Metro-East News

SIUE classes held Tuesday despite power issues

Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were learning in the dark for a few hours Tuesday, as a power outage knocked out electricity for more than half the campus.

SIUE Police Chief Kevin Schmoll said the Ameren substation near the police department that serves the main campus was knocked out at about 8:45 a.m. Within an hour, power was slowly being restored to the campus, and by 10:30 a.m. most buildings had their power restored.

Buildings from the Morris University Center to Peck Hall to some of the buildings in the University Park business park were affected by the outage.

Schmoll said there was no change to the class schedule, and classes proceeded as usual. An e-lert went out to the university community to warn them of the power outage.

Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch said a transformer had malfunctioned in the Ameren substation that serves the main campus and University Park. According to SIUE Facilities Management, the failure meant that Ameren had to shut off one of their two electrical circuits serving the campus.

Once the electricians who work on the campus knew what was going on with Ameren, they began to switch the buildings without power to the one good circuit, according to SIUE spokesman Doug McIlhagga. He said Ameren has been able to repair the substation, and both circuits are operating.

Some buildings on campus have generators, so for those buildings it might only have been a 10-second delay before power came back on. Those buildings include Science West, Science East, Morris University Center, the engineering building, the art & design building, Alumni and Founders Halls, Peck Hall, Dunham Hall and supporting services. However, McIlhagga said that does not mean those buildings would have full power; the generators are intended to keep elevators and other critical equipment functioning under emergency power.