Ball State University Continues Campus-Wide Geothermal Drilling Project

The Star Press in Muncie, Indiana, reports Ball State University’s board of trustees on July 19 approved a $339 million general fund budget for 2013-14 and authorized construction to proceed on the second phase of the nation’s largest geothermal energy system.

Beginning in October or November, the west campus field across from IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, where the marching band sometimes practices, will be torn up as more geothermal borehole drilling begins. The field is also used for intramural and recreational sports.

The state appropriated $30 million for phase two of the project, which includes drilling 1020 boreholes in the west campus field and a nearby parking lot or two, said Jim Lowe, Ball State’s director of engineering.

The former soccer field in the west campus field was just recently re-sodded after the drilling of 780 boreholes turned that area to mud.

During phase one, the university drilled 1800 boreholes on intramural athletic fields on the north side of campus, west of the Duck Pond, and constructed an energy station.

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