin after the structural phase of the project is completed by June 10. At that time, Gibbon Street and surface parking next to the Forbes Garage will be closed to allow for a crane to lift the cooling tower components to the top of the Forbes Garage.

During the final phase of the project, the original cooling towers will be removed after completion of the new system’s installation, operation, commissioning and testing.