County Administration Building shut down for hours Wednesday

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By Chris Sardelli

The Lancaster County Administration Building was temporarily closed Wednesday due to a malfunctioning heating and cooling system.

County workers had an extended break, from about 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., as the building’s maintenance staff worked with contractors to fix the problem.

County Administrator Steve Willis said there was a computer glitch in the building’s boiler and chiller system.

Willis said the chiller was not working properly and was equipped with a fail-safe system that shut everything down when its sensors detected a problem.

“It shuts down, which is better than a boiler blowing up or a chiller chilling up,” Willis said. “It could’ve been a lot worse. If the computer hadn’t shut down, the water lines could’ve froze up and the pipes could have burst, and then we would’ve had water going all over the building.”

With the air conditioning knocked out, the building began to heat up.

Willis said this forced a shut down of the building’s computers to prevent them from overheating.

“This is a sealed building and you can’t open the windows to get circulation going,” he said.

Willis said many of the building’s departments cannot conduct business without computers. As such, the building was closed until workers could fix the system.

Willis said the problem had been resolved by Wednesday afternoon.

“We got the AC (air conditioning) running again and got the building cool enough where we could get the computers turned back on,” Willis said.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at  (803) 416-8416