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Heating Plant Testing

FARMVILLE – As the university's students move closer to final exams, Longwood's heating plant will be put through further tests this week.

Additional testing and evaluation of the wood-fired boilers in Longwood's heating plant will take place beginning at noon on Thursday, April 19, and will continue through Friday, April 20, university spokesperson Gina Caldwell told The Herald on Monday.

“Periods of smoke are possible during these times,” Ms. Caldwell noted, adding, “Longwood apologizes in advance for any discomfort that may result from the smoke produced by these tests.”

The testing is crucial to determining the cause of heavy smoke emissions, as engineers and consultants put the heating plant through its paces to compile data and witness the state-of-the-art wood-fired boiler plant in action to glean clues that lead to a solution.

Testing, the university has previously explained, and evaluation “will require stressing the system.”

As LU's Associate Vice-President for Marketing and Communications, Sabrina Brown, has explained to The Herald, “They're going to have to stress the system. They're going to have it working and stress it so that they can see what's causing it-sort of like you take your car to the shop (and) you gotta make it make that sound for the mechanics to be able to figure it out.”

Longwood has a total of five engineering firms trying to solve the smoke emission problems.

Longwood has told Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) about the smoke emission problems of the heating plant and apologized for the smoke that has periodically covered portions of downtown and pledged to solve the problem.

Farmville's Town Council has expressed its concern with the excessive emissions during its March work session and the issue was raised again during council's regular March meeting, with further comment during last week's April Town Council meeting.