Sinclair prepared if power goes out

In the event of a power outage during a school day or any other time, Sinclair Community College is prepared, according to Facilities Management Director Woody Woodruff.

If power were to go out, the first step would be to determine where the outage is localized to, or, if the outage is campus wide, according to Maintenance Supervisor Doug Mahoney.

“We also would want to find out if the problem is ours or if it pertains to DP&L,” Mahoney said.  “But we would take the time to figure out what happened.”

Mahoney said that the backup generators—which would kick on after seven seconds and can run on diesel fuel for an indefinite period of time—allow “life support systems” to work.

That means the fire alarms, emergency lighting, exit lights, elevators and the Campus Police would all have power in the event of an outage.

The parking garage and the servers in Building 13 each have their own independent generator and both would function, according to Mahoney.  The library also has emergency lighting.

The generators are tested monthly to make sure they are functioning probably, according to Mahoney.  And, every five years the school runs a broader test of electrical systems.

“That’s a big deal for us,” Woodruff said.  “We make sure the programs work.”

Woodruff said his job is to make sure the campus is open and functioning, no matter if it’s a snow storm or anything else.

“We do everything we can to have campus open,” Woodruff said of the tests. “We take pride in it.”

One example was a Friday in May of 2005.  Mahoney said that late that day, Building’s 1-8 lost power due to a problem concerning a bad cable.  The school called in contractors and worked all weekend and by Monday morning the issue was fixed.

“Anytime we have a power outage, we try to learn from it,” Woodruff said.

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