Two Rigs Drilling Their Way Across Kuch Field

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 8, 2011

A pair of drill rigs rolled onto campus Monday night, rumbling past the New Field along Easton Road during a women’s lacrosse game. The rigs were headed for Kuch Field, which used to be an athletics field and now is a construction site as the new University Commons takes shape.

Since drilling began on Tuesday, April 5, the two rigs have been racing across the field to drill 42 wells—each 396 feet deep—that will provide efficient geothermal energy for heating and cooling the new student center. The drilling work is expected to take at least another week, and the wells will cover about two-thirds of the field area in front of the new student center.

As the Commons construction ends next fall, Kuch Field will be green in two ways—with a grassy field covering its surface once again and a green energy source flowing underneath. The work is expected to take several weeks, depending on weather and the rock layers encountered by the rigs, including a limestone vein known to run under the campus. Several drilling rigs will be working simultaneously, drilling each well 396 feet in depth.