Bob McMains

Purdue hires INDOT commissioner

Jun 13, 2013
Purdue University

Purdue’s next vice president for physical facilities is coming from state government.

The university is hiring Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Mike Cline. He graduated from Purdue in 1988 with a degree in civil engineering.

Cline has been with INDOT since 2006. When Purdue President Mitch Daniels was governor, he appointed Cline as commissioner in 2010. Governor Mike Pence reappointed him to the position earlier this year.

Purdue's new chiller earns university a rebate

Mar 15, 2013
Mike Loizzo / WBAA Radio

Purdue is benefiting from being energy efficient. The university received a rebate check for $81,000. It comes from an Energizing Indiana program in conjunction with Duke Energy as an incentive for businesses to make system improvements.

Vice President of Physical Facilities Bob McMains says the money will help the university become more energy efficient.

Purdue is closing its construction inspection department in March. That means the elimination of 22 jobs. Instead, inspections will be the responsibility of the architects and engineers.

The university expects to save 10% to 15% – or about $75 million – over five years based on expected construction projects.

Other changes include aligning Purdue’s building specifications with current industry standards. Officials say that should lead to more competitive bids.

Those changes to Purdue's new construction specifications will include:

Purdue picks site for Thermal Energy Storage Tank

Nov 30, 2012

Purdue is moving forward with plans for a Thermal Energy Storage Tank.

The Physical Facilities Committee agreed to install it on the south side of campus near the Wade Power Plant.

Vice President for Physical Facilities Bob McMains a redesign of previous plans makes the location a better fit than others.

"We just felt like we had to push the water further so that would be more of a cost.  But, as we designed the tank, we could come up with a better, more efficient tank on the south side to cover the cost for the extra piping we'd need to push the water up,” he said.

Purdue's Life & Health Sciences Park taking shape

Jun 18, 2012

The Purdue Board of Trustees is signing off on the construction contracts for three projects. Those are the cornerstone for the university's Life and Health Sciences Park along Harrison Street on the  south side of campus.

The university is building a drug discovery facility for $28.7 million. That’s more than the original estimate of $25 million.

Vice President for Physical Facilities Bob McMains says the increase is needed to finish more of the project than first planned.

Purdue eyes new natural gas projects

May 8, 2012

Purdue is taking money once set aside for one project and using it for others.

The university is planning to use more than $33-million to move away from coal powered energy and toward natural gas.

The money comes from what was supposed to be used to build a clean-coal boiler, but that project was canceled last year.

Vice President of Physical Facilities Bob McMains says Purdue will now focus on natural gas projects, which are more viable for the future.

Public comments on Purdue’s Comprehensive Energy Master Plan are being reviewed by university administrators.

The proposal aims to improve energy efficiency while still meeting heating and cooling needs on campus.

A hearing was held last night in Stewart Center, allowing the community members to give feedback in person.

In addition, the university has been fielding written comments on the plan since it was made available to the public January 10th.

A new Comprehensive Energy Master Plan for Purdue is being finalized. It makes recommendations for cutting use and increasing production and distribution to meet the demands of the West Lafayette campus.

Total funding to do all projects suggested is nearly $105 million over the next decade. But Vice President for Physical Facilities Bob McMains says there are a few priority items that should be done.

He says that includes a combined heat and power (CHP) unit to replace a coal-fired boiler.