Veterans' Home to receive $350,000 for new air conditioning system

Concerns about the air conditioning system at the Indiana Veterans Home will soon be no more. The state budget committee is giving it $350,000 for new air conditioners at four residential buildings.

Posted: Oct. 21, 2017 9:22 PM
Updated: Oct. 21, 2017 9:22 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Concerns about the air conditioning system at the Indiana Veterans' Home will soon be no more. The state budget committee is giving it $350,000 for new air conditioners at four residential buildings.

The new units address a problem that first came to light this summer.

At five, we heard from the daughter of a man living here and how she claims she tried to inform staff about a lack of air conditioning.

News 18 spoke with the home's Marketing Events Director, Felicia Dale, who says they've never had any problems with the system.

"It was very humid and it was uncomfortable. Everyone was sweating. Even the staff was saying it was pretty warm in there," said Angie Kepner about her experience when she visited her 86-year-old father in the Indiana Veterans' Home in September.

"I was told originally that the system was just down, but they had it up and it was running properly," said Kepner.

But Marketing Events Director Felicia Dale says, that can't be true.

"We haven't had any issues with our chillers. Our chillers have been functioning properly," said Dale.

But that wasn't the first time Kepner says she complained.

"Several times we were just told that the chillers just couldn't keep up," said Kepner. "They were old and they were just doing the best they could."

Dale says the only time the chillers stopped working was in August due to a blown fuse. She says Kepner's experience in September wasn't due to equipment failure. She said, "There were six rooms that were outside of state regulation by two degrees. The reason for that was because our residents had turned their air down."

According to a release from the state budget committee, the $350,000 will go toward replacing the units that need frequent repairs.

But Dale says it's all about upgrading to a more energy efficient unit.

"Repairs happen on everything. Does that mean that it's broken, where we're not able to have air for our residents? No," said Dale.

Kepner is just glad to hear something is being done.

"I'm very grateful. He's a very kind man. There's several people in there that are great people and they deserve to be comfortable," said Kepner.

Dale says the installation of the new chillers started last week. Work is expected to finish by the end of 2018.

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