Bassett Mechanical is founded on the belief that respect for people and genuine concern and empathy help create vibrant communities and lasting relationships. Through these community and associate relationships, we become aware of opportunities where we can provide a deeper more specific level of assistance for some of the organizations in need.
In 2016, one of our service technicians brought us a concern. He was volunteering his services at COTS, a local nonprofit whose mission is to offer housing to men, women, young adults, and veterans who need help transitioning out of homelessness into a sustainable future. He shared his concern that the needs of COTS were greater than he alone could resolve, and wondered if there was anything that Bassett could do to help. After meeting with the COTS team we learned there were two buildings on West Avenue in Appleton that house the mens, young adult, and veterans programs. The buildings and associated systems were built in the 1960’s, and they were experiencing a great deal of problems due to lack of system preventative maintenance and age. A study from an outside consultant concluded that a very costly large-scale equipment replacement initiative was required; an unexpected capital expense that included a heating system replacement with minimum cooling upgrades required.
We saw this as a significant opportunity to get involved within our area of expertise. Our associates approached Bill Bassett, our Chairman of the Board, and asked for his input on moving forward to assist COTS. Bill and his wife Sue have been supporters of COTS for many years. They are known to stop by on a regular basis with bags containing comforters, blankets, sheets, towels, toiletries, and whatever else is needed by the residents. Bill’s immediate answer to our team’s request for this opportunity was “let’s do whatever is needed to take care of the COTS residents.”
Having Bassett Mechanical come on board with their expertise, labor, and installation of the HVAC system to help keep our residents safe and healthy is so invaluable. We simply could not help our most vulnerable community members without the terrific support from Bassett Mechanical! – Cindy Sahotsky, COTS Executive Director
Our team immediately performed our own evaluation of the facilities and concluded that some of the systems needed a major maintenance overhaul, which included updating the old pneumatic controls system, providing proper ventilation and air flow within the air handling systems, and problem-solving pumps and valves which were not properly circulating hot water for heat. Bassett was pleased to donate our engineering and time for the audit as well as the initial work performed and various equipment. Our team felt the priority was to get systems operating at a more sustainable level prior to any equipment replacements being needed. During this timeframe, one of the facility chillers failed.
After a second chiller failed in fall of 2017, it was time to complete a full assessment and design related to new equipment for air conditioning for the coming 2018 summer. Our expert’s recommendations included removing the domestic hot water heating from boiler systems to prolong the life of the boilers and improve the work environment for the surrounding spaces above the boiler which had been experiencing significant heat issues and updating the cooling systems for equipment/system replacement. The team felt this was the best use of capital funds and would fix their most immediate cooling problems while providing an extended life for the boilers related to the heating system.
In April 2018, our team began making changes to the much needed cooling system. The existing equipment room was updated and the old chillers were removed. New piping, insulation, and electrical were installed along with a brand new chiller. The existing pneumatic controls system was retrofitted to work with the new system to optimize cooling needs throughout the building. The timeline was tight with a goal of having the cooling system up and running at the end of June when the hot weather was forecasted to hit. The Bassett team put in long days and extra efforts and was able to get the system operational on Wednesday, June 27.
“For an organization like COTS, which is supporting individuals who are experiencing homelessness, having something happen to our HVAC system is debilitating and devastating to our residents. We use all of the dollars that our donors give just to help our residents in their day-to-day living – food, clothing, medical support. Having Bassett Mechanical come on board with their expertise, labor, and installation of the HVAC system to help keep our residents safe and healthy is so invaluable. We simply could not help our most vulnerable community members without the terrific support from Bassett Mechanical!” Cindy Sahotsky, COTS Executive Director.
Bassett is glad to share our expertise by donating engineering time and workforce labor to this project. In turn, many subcontractors also generously donated their labor or provided a reduced rate. We hope our contributions make a lasting impact on not only this organization but on our community members for years to come.