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UH hopes to restore power in time for classes Monday

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 1:59 p.m. HST, Feb 7, 2014

University of Hawaii-Manoa officials aren't sure how much it will cost to turn the power back on in two buildings that house chemistry labs and other science classrooms, but hope to have the problem resolved by Monday.

More than two dozen classes in Bilger Hall and Bilger Addition had to be canceled or relocated Friday following an outage Thursday afternoon that initially caused eight major buildings to lose power.

Power to the other six buildings was restored Thursday evening.

The outage was caused by a combination of old electrical equipment and moisture from recent rainy weather, said Stephen Meder, interim assistant vice chancellor for physical, environment and long-range planning.

A main electrical switch in the basement of Bilger Hall suffered a blown fuse, causing a domino effect.

Meder said staff engineers and electricians are expected to work with consultants through the weekend to restore power by Monday so classes can resume. He said that will incur overtime and unexpected costs, but did not have a price estimate.

"What our team will be doing is assessing the depth of the condition and how far they need go with repairing, vetting or completely replacing this equipment," Meder said at a press conference Friday outside Bilger.

William Ditto, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, said no equipment had been damaged and added that some parts of the building have back-up generators.

The list of affected classes, mainly those in chemistry, economics, biology and math, is posted online:

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