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Students Complain of Heating Issues in Overlook Manor

By Natalie Craig, Staff Writer

Sunday, February 14th temperatures in the Bronx dropped to 17 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of one. Students in Overlook Manor reported extreme cold, one citing that there was frost on the inside of their window.

“The apartment is always cold but this is the first time we’ve noticed frost.” said Caitlin Sullivan, a junior who lives on the second floor.

The apartment she lives in is a six person dwelling and has a balcony. She said maintenance told her that they could not fix the heat while it was still running. Sunday was the first time New York City temperatures have dropped below zero since 1994.

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Photo by Vanessa Sanchez, The Quadrangle

The New York City Department of Housing and Development classifies heat and hot water as important safety issues, and must be provided for all tenants. These are also important safety issues for the Manhattan College Physical Plant, the department in charge of the maintenance and heating system

“Our job is to serve the students and heating is an issue we take very seriously,“ said Richard Mckeown, the director of the physical plant.

The New York City Department of Housing and Development classifies heat and hot water as important safety issues, and must be provided for all tenants. These are also important safety issues for the Manhattan College Physical Plant, the department in charge of the maintenance and heating system

New boilers that operate the heating system were installed five years ago according to Mckeown. The heat works using a single pipe steam heating system, which connects to each apartments radiator. The heating is based on the outside temperature; when the temperature outside drops below 55 degrees, the heater kicks on, and runs in cycles of 37 minutes. Despite this many students have reported times when they feel the heat is just not adequate.

      “It’s so cold I have to wear a hat and gloves to stay warm. At times it’s colder than outside,” said Thomas Dougherty, a senior electrical engineering student.

Legally the requirement in New York City is from 6AM to 10PM the temperature must be at least 68 degrees. From 10PM to 6AM the temperature is required to be a minimum 55 degrees. Mckeown stated that on average the interior thermostat is set to 70 degrees.

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Photo by Vanessa Sanchez, The Quadrangle

In anticipation of the period of cold weather on Feb.14, AJ Goodman, resident director, worked with the physical plant to help raise the temperatures in Overlook. While resident directors themselves do not control the heat they maintain close communication with maintenance.

Physical plant said there are numerous factors that could contribute to a lack of heat. Including drafts in the apartment or from the windows, especially those with balconies. Blocking the radiator could affect the amount of heat access as well.

McKeown said that typically what prevents the heat from functioning properly is a build up of debris over time, which then causes a blockage. This buildup can be fixed by maintanace replacing the vent.

The maintenance staff encourages residents to reach out and file a work order if they experience any problems with heating or other problems while living in any residence hall.

“We try our best. We do whatever we can and if we get a call we definitely will respond to it.” said Mckeown.

About The Quadrangle (627 Articles)
The Quadrangle, founded in 1924, is the student-run newspaper of Manhattan College.
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