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Heating Issues on Campus Continue To Worry Students and Faculty

by JOHN GARRY, Contributor

Multiple members of the Manhattan College community have spoken about their dissatisfaction with the heating and cooling systems on campus. Chrysostom Hall, Leo Hall, and O’Malley Library were all singled out as being particularly uncomfortable.

“I haven’t had a class there since freshman year but… [Leo Hall] was usually very warm inside,” said junior Rory Hannigan. The resident of Horan Hall continued, “In the dorms we have heating and cooling units that we have control over.”

However, not every student is happy with the heating in their dorms. “The heating in Chrysostom is way worse,” said Aristides Lourdas, a freshman who lives in Chrysostom Hall. “There is none, most of the time. It’s so darn cold at night.”

Richard McKeown, director of Physical Plant, was asked about the issues students and faculty have been experiencing. “Physical Plant does its best to adhere to the New York City guidelines for tenants which states: Heat must be provided between Oct. 1 and May 31, i.e. ‘Heat Season,’ under the following conditions: [during the daytime] the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees fahrenheit. [During the nighttime], the inside temperature is required to be at least 62 degrees fahrenheit.”

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The heat levels in Leo Hall have students and faculty concerned. ANJA POLLOZI / THE QUADRANGLE

McKeown had a series of screenshots of the boiler control software. The temperature in O’Malley Library, Chrysostom Hall and Leo Hall are recorded as hovering around 69 degress fahrenheit throughout the day and night.

However, these figures reflect only the temperature at the location of the system sensors. Due to a variety of reasons the temperature in different parts of the building may be higher or lower.

McKeown brought up a few factors that might throw off the heating and cooling system on campus. “Portable heaters… throw off the many individual sensors trying to regulate heating zones. This plays havoc to our systems causing systems to shut off prematurely, so some areas remain cold. When physical plant tries to adjust for this, some zone will then overheat.”

Oftentimes measures taken by students and faculty to regulate the temperature may be counterproductive in the long run, according to McKeown.

“Many times the problem can be a window has not been closed properly, or a radiator valve has been closed by the previous occupant. This happens mostly in classrooms.”

New York City natives will recognize this as a familiar problem. Due to the heating laws described above and the complexities involved in the heating of large buildings, residents of New York often find themselves unable to control the heat in their offices, classrooms, and apartments.

McKeown stressed the continued efforts made by the physical plant staff to maintain the Manhattan College campus, and their commitment to the Manhattan College community.

“We handle each complaint with a personal approach, when our firemen on shift is made aware of an issue he will respond and inspect the area in question. Overall I believe most areas are comfortable. Physical plant staff is dedicated to our community.  Our preventive maintenance program continues to grow to keep all our thousands of systems running.”

About The Quadrangle (715 Articles)
The Quadrangle, founded in 1924, is the student-run newspaper of Manhattan College.

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