Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Old Main heating system to be repaired

Temperatures on the second floor of Old Main were cooler than other parts of the building on Monday as a result of a failed compressor in one of the building’s heating systems.
Faculty and students were seen in classrooms and offices wearing their winter jackets, hats, gloves and scarfs as a result of the lack of heat.
Some of the buildings faculty and staff are using personal space heaters to keep themselves warm in their offices.
“I try not to use it very often but sometimes I have too,” said Dr. Sharon Varallo, professor of Communication Studies. “It is freezing in here.”
However, even with the noticeable change in temperature, Joe Scifo, Director of Facilities said that the buildings temperatures are not so extreme that classes should be effected.
“We are still maintaining a reasonable, comfortable temperature within the 60’s.” said Scifo.
He acknowledged that some rooms would experience cooler temperatures as a result of the extreme cold outdoors as well.
According to Jessica Nodulman, assistant professor in the Communication Studies department, her office experienced temperatures near 65 degrees.
Scifo said that the “desired temperature” for the building is at about 68 degrees.
“Our systems are still functioning, one is just is not at 100 percent because of a failed compressor” said Scifo.
Scifo said the compressor is a part that must be ordered from the system’s original manufacturer because it is not one that normally fails. The part should arrive at the college by the end of the day on Monday, Jan. 18, or early on Tuesday, Jan.19.
According to Scifo, it will then take the facilities team a day or two to install the new part.
As for the use of space heaters, Scifo said that these actually have a negative effect on the buildings heating.
“The system reads the room as warmer than the building’s temperatures and works to balance out the hot air with cooler air, which will make the overall building even cooler,” said Scifo.
Varallo admits she is aware of the negative effects the use of space heaters can have on the system.
“I only pull (the personal heater) out when it is really really cold.” said Varallo.
Scifo said that in order for the building to see temperatures requiring the building to close, the entire heating system would have to go out of order.

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Old Main heating system to be repaired