By: Caroline Wilkerson
Hobbs-Sigler Hall at the University of Lynchburg experienced a maintenance failure causing an excessive amount of heat and humidity to permeate the building.
According to Dr. Bill Lokar, the associate dean of science and associate professor of chemistry, “recently a compressor failed in the HVAC system serving the front part of Hobbs-Sigler facing the Dell. This coupled with abnormally high temperatures and high humidity has led to less than ideal conditions in many of the classrooms and labs in Hobbs-Sigler Hall.”
Junior University of Lynchburg student, Abbie DeFino, said that the heat in Hobbs is “ridiculous, especially in the basement…it is really hard for me to focus, and it’s a distraction from class.”
As a result of the overwhelming number of complaints from students, some professors made the decisions to move their classes into other buildings.
In the interim the university has also provided temporary AC units in throughout Hobbs to help cope with the high temperatures.
According to a Penn State study conducted by Victor William Gregory in October 2016, students were found to perform best in about 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The study placed of randomized students into three groups: 81 degrees, 72 degrees, and 61 degrees. The students were then asked to answer a series of basic questions regarding shape, math, and colors. “The students who performed the best were those in the 70 degree Fahrenheit range.”
The university’s physical plant is working very hard to repair the situation and to bring the building back to a good working environment. “The physical plant has made the decision to replace rather than repair the compressor,” Lokar said. “We believe this will be a better medium term solution to the HVAC issues in Hobbs-Sigler. This has, however, led to a delay in repairs as a crane will be required to hoist the new compressor into place on the roof.”
Dr. Lokar continued, “In the meantime, we ask that should faculty, staff of students, feel compelled to open windows in the building that they remember to close them when leaving the space. Windows left open in Hobbs-Sigler have increased the humidity in Hobbs-Sigler and are putting further strain on the unit. If students have further concerns, the can email me at email@example.com.”