By Isabella Darcy
A chilled water outage due to excavation work on Quimby’s Prairie led to a lack of air conditioning on Monday, Sept. 20 in many of the College’s buildings, causing medical emergencies and shortened classes.
Senior Director of Sustainability Paul Romano sent out an email Monday morning to the campus community, alerting them of the situation hours after classes had begun.
After a chilled water line failed to work, Romano said it would be a few hours before the buildings would be cooled off.
“[The chilled water line] has since been repaired and we are now in the process of repressurizing the system,” Romano said. “As a consequence, many buildings’ cooling systems will require several hours over the course of the day to resume normal operations.”
Without a working chilled water system, as many as 21 buildings were left without air conditioning.
Among these buildings were residents halls, dining halls, buildings with classrooms, lecture halls, buildings with staff offices, the library, athletic buildings and the student center.
Many students complained of excessive heat in their classrooms that made them lose focus during their classes.
“It was devastating, and hindered my ability to learn and focus,” said freshman secondary education major Sam Ingenito.
Junior public health major Kelly Maneri, who arrived for her three back-to-back classes in a sweatshirt and leggings, spoke about her experiences on Monday.
“My first class was in Bliss Hall, and it was so hot and unbearable my professor moved our class outside,” Maneri said. “While in class, an ambulance with its lights on passed by, and we all knew it had something to do with the heat.”
Maneri noted that she saw a second ambulance outside of the Social Sciences Building while she was on her way to her next class.
“One of the students in my next class told me how two students in her class before passed out, which is why the ambulance was outside of the Social Sciences Building,” Maneri said.
Avoiding the risk of potentially more students passing out due to heat exhaustion, professors ended classes early or moved them to Zoom due to the heat.
“My second class ended super early because my professor ‘did not want to put us through this,’” Maneri said.
No further emails with updates on the situation have been sent to students, but the air conditioning has been restored to all of the affected buildings by the next day and classes proceeded as normal.