A series of June electrical fires at a N.C. Central University facility is proving very costly.
The June 11 fire at NCCU's high-voltage electrical switchgear unit on East Lawson Street knocked out power in nine university buildings for five hours.
Sixteen days later, three additional units were damaged by fire, and three days after than, one more caught fire. In all, the damage to these five switchgear units left half the campus without electrical power, with the rest of campus experiencing intermittent power problems, according to a UNC system memo. There were no injuries from the fires, which caused the cancellation of some instruction, freshman orientation and some special events.
Total cost to repair the electrical systems, install a new, uninterruptable power supply and conditioning unit, and to upgrade the emergency generator system: $1.8 million. NCCU is asking the UNC system's permission this week to cobble together that money through three separate university funds, according to the memo. It is being classified as an emergency capital improvement project.
There is no mention in the memo of the source of the fire. Stay tuned.