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Cool Krebs slow to warm

Kelly Cernetich, Editor-in-Chief
October 12, 2011
Filed under News

Bundled up in jackets and camped out at space heaters, students and faculty last Monday morning in Krebs Hall may have felt a slight chill.

A control failure caused the temperature in Krebs to drop over the weekend, with physical plant workers unable to fix the problem until around 7 a.m. Oct. 3.

Physical plant operations director Andy Csikos said the failure occurred sometime on Friday Sept. 30.

“There was a control failure with a safety trip because a pump overheated,” he said.

And Pitt-Johnstown students weren’t the only ones shivering.

Richland Senior High School student Olivia Salem, 18, said she thought Krebs was uncomfortably cold the morning of Oct. 1 when she, along with many other high school students, took the SATs.

“I wore my jacket… the whole time I was testing,” she said, “And I was not the only one.”

While Salem said she doesn’t believe the cold affected her performance, she said she thought it would have been easier to focus had she not been concerned about the temperature.

“I can’t imagine having to sit in Krebs every day with it being that exceptionally cold,” Salem said.

Problems continued through the afternoon Oct. 3, as professors struggled to adjust individual rooms’ controls.

Student senator Allen Skoranski addressed the issue that evening at a student government meeting, citing a handful of students’ complaints about the temperature.

But Csikos said the main issues last Monday likely arose from a slow reaction time in central heating as temperatures should have returned to normal by 9 a.m.

“The system doesn’t react quickly,” Csikos said.

Csikos said he sends e-mails at the beginning of each academic year explaining how the unit ventilator operates in reaction to the temperature outside.

The automatic temperature controls allow heat to kick in when the outside temperature falls below 60 degrees, while air conditioning operates at above 55 degrees.

Between 55 and 60 degrees, both heating and cooling operate simultaneously, allowing room occupants to add heat if needed.

There is also a reset schedule, which sets the indoor temperature to 65 degrees when the building is not being used.

While last Monday’s problems were the result of a system failure, Csikos said that the majority of temperature issues result from professors failing to adjust their thermostats.

“It won’t get warm if someone doesn’t turn the thermostat to a warmer temperature, depending on their preference,” he said.