The air-conditioning system appears to be back up and running today at the state Capitol.The Capitol uses a hybrid geothermal heat pump system to cool and heat it. Chilled water from wells and a cooling tower are pumped into the Capitol to cool offices.
House and Senate office executive assistants are back at their posts this morning after they were told to leave at noon yesterday because of the lack of air conditioning. Temperatures in some offices soared to about 90 degrees.
Individual offices and certain areas of the Capitol are vented for heating and air conditioning. The rotunda areas, where most visitors stroll, are not air conditioned.
Some readers to NewsOK.com accounts of the legislative offices closing yesterday afternoon seemed to get hot that lawmakers couldn’t stand the inconvenient temperatures.
No legislators were here yesterday. Keep in mind the session ended in late May. They will come back occasionally for task force meetings and committee meetings until the session resumes the first week in February.
A broken valve from a pipe that takes hot water that had been circulated throughout the Capitol to be chilled in a cooling tower and then returned to the Capitol forced the shutdown of the Capitol’s air-conditioning system.
The Capitol air-conditioning system works off water wells supplemented by the cooling tower.
Only a handful of offices remained open by mid-afternoon yesterday. Office workers coped with the lack of air conditioning by running fans and propping open doors. It’s hard for any air to get into the offices because windows are sealed shut.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau