Burnham Holdings Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the Burnham Holdings Center for HVAC Technology at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology on Wednesday, April 10. The celebration was part of the college’s dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Greiner Advanced Manufacturing Center, which houses the facility.
The Burnham Holdings Center for HVAC Technology will give students hands-on learning experiences with HVAC systems donated by Burnham Holdings companies U.S. Boiler and Thermal Solutions. The 16,700-square-foot facility has 13 program rooms and two shared areas. This large space allows students to install boilers along a cutaway wall that has been prepped with all needed utility lines and exposed studs.
Once students are done installing boilers, they learn to uninstall them as well, allowing for installation of other types of heating systems and equipment. The installations will include conventional baseboard/radiator systems, radiant floor heating systems, and hot water fan coils. There is also an outdoor equipment area with pre-installed PEX tubing in the concrete slab to allow for future connection of the boilers for snow and ice melting.
"The boilers will be installed and operated in numerous hydronic system types for many years to come," said Brett Groff, sophomore HVACR instructor, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. "The students are currently working on the high efficiency wall-mount boiler installations. One team of students is building a reverse-return piping system that utilizes the internal pump in each boiler for system flow, while the other team is installing a primary-secondary layout with a system pump providing flow in the primary loop."
The entire Greiner Advanced Manufacturing Center is a 60,000-square-foot facility. It was developed to increase capacity and access to three in-demand manufacturing majors: HVACR, Computer Integrated Machining (CIM) and Metals Fabrication and Welding Technology. The center was built through the Pennsylvania Department of General Services at a cost of more than $20 million, and the college raised $2.4 million through a capital campaign. An additional $1 million grant from Gene Haas Foundation sponsored the center’s Computer Integrated Machining Lab. Along with Burnham Holdings, U.S. Boiler, and Thermal Solutions, more than 20 regional companies, private foundations, and individuals donated money and equipment to support the expansion.
“The new Center is a model of collaboration between bi-partisan government, industry, and the community coming together to address an urgent and growing need to meet a labor skills gap in technology, advanced manufacturing and construction in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Dr. William Griscom, president, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is a residential, two-year accredited technical college. Students who complete the college’s HVACR program earn an associate degree in applied science. More information on the program’s objectives and course list can be found on the college’s website.